Far Right Rhetorical Co-Opt, Item 1


One of the favorite rhetorical devices of those on the Far Right is to take a charge leveled against them by progressives, to co-opt the language used to articulate that charge, and then to reframe the debate with the co-opted language so that it seems that the logic of their position is not just credible but seemingly inescapable.

In actuality, the logic is usually more circular than anything else.

So, this past week, Steve King, the Far Right congressman from Iowa, said that those who have been trying to make the case that climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately and aggressively are guilty of making their cause “more of a religion than a science.”

King, of course, doesn’t know much at all about climate science. In fact, it’s pretty clear from the way that he has framed this most recent argument and similar arguments…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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