Arianna Huffington: Don’t call me ‘left-wing’


The show is called “Left, Right & Center,” although a more appropriate title would probably be “Far Left, Right, Progressive & Democrat” with its current cast of Robert Scheer, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington and Matt Miller. But despite the title of the program, don’t use those partisan labels around Huffington.

On the Dec. 24 broadcast of KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center,” Huffington complained that the use of the political terms “left,” “right” or “left-wing” is preventing policymakers from solving “problems” because of the connotation tied to each of them.

“Well, I actually feel that it would make a huge difference to our ability to solve problems if we stopped sort of reflexively using the labels ‘left’ and ‘right,’ because right now for a position to be described as ‘left-wing,’ it’s really to marginalize and dismiss it,” Huffington said. “That’s how the mainstream media use the label and it’s being used reflexively and often completely idiotically to describe for example anyone who wants to leave Afghanistan. Immediately that position is described as ‘left-wing,’ even if it includes George Will, Pat Buchanan and Tony Blankley and the Cato Institute, etc., etc.”

Huffington then argued that the “left” was responsible for all the good that has occurred in America while the word “center” has lost some of its distinction in American politics.

“And by that description of the left, every single breakthrough in American politics from the Emancipation Proclamation onward was a left-wing initiative and espoused by the left,” she continued. “At the same time, as you said Matt, the center has been reduced to just splitting the difference. You split the difference if you don’t really particularly care much about anything — to draw a line somewhere, you’re describe as ‘the center.’”

So why does this matter? According to Huffington, if the country is unable to get past these labels and work together, America could descend into “third-world” status.

“And I think in the end, whether we succeed as a nation or not, or whether we become a third-world country will depend on whether we manage to combine growth and equity,” she said.


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