Define “Radical”

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mopar Dude, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I feel that the word “radical” is a word used far too often and is inflammatory. Traditionally (in my mind anyway) the word radical is associated with those that do damage or harm to try to make their point. I believe we now use the word to define anyone whose thought process differs from our own. And once we level the accusation of being radical to a person or group, you have immediately severed any further ability to communicate. Or as I would say as a young man, “Them’s fightin’ words”. So I want to see what other people’s views are of the term radical.
    • Am I radical if I have a Trump 2020 sticker on my car?
    • Am I radical if I have an “Impeach Trump” sticker on my car?
    • Am I radical if I have a “Hang Trump” sticker on my car?
    • Am I radical if I stand by and watch a group hurling rocks at police?
    • Am I radical if I am part of the group hurling rocks at police?
    Of the above examples, in my mind only the last example is the true definition of radical. One of our most revered institutions is our protected ability to peacefully protest. A sticker on my car could be viewed as a peaceful protest in my mind. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree. A person has the right to make their statement. However once a person or group crosses that line of peaceful protest and damages people or property, they have become a radical.... Or better yet, a criminal. And that in effect is the accusation we make when we label a person or group as radical. I believe the term is overused simply to incite their opponents. And unless we are stepping into a boxing arena, inciting our opponents accomplishes absolutely nothing other than further division.
    JoeNation likes this.
  2. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    I think that if you ask 100 people for a definition of any toxic term, you'll get 100 different definitions. I can't think of a more toxic term than radical. We always try and demonize the other side and the term radical is just one of those terms we use. Been called one in this forum already this week just because someone wanted to pigeon hole me as the "other". It's interesting to see such blatant attempts at dividing us into two camps and does nothing to foster communication nor civility but it is so obvious at this point that it is just laughable.

    Here is a slightly different take on radicals which I will attribute to my wonderful wife. She pointed out to me that if we didn't have people that were willing to push the envelope, we'd simply stagnate as a society. We certainly can't put radicals in charge (although that ship may have already sailed) but radicals do have a purpose. We all abhor the violence but neither would we listen to their voices without them making us pay attention to them. Radicalism is usually the result of a group that feels voiceless. If we had a just and inclusive society, I feel that there would be a lot less radical violence. Currently, social justice is reserved for the "haves" and in short supply in communities of the "have nots".
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  3. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I like your wife’s take. Looking at it that way, heck our founding fathers were radicals.... I travel some with work and am often exposed to different news outlets. I would bet you that 80% of the time when the reporting turns political, whether that particular channel leans left or right, when they speak of the opposing view the reporter will find a way to get the word “radical” in their report. And in our current climate, that immediately shuts off the listener. It makes me want to change the channel to something of substance like the Andy Griffith show.

    See @JoeNation, I know you and I are from opposite ends of the political spectrum. I believe that in my short time here I have earned a modicum of respect from you simply because I hold your views as valid and have treated you with respect and courtesy. I would say that you and I could sit down together, work and compromise to get something of substance done. In fact, I am confident that we could. It is nothing more than implementing the golden rule that we all learned before we could even talk. Why on earth can our elected leadership not do the same? It is ripping us to pieces.
    JoeNation likes this.

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