Who came up with the term "leftist" anyway?

  • After giving @HighEliteMajor an earful for labeling me a leftist, I got to thinking… My assumption was that leftist was a term made up by the alt-right, but now I’m starting to realize that some people self-identify as leftist. I would never ever want to self-identify as a leftist.

    What is a leftist anyway and who came up with it?

    I think what we are really dealing with here is a false dichotomy of “leftist” and “alt-right”. In reality, if you wipe away the fresh coat of paint, I think underneath you’ll just find a donkey and an elephant.

    These terms don’t actually mean anything! By using them and attempting to separate people into two buckets we just feed into the two party machine.

    I’m not a leftist @HighEliteMajor, and I don’t appreciate you attempting to label people so you can dismiss them, but you’re not the only person making this mistake. My gut reaction was to blame the alt-right for coining the term leftist. Regardless of who invented the new terms, people are more than happy to hop right back in these buckets, a familiar dysfunctional duopoly.

  • Banned


    that road goes both ways. Just because you lean right doesn’t mean your a racist.

    Something to think about. Again the DNC and Liberals started the labels and political correctness.

  • @DoubleDD liberals and conservatives. Another false dichotomy.

    What proof is there that “liberals started the name calling”?

    And… Who and what are liberals?

    I agree that “leaning right” doesn’t make you a racist

    The definition of 'leaning right" has gotten conflated with racist, along with a million other voting groups because… “Leaning right” just means Republican!

  • I’m more confused about where the term “Alt-Right” came from. Never heard it until the last presidential cycle and I follow politics pretty closely.

    I’ll give a shot at answering your question. Often, the Left was called “Liberal”. For a growing segment of folks, there has been an attempt to grab back the mantle as a means of re-establishing the traditional political point of view of the Founders. The writers of the Constitution were considered liberals for their views of what constituted the best in human social and political arrangements. This is sometimes called “Classical Liberalism”. That’s one element. I lay out another element below.

    So a question. With the Democratic Party moving further to the Left (realize this may be a controversial point, but believe it to be incontrovertible by the facts), how should that movement be described? How should those on the edges of that movement be called? “Leftist”, “Alt-Left”, or the more exacting label: socialist? As the Democrats consolidate around that pole of political thought, (again, I think this is incontrovertible with recent polling showing that outright socialism now has a majority positive view among Dems), how should we describe that leftward movement? One other “fact” in that this movement has accelerated in the last couple decades, Bill Clinton is no longer politically viable in Democratic Party - to the extent it’s true, he was part off the Conservative element of the Dem party formerly called "the Blue Dog Democrats - and now that is an extinct species. Hillary was made to basically renounce some of her husbands policies from the 90’s. One might argue that he slapped his name (i.e. Signed the bills) on Republican legislation, but he also then took credit for it - like welfare reform. That’s not possible in Democrat politics now.

  • @Bwag When you’re talking about socialists being the fringe of the Left, you’re talking about the economic spectrum, and of all the spectrums you could point to as the default one that most closely aligns with Democrat vs Republican, economic is the one.

    I don’t think the Democratic base is going as far from center on economic issues as social issues, though I’m willing to listen to evidence to the contrary. I’m much more in support of progressive social change than economic change.

    I do however think that the constant regime changes in this country has us in a perpetual state of motion. It’s tidal politics. What might appear a hard left lean on economics is in fact just a recession of the policies of the right when they had power, and vice versa.

    Really, I want an economic plan that isn’t getting thrown on its head every 4 years. I’d like to think that a lot of people want consistency there. I don’t appreciate the sabotage of ACA and I feel the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is something that will have an adverse impact on the economy in the long run (again, willing to listen to evidence to the contrary). It is almost impossible, and certainly impossible for the layman, to determine which party’s policies are responsible for economic boon and bust, because they don’t operate in a time vacuum.

    Socially, this President has created division at every turn. I can understand people’s frustration that we aren’t discussing the economic issues and we are focusing on the President’s social agenda, but I also think this Presidenct’s social agenda has a significant negative impact on this country, and cannot be ignored.

  • I like the notion of having two sets of terms. “Liberal” and “conservative” for people who wish to describe either their general approach to politics or to a particular issue. These terms allow people to accommodate having different approaches to certain things. I am happy to be labeled liberal overall, as it describes many of my views–liberal on government’s role in guaranteeing children basic necessities, conservative on the death penalty (but liberal in thinking the government has a higher duty than it is showing to guarantee it is fairly administered with proper legal representation and resources, etc), liberal on progressive taxation (progressive is a recognized economic term as used here, not a political approach), conservative about the need to reduce deficit spending, conservative on 2nd amendment but liberal in thinking that reasonable regulation/licensing and safety training are constitutional, liberal on reproductive rights and abortion but willing to concede that the conservative view has merit so the issue cannot be settled by court or legislative fiat, liberal about the need for international cooperation but conservative in believing we need a three-ocean military presence…

    “Alt-left” and “alt-right” seem to me to be labels that can be used to describe people who have unyielding uniform adherence to a set of extreme beliefs and who approach political discussions with the view that no one else is worth listening to. These are the people who spread conspiracy theories, attribute fascist or socialist thinking to anyone disagreeing, even if they are generally in agreement on other issues. These are the people who are most incensed about pretty much everything, and they overwhelm discussion with noise and disparagement. They use labels about people to dismiss ideas that are brought up. An example is the inability of most Trump supporters to recognize that there are conservative icons who believe Trump is pursuing policies anathema to conservatism (George Will, John McCain, Kathleen Parker, the recently departed Charles Krautheimer)–the most notable characteristic of an extremist is to refuse to even consider that other people have brains, too. Similarly, the rise of speech codes on college campuses is the result of giving in to shrill demands for protection that refused to listen to almost a century of academic scholarship that treasured academic freedom and eventually established campuses as havens of free speech and scientific inquiry.

    Extremists have long been with us but generally their views have failed to carry the day in post-WW2 politics.The problem is that the alts on both ends are now, through the magic of the Internet, both organized and mobilized, and, due to the demise of traditional news, they have been given apparent credibility. The media gives far more attention to an Alex Jones screed than it does to a speech by a General Powell, and it thrusts videos of World Bank protestors into our faces for days at a time without ever reporting on what the World Bank actually does. (Conservatives criticicize the MSM as replacing news with editorials, but I think that is wrong–the MSM has replaced news with sensationalism as it has replaced editors with Web supervisors and marketing analysts.)

    As the extremists shout down the people who oppose them, they seem sometimes to save the loudest and most vicious attacks on people closest to their end of the spectrum. If you aren’t a Trump Republican, you can’t be a Republican deep down inside so you shouldn’t be listened to. If you support BLM but think NFL players are waging a counter-productive battle, you aren’t a true progressive or worse, you might be a closet racist (God forbid you ever laughed at a Flip Wilson joke).

    Where am I going? Right here: the extremists are highly motivated, and have taken advantage of the relative non-activism of moderates in both parties, in order to dominate primaries. With as few as 5% of voters participating in primaries, the extremists have cashed in on a huge opportunity to decide who runs in general elections. This has resulted in a race to the fringes by candidates that is almost comical–here in SC, the Republican candidates for governor all ran ads pointing out every time they refused to compromise with anybody about anything, including the incumbent proudly trumpeting how he vetoed lots of legislation passed by the Republican legislature! After the primaries are over, we get 2 candidates who are then incapable of moving back to the center because of the tight bonds held over them by the activists–the extremists–to whom they owe their primary victories.

    When anyone willing to compromise gets labeled a “dirty compromiser” very little can get accomplished. Each party will spend its time trying to undo the other party’s accomplishments. Our country was founded on the basis of recognizing that there are many disparate branches of political thought. Compromise was always previously believed to be the best approach of achieving the broadest success. Only if we as a whole decide it is more important to build something, rather than defeat somebody, will we return to the greatness that defined our unique experiment as a country.

  • A lot of the labels were self created, but have been used as insults by the other side.

    At one time, being progressive was a good thing. Now, it’s wielded as a weapon by conservative Republicans against more moderate political opponents.

    Alt-Right was created by the people within that group to distinguish them from those less conservative.

    Same on the other side. Liberal was created by those on the left, but now is used as a weapon against them. In many of the more conservative places in the US, anyone who is not a conservative is automatically called a liberal.

    In a way, it takes the meaning out of each term, because there isn’t really any distinction in the way the words are deployed.

    @mayjay makes a tremendous point that the real break came when “compromise” became a dirty word politically. Even attempting to work with the other side was viewed as disloyal and would draw you a primary opponent. I would observe here that Republicans have used this far more often than Democrats have, which is why the GOP has moved further right over the last 20-25 years than the Democratic party has moved left - the threat of being “primaried” is far more profound in the GOP.

  • A guy took his car to the shop because it kept pulling left. Mechanic turned on the radio and said “Oh the problem is your radio.” The man said, “how can that be causing my car to pull to the left?” The mechanic said, “simple, your radio is turned to NPR”.

    This is a great joke, because either side can use it! Change left to right, and NPR to Rush and it still works!

  • It is pure fiction to suggest that the GOP has moved further right. Just an irrational slant from someone who is a leftist. The GOP is no further right than it was in the 70s, or when Reagan was president in the 80s, or when it opposed Clinton, or elected George W. Bush. In reality, the GOP is less conservative on social issues, and the former budget hawks have relented to the swamp, and the massive deficits.

    The biggest shift we see now, really just in the last 5 years, is a hard push in the Democratic party to go further left. Just listen to Obama talk about immigration a few years ago and pull quotes from Democratic politicians. Democrats have always been the party that shunned personal responsibility, but the race baiting and identity politics has gone to a new level, even for that bunch.

    No, the GOP has not gotten more conservative.

    Perhaps the most telling in the difference between the sides. “Conservative” has always been a badge of honor. Democrats run from their identity.

  • @HighEliteMajor Why do you seek to identify, group, illegitimize and destroy people that disagree with you? Your ideas are far more compelling when they aren’t barbed with personal attacks.

    I don’t think you addressed the main part of @justanotherfan 's logic on the point that you’re trying to refute: that GOP candidates are much more likely to be primaried, thus the push to the extreme.

    I’d like to see statistical evidence either way on this. Friday’s “The Daily” was about how Trump’s base is less likely to show up in the midterm, whereas the moderate voters that voted for him (college educated white females, 12% of his vote) are more likely to show up for the midterms. This would seem to be somewhat contrary in that Trump’s base is less likely to show up for elections not involving Trump… so I wonder if in the midterms, if moderate GOP candidates will be less likely to be primaried.

  • Not pure fiction HEM. I grew up a staunch republican. The party has moved to the right as I find it more difficult to vote for republican candidates. I’ve voted 3rd party twice in the last few years, once in the presidential election and once in a senate race in Louisiana. I still call myself conservative, but the harsher positions of the party on guns and immigration has pushed me away from the party more and more.

    But I also think that the democrats have moved further left.

  • From the perspective of my lifetime:

    The problem is that, as data comes out, Conservatives ignore it. I don’t know that HEM is wrong in that the Republican party hasn’t changed since the 70s. Definitely seem to be preaching the same things since the 90s. That is the problem with the Republican party though. It is based around a certain group of people who like THEIR life the way it currently is. They do not embrace even the slightest change. Trump basically won from telling everyone that he could resurrect the U.S. of the mid-90s, and people ate that up like catnip.

    However, the Democrats have changed a ton in my lifetime. Just since Clinton. Go look at Bill’s running points again and then compare them to a lot of points that Trump just ran on… One just said them with a silky smooth Southern Accent while the other said it with a stupid hair cut and goofy smile. Most of the liberal ideas that I am in favor of actually have a statistical element to them. We record data, the data says one thing, we should probably implement that thing. Gun violence would be one of the examples of that. However, I can’t get behind things that liberal’s have no true basis for. Things like their stance on abortion, where arbitrary lines are drawn in the sand, frustrate me.

    To summarize, the right is purposefully ignorant, and use it like a defense mechanism a 4 year old would use. Basically plugging their ears and yelling “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”. Which is equally as bad as the left who change stances like they are trying whatever new diet Oprah is on that year. What we need is the right to become slightly, slightly, more accepting of change. And the Left needs to become more patient and slow down a bit. We don’t need to input free education, free healthcare, free transportation, free etc, immediately. We can’t fiscally afford to do so if we wanted to. Both sides need to simply quit promising pipe dreams and implementing half-assed policies every 4 years that end up sucking because they were too rushed.

    So, do I like the terms? I guess I could care less.They mean nothing except for that I have to choose between whether I want innocent babies murdered each year, or innocent people shot and murdered each year. One side wants to destroy the economy while the other wants to destroy the planet. What “good side” is there? Who gives a shit if you are left or right? There is no “good side” in American Politics right now. Instead of Left or Right, one side might as well be called the Chicken F-ckers and the other side the Inbred Pig Sluts, because regardless of who you choose or how you are labeled, your “side” sucks.

  • @Kcmatt7 Not so sure I’m purposefully ignorant – meaning your reference to the right. I’m really not trying to be ignorant. Some suggest it comes naturally, of course.

    Anyway, your point on Bill Clinton and his policies is excellent. Compare that to the Democratic party now, and to Trump.

    When you suggest we plug our ears, remember, that’s another way of saying that we’re principled. Many times, conservatives are principled to a fault. That will happen.

    But guns isn’t one of those issues. Remember on your “gun violence” deal and this goes to the principles of the conservatism. It’s personal responsibility. It is why conservatism is and has been consistent. We believe in hard work, self-sufficiency, smaller government, and personal responsibility. It is the culture of violence that causes the most problematic issues related to guns, and that culture of violence has nothing to do with conservatism. Someone pulls the trigger for a reason. That’s the issue. The person pulling the trigger. And this is important – and a key difference – liberals seek to place responsibility on anything but the person. Further, conservatism demands a respect for the rule of law and recognition of Judeo-Christian values. Conservatives support free trade, an open economy, lower regulation and interference. We support a strong and aggressive nation defense, as that is the core function of government – to protect our rights and keep us safe. It’s really quite simple. As with liberalism, never confuse the principles with those with human failings that support those principles. At its core, conservative principles have made this country great. But the progress of society, and changes on multiple social issues, can be credited to the liberals.

    When you say there is no good side, I disagree. Follow the core, proven principles. In this political environment, it’s hard to follow men or women. What they do is most important to me.

    @wissox The positions on guns and immigration have not changed at all. When the left attacks the 2nd amendment, conservatives respond. When they don’t, we’re quiet. Same with immigration. The lack of enforcement of our borders has caused a reaction which appears more harsh. But it’s really the same. Follow the law. Immigrate legally.

  • @approxinfinity

    The fear of being primaried is something that has been talked about for years. This research paper suggests that what I am talking about is true. Republicans tend to primary more often, and also tend to primary people who are not necessarily to the left of the party or district overall. And note that this paper was written 10 years ago. The tea party movement had the affect of primarying several incumbents. Eric Cantor wasn’t to the left of his district, but he was challenged (and lost to) someone to his right.

    This paper suggests that the GOP has more ideological primaries, particularly recently

    A quote

    In recent years, high-profile ideological challenges have been more common in the Republican Party because Democratic multi-issue groups have concentrated on protecting vulnerable incumbents.

    Simply put, Republicans have tended to attack any incumbent that was not sufficiently opposed to President Obama, or compromised in any way with Democrats. This effectively drove the party further right, as any move to the center was seen as ideological betrayal. Meanwhile, Democrats tended to tamp down ideological challengers effectively preventing a significant move left.

    Further, the Republican party has gotten more conservative in the last several decades. In 1974, 45% of Republicans described themselves as conservative. In 2012, that number was 70%. About 75% of GOP primary voters describe themselves as conservative. (source, NY Times article) Regardless of what anybody says, the GOP has moved further right ideologically, and that is represented in the GOP electorate and the GOP elected representation, all of which are further right now than they were in prior years.

    Where the Democratic party has shifted is in the way in which it is represented. The Democratic caucus looks like the party itself - more minorities in office, more women, members of the LGBTQ community, etc.

    This has the effect of making people feel that the party is moving further away simply because the party looks different. Bernie Sanders is pretty far left, politically. The govtrack report card rates him as the second most liberal member of the Senate, trailing only the now resigned Al Franken.

    Yet if you asked people who they felt was most liberal, names like Elizabeth Warren (20th most liberal), Kamala Harris (8th most), Dianne Feinstein (15th most), Cory Booker (18th most) would come up.

    What’s even more notable about the report card is that 1.00 represents most conservative, while 0.00 represents most liberal, with .50 being perfectly centrist.

    Guess who scores a .50 - Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is being cast as enormously liberal in her current Senate race. Also notable, McCaskill is not the most conservative Democrat, and ranks 59th in the Senate in terms of being conservative. That means that, on the whole, the Senate is actually further right.

    We can also look at the report card and see that only one GOP senator rates below a .60 (Susan Collins - ME). There are 9 Democrats that rank higher than a .40. The GOP is, on the whole, further right (51 of their 52 caucus members are .67 or higher). In the House, 230 Republicans have an ideology score of .57 or more, and no Republican is less than .46. For the Democrats, there are 24 with scores higher than .43, and several have scores above .50. Again, the GOP is further right than the Democrats are left.

    There’s really no factual basis to argue that the GOP has not moved further right, or that the GOP is closer to the center than the Democrats. Absolutely none.

  • @HighEliteMajor It wouldn’t matter if I showed you (let’s use a complete hypothetical here) that a banishment of guns resulted in 99% less murders. Of course that would never happen, but you would still argue that you have a right to bare arms.

    To many on the right, and about 10% of the Country, it doesn’t matter that the Catholic Church actively shields Priests who abuse children (and have been doing this now for over 70 years), conservatives still vote the way the Church wants them to vote.

    Even with factual evidence that Global Warming is an issue, Conservatives could honestly care less. They could give a flying crap about what the World will be like when they die, so why protect it? As far as the environment goes, all they care about is the price of gas and the mileage they get because of new technology. But if they could put a new cheaper chemical in their car that was 10x worse for the environment, you bet your ass they would do it! $5 is $5.

    I support a lot Conservative ideas however. If I were to be polled on where I stand on all political issues we currently face, I would be on the conservative side. But I’m continually opening my mind to knew ideas. I do my own research. I come to my own conclusions. And I am realistic. I also know that there have to be times in my life where I should be the one who makes sacrifices for the good of others.

    To me, when you say “Personal Responsibility” all I hear is “Selfishness.” YOU don’t want anything to change because YOU like your life the way it currently is. And that is a fair stance to take. I just wouldn’t call it a noble one. This country wan’t built on Conservative ideas. It was built on Progressive ones, at the time. It was built out of necessity, as are most great things. It was, most importantly, built with the ability to evolve over time with the needs of the Country as a whole. Something I think those on the Right often forget.

  • @Kcmatt7 Remember, we have rights under the constitution. The 2nd amendment was an important one. Would it matter if I proved to you that crime would go down 99% if we eliminated the 4th amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures?

    I have no idea what you mean on the Catholic church. Has nothing to do with me or conservatives.

    I love oil. I love gas. It’s amazing we pay less for a gallon of gas than a gallon of milk, given where and how you get it. But you don’t understand conservatives on the environment. Most don’t.

    If you equate “personal responsibility” with “selfishness”, reading what wrote, you ain’t trackin’.

    This country was built on conservative principles, which you forget, were progressive at the time. The Federalist Papers might be a great place to start.

    See, as we discuss this, you and I could make deals. We disagree on some points but could easily find a middle ground.

    And I do believe in the right to “bare” arms. I believe in the right to hairy arms too.

  • @justanotherfan I don’t know that the two things you cite (people self identifying as conservative more, and the perception of liberals by conservatives) proves that the legislation being put forth is more conservative (I admittedly have done zero research for stats on that, just observe what comes over the daily newswire), but it does show how Republican voters have rallied around the “conservative” moniker and bought in to the Republican party disparaging certain Democrats by making them appear to be fringe liberals.

    Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

  • The NRA, which has funded and lobbied many of the hard-right to power, wants us to believe that the Framers intended the 2nd Amendment to cover teflon-coated body armor-piercing bullets (i.e., “cop-killers”), high-capacity magazines, and rapid fire high-powered rifles. I am amazed that when it comes to implements of killing, the far right insists that the Constitution has to be interpreted broad-mindedly due to the vast changes in technology, but when it comes to any recognition of equal rights for groups legally discriminated against since the Revolution the hard right insists, and has for a century, that the Constitution cannot be interpreted liberally in recognition of the vast changes in society.


  • Both parties seem to be in an identity crisis, largely caused by factions at their extreme edges. I can’t really think of Republicans as ‘conservatives’ – at least not the principles of the 80s and 90s given that the deficit and spending with this administration is beyond anything I remember. And Democrats have abandoned ‘traditional’ positions as well and are being redefined by candidates like Bernie Sanders who is an unapologetic socialist. 25 years ago, it was unthinkable that a socialist could be a competitive candidate for president.

    It feels like we’re in a period of party redefinition – and when it all shakes out, we may realize that the polarity of the political world has changed and its on a completely different axis.

  • @HighEliteMajor “And I do believe in the right to “bare” arms. I believe in the right to hairy arms too.”

    Hairy arms are generally okay, but the trend toward perpetual 2-day scraggly beards violates every norm and moral code known to man.

  • @mayjay

    Don’t have a problem with the 2 day beard as much as I do with tattoo covered arms.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Yeah, I don’t get that one either, but maybe I should get a cute butterfly on my ankle and see if I get addicted to my body as canvas…

  • Banned


    Yet the truth is where states that have less guns laws have less crime. Where states that have strict gun laws have the most crime.

    Not opinion just facts. Yet the Liberal/DNC wants to lead us down this path to some European wonderland.

    You’ll have to excuse me If this Cold Blooded American will pass.

  • Banned

    Tell you what. When the powers to be give up their gated communities, security guards, and body guards. I’ll think about giving up my guns.

    Thought about it Nope.

  • @approxinfinity

    Probably post Charlemagne Roman Catholicism, which having taken on temporal powers from Charlemagne, found itself not just in the religion bidness, but the governing, taxing, law and order, and trans generational continuity bidness.

    Early Christianity associated left with evil and right with good, left with the devil’s work and right with god’s order. It’s in their art and some texts, if I recall correctly.

    Likely they inherited this left-right opposition notion from both Jews’ and Manichaeans’ light and dark symbolism, but I’ve never tracked it back.

    Christendom up to the Middle Ages was a unified, inclusive, comprehensive world view and order, if you agreed, and probably appeared totalitarian, if you didn’t.

    They had to instruct right and wrong to a world of many languages and cultures, if they were to stay on top of the temporal gravy train Charlemagne put them on. Christendom, not surprisingly imitated the Romans some and resorted to universally understandable symbols and entertainment (music and ritual in the church instead of the amphitheater) to convey the basics.

    What perpetuated, grew and advance Christendom was good and symbolized as being on god’s right.

    What threatened Christendom, traumatized it’s order, and delegitimized it was evil and symbolized as left of good.

    Up and down were used similarly.

    The administrative language was Latin, just as English is in our empire today that also reigns hegemonically over many cultures and languages.

    We use symbols of left and right to talk simplistically to our Babel today same as Christendom did.

    The contemporary uses of left and right descend clearly from 19th Century European ideological/social/political/economic upheaval and were brought by immigrants and intelligentsia from Europe’s epic struggles to be more inclusive (and so risk destabilizing of prexisting order…left) or to conserve what order had already been achieved (right).

    More rights and opportunities for everyone—Left.

    More rights and opportunities, but only for those most productive and with new wealth—Right.

    No change—Status quo.

    This is what it’s all about.

    The status quo only changes when the cost of not changing is too high.

    The status quo diffuses the demand for change by issuing new rights and opportunities to the new rich with new skill and high productivity. They divide them off from Les Miserable and suppress Le Miserable.

  • @jaybate-1.0 nice! Thank you for reframing the discussion! Classic jaybate. These terms are so steeped in tradition their practical meaning cannot be discerned any more, and the feelings around them are confusing and irrational. Still, we trudge on under these meaningless banners.

    I like what @mayjay had to say trying to frame conservative and liberal, but I wonder if it’s too late for those words too.

  • @jaybate-1.0 “Early Christianity associated left with evil and right with good, left with the devil’s work and right with god’s order. It’s in their art and some texts, if I recall correctly.”

    In Latin, sinister means left-handed. The following is from a stackexchange.com answer in a similar discussion. I don’t vouch for its accuracy, but, JB, it has info right up your alley:

    In the past, to be left-handed was considered touched by the Devil. As Wikipedia notes:

    Historically, the left side, and subsequently left-handedness, was considered negative in many cultures. The Latin word sinistra originally meant “left” but took on meanings of “evil” or “unlucky” by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word “sinister”.

    Meanings gradually developed from use of these terms in the ancient languages. In many modern European languages, including English, the word for the direction “right” also means “correct” or “proper”, and also stands for authority and justice. In most Slavic languages the root prav is used in words carrying meanings of correctness or justice.

    So, if you were left-handed or sinister, you were associated with evil. In time, sinister itself meant evil and threatening. EtymOnline said that sinister attained this meaning in the early 15th century. The OED supports this, writing that the first uses of sinister to mean malicious were:

    1474 Rolls of Parl. VI. 110/1 Contynuyn in habundaunce of goodes and havour, to their sinister pleasure.

    1477 Earl Rivers tr. Dictes or Sayengis Philosophhres (Caxton) (1877) lf. 7, Leste ye be let or withdrawen ther fro by eny sinistre or euil temptacion.


  • @mayjay So is the etymology of depraved from the same? If so I think we need to investigate if, since this is a college basketball page, if Cal or K, or Pitino are all left handed since we know they are depraved.

  • @wissox I just figured it was someone who lost his prave, whatever that is.

  • @mayjay

    Thanks for the assist!

    Sinistra…that rings a bell.

    I’m left handed; that explains why I was not allowed to play catcher in baseball! I was too sinistra!!!


  • @mayjay

    You are correct that the term siniestra, meaning left handed, was in the past meant to imply evil as in sinister as exemplified by terms such as left handed compliment.

    However the origin of the terms left and right as applied to politics and/or ideology originated with the French Revolution in 1789 when members of the National Assembly that were supporters of the king sat to the right and supporters of the revolution to the left and contemporary press started referring them as right and left. Those terms became pretty much universal and the right is generally defined as the conservative wing and the left the liberal side.

    I became interested in politics during the Kennedy years and started following in earnest during the Nixon years and as far back as I remember the terms right and left have always meant conservative and liberal. Now, where the parties aligned themselves has varied quite a bit over the years. In the last half century the Republican Party has traditionally been the center to conservative/right side while the Democratic Party has been the center to liberal/left side while other groups such as the Libertarian Party at times placed on the far right or far left depending on the political winds.

    Both the Republican and Democratic parties have drifted to the left, in the case of the Republicans it has been mostly the leadership that has abandoned the fiscal principles of the party and moved in a direction opposite to that of its values but the core of the party has not, as @highelitemajor suggested, and the backlash resulted in the rejection of the leadership and election of an outsider that campaigned on bringing the party back. The Democratic Party has moved from a centrist left position under Bill Clinton to a solid to extreme left as evidenced by Sanders, an independent socialist, being allowed to run as a democrat and, if not for the DNC rigged primaries, he would have been the party’s candidate instead of Hillary. The new faces of the Democrats are now Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez-Cortez, Perez, Ellison and Warren, all socialists or extreme left and the bulk of the party now looks at socialism more favorably than capitalism according to a recent poll; this runs contrary to the views of the majority of the country. The 2020 election will without a doubt determine the direction the country will take for the foreseeable future.

  • I still remember when Republicans and Democrats were BOTH Americans. That should be a common bond.

    But common ground is eroding as folks intensify their identity on narrower and narrower interests.

    The success of outside efforts to polarize the country can be no better illustrated than by this photograph.


  • @bskeet just when I think it can’t get worse, tomorrow happens.

  • Banned


  • @DoubleDD ask them now

  • @Crimsonorblue22 the divide has actually grown bigger.



    @DoubleDD I think the guys in that picture are both extremely proud to be Amurkan AND would rather be Russian than Democrat, right?

  • Banned

    Nah just see a few misguided people that have been indoctrinated with media bias or the lack of.

    I would vote for a hard leaning left Dem before I would want to live in Russia.

    Yet it is typical lib/DNC politics. Take a few photos and paint everybody into a group. Then complain about being called a leftist. Right?

  • @DoubleDD

    Nothing typical about that photo.

    It was their decision to wear the shirts and they seem to wear them with pride.

    I don’t intend to paint anyone into a group nor make sweeping judgements about anyone or anything based on that photo.

    Yet by implicating the media or the DNC, you are.

    What is disturbing to me is that anyone would have such vehement feelings toward fellow Americans that they would feel the need to make this expression.

    We seem to have fallen a long long way away from each other in a short amount of time.

    I can’t help but wonder what in the world we are missing as our attention is focused on attacking at each other.

  • Banned

    I guess I don’t understand the point why I’m being forced fed this pic?

    the truth will set you free

    Man that must hurt?

    Oh wait the Rasmussen is a fake polls? Lmao.

  • Banned


    You want to know why I’m full on against Libs/DNC? For eight years I got called a racist because I didn’t vote for Obama. There’s your answer. Oh and it wasn’t conservatives and Reps.

  • @DoubleDD https://civiqs.com/results/approve_president_trump?race=Black or African-American

    Sample size for Rasmussen was too small? That poll is the outlier, with all others showing much lower support.

    Who called you a racist for 8 years for not voting for Obama? Relatives? Coworkers?

  • Banned

    approxinfinity said:

    @DoubleDD https://civiqs.com/results/approve_president_trump?race=Black or African-American

    Sample size for Rasmussen was too small? That poll is the outlier, with all others showing much lower support.

    Who called you a racist for 8 years for not voting for Obama? Relatives? Coworkers?

    LIbs and DEms. Still are just watch any media outlet besides Fox news.

  • @DoubleDD You are making zero sense right now.

    Which libs and dems told you, Double DD Esquire, directly, “you are a racist”? Anyone? I know I didn’t.

    Who on the big wide interwebs said, “if you didn’t vote for Obama, you’re a racist”? Let’s see:


    4 results.

    How about “anyone who didn’t vote for Obama is a racist”?


    2 results.

    So what exactly is Fox News telling you that other people are saying about you?

  • DoubleDD said:

    I guess I don’t understand the point why I’m being forced fed this pic?

    the truth will set you free

    Man that must hurt?

    Oh wait the Rasmussen is a fake polls? Lmao.

    Sorry, I don’t understand your response.

    I am not force-feeding anything. Feel free to turn your head and look away.

    (The truth will set you free…?)

  • DoubleDD said:


    You want to know why I’m full on against Libs/DNC? For eight years I got called a racist because I didn’t vote for Obama. There’s your answer. Oh and it wasn’t conservatives and Reps.

    Assuming you are not a racist and that is not the reason you didn’t vote for Obama, you should not have been shamed for voting for another candidate. Reasonable folks should understand there are ample reasons to not vote for Obama that have nothing to do with his heritage.

    I am sorry that happened to you.

    Whoever did that was wrong. It is small-minded to pursuade through shame.

    But, as I was told as a kid: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    I hope you can be bigger than those folks and find a way to let the anger pass.

  • @approxinfinity

    In all fairness, you do know that Google heavily bias searches, right? Try this… the exact same search on a different search engine.

  • @JayHawkFanToo mine was an exact match using quotes. Yours wasn’t. However, it appears theres an outstanding bug with duckduckgo that won’t let me exact match the search:


    Regardless the question I have is where @DoubleDD was told he was a racist.

  • Funny, I didn’t vote for Obama and nobody called me that! I sure grew to like him and Michelle, take him in a minute over the present, whom I didn’t vote for!

  • @approxinfinity

    Why in the world would you use quotes? When you do you are artificially restricting the search and defeating the purpose of the search engine. Try the same search in Google without the quotes and you get 4.33 million results. The primary reason to use quotes is to limit the search by looking for the exact wording but you did not even quote his generic wording. The search for the gist of what he posted yields millions of results.

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