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October 3, 2006

Urban Legends As Propaganda

-- by Dave Johnson

In 2004 one person may have shouted the word "murderer" at a veteran holding a "Veterans for Bush" sign in a parade. A local columnist wrote about it.

A Google search shows that today, maybe 750 websites refer to the incident. A popular conservative website mentioned it today, writing

"Not that liberals really have any respect for those in uniform."
Remember, ONE person MAY HAVE said something ONCE to someone, and it is now used to reinforce a cult-like belief that liberals-in-general victimize veterans. Some of the sites embellish it into the guy being chased, "pelted," accosted by long-haired mobs...

The right-wing vicitim complex is very strong. They really need to feel persecuted.

But how much of this is JUST word-of-mouth?

A website, bainbridgeislandveteranincident2004, came and went. People posted the story to forums, like this "travel forum," posted with the title, Tour de France "French spectators are spitting at American Lance Armstrong " Just like Kerry voters spitting on Iraqi war Vets.

The story circulates because it is reminiscent of what happened during the Vietnam war when returning soldiers were spat on and called "baby killer." Except there may be a problem with that: one researcher found that there is no evidence that this happened to ANY Vietnam vets - not one documented report that can be verified. That story may have had a little help as well.

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 3, 2006 7:34 PM

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"The right-wing vicitim complex is very strong. They really need to feel persecuted."

This is a keen insight. If you really look into the history of the right-wing movement, there's always been a strong feeling of victimization, especially among the Religious Right. Most of them come from evangelical churches that have always had a strong feeling of victimization, of feeling they were disrespected by the mainstream Protestant churches. The same forces were at work during the formation of the Nazi party in Germany. They felt victimized by the aftermath of WW I.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2006 6:29 AM

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