The T-word

Geoff Meeker chides Danny Williams and his supporters for using the word “traitor” against Fabian Manning:

Manning is a Newfoundlander. He is one of us. Yet, some people have taken to calling him a “traitor”, “Judas” and “quisling” (a traitor who collaborates with an occupying force).
Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador are heated and vitriolic, but this is something different. Something despicable. It turns my stomach.
One group, comfortably ensconced within the majority, has taken to condemning those they oppose as ‘traitors’, a crime that was punishable by death up until 1961. It’s pretty much the nastiest thing you can say about someone.
How far are we from smashing the windows of these traitors, burning crosses on their lawns and cutting them down with machetes?
Yes, I am exaggerating to make a point. But consider this: most atrocities begin with one segment of society singling out another as conniving, treasonous or inferior. I just wish we’d tone it back a little, and stop saying hateful things in the name of scoring cheap political points.

I wish more people – not just in Newfoundland and Labrador, but in the rest of Canada and in the United States – felt the same way about using such rhetoric.
Damian P.

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8 thoughts on “The T-word

  1. I’m inclined to see Danny boyo Williams as a Newfie version of Hugo Chavez. The only thing missing is a military uniform.
    Williams has a long history of taking out his frustrations on people who don’t side with him.
    I know a few people who were forced to deal with his crackpot behaviour back when he was ensconced by his family in the cable TV business. He’s a clown.
    Now if you want to talk traitors …. Duceppe and Layton seem to fit the category as both have threatened to actively endanger our nation’s sovereign interests and would gladly do so given the opportunity. They are simply not worthy of this nation’s trust or tolerance. They would do what they say they would do simply for the sake of fulfilling their political ambitions.
    That’s enough reason to use the term I think.
    I’d also characterize PET as a traitor to this country for the same reasons.
    You may be offended by the harshness of the word and still the word exists for a reason.

  2. “Rallies for John McCain and Sarah Palin are becoming rabble-rousing events where warm-up speakers encourage unruly crowds to vent hatred for the Democratic contender, Barack Obama. Cat-calls of “traitor”, “criminal” and “terrorist” have been heard.”
    Note that the allegation isn’t backed up with specifics. I doubt, seriously, that a GOP audience is sounding like Kos Kidz. You can tell instantly whether you are at a Democratic or Republican rally by the behavior of the crowds.

  3. Such language reveals profound arrogance. It’s good to be confident in your opinions, but there should always be enough humility, enough self-doubt, to extend to your opponent a modicum of respect.

  4. T-Word! I don’t think so! Just another corrupt Newfie Politician. Somehow we screwed up his personal gravy train “a la Joey Smallwood”.
    From personal knowledge re Joey.

  5. “Duceppe and Layton seem to fit the category as both have threatened to actively endanger our nation’s sovereign interests and would gladly do so given the opportunity.”
    I can understand calling Duceppe a traitor (indeed, I have no qualms about using that word against Quebec separatists) but why Layton?

  6. More on the alleged “Cat-calls of ‘traitor’, ‘criminal’ and ‘terrorist’.”
    According to John Leo:
    Dana “Milbank’s lone racist at the rally soon became a group (or a mob) of people shouting racial epithets. A New York Times editorial Tuesday (‘The Politics of Attack’) misquoted Milbank’s Post column, claiming that one person shouted ‘Kill him’ and ‘others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.’”

    “At the Huffington Post, the ‘Kill him’ shout directed at Ayers was interpreted as an assassination threat against Obama. Another Huffington piece asked, ‘Is Palin Trying to Incite Violence Against Obama?'”
    Leo asks, “If the atmosphere is so hate-filled and racist at these events, why does the evidence come down to one shouter at one rally?” http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon1009jl.html

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