Monday, May 24, 2010

Wikipedia and Unprincipled Right

We all know some people on the "right" who we might call "principled." They hold to a value and apply it consistently, regardless of Party politics pressure. Maybe it's you, or a relative, a friend, co-workers or even someone in the corporate media. Ron Paul, a US Congressman, is a classic, if not extreme, example... and there are other less notable examples.

There is Walter B. Jones, a US congress member made famous for coining the phrase "freedom fries" as an insult to the French for not getting on board quickly with the Iraq war. He now regrets saying that.

Joness represents an area of North Carolina that has a sizable military population. His about-face reflects an undercurrent of honest feelings in the military communities. Walter Jones is now a vocal critic of the Iraq war.

The other conservative faction is the "unprincipled" right... they represent a different color in the "conservative" spectrum. We know them too: The Republican water-carriers and self-promoters like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill Kristol, and Rush Limbaugh, who admits he carries water for the Republicans:

On the November 8 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed to "feel liberated" by Democratic victories in the House and Senate on November 7 because he is "no longer going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried."

But this is all a long-winded way of being able to say that the vocal unprincipled right is misdirecting the conservative base when they tell the base not to use Wikipedia. We all know it can have significant flaws on a particular subject, but the majority of the time, it answers your question or directs you to the answer. Adding "wiki" to your search can be a powerful information tool that gives you an information-access advantage. Conservatives who dismiss Wikipedia might just be giving themselves a handicap.

Oxford Dictionary editors


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