Left, Right, Wrong
America, we have a problem. (Now there’s an understatement.)
I have briefly researched to roots of this problem and I present them now, fresh from the garden of the internet. It started in France, (Of course it did.), where long, long ago an assembly had been gathered to debate the power of the king to veto propositions presented to him by said assembly. As it happened, those who favored the king’s right to veto any damn thing he wanted to veto, sat on the right side of the presiding president of the assembly. Those who thought otherwise — which was considered a more radical view — were seated to his left.
Apparently, the terms — ‘right’ and ‘left’ — entered the vernacular pretty quickly here in the once united states of America, as any piece of journalistic reporting will demonstrate.
And here’s the problem: What is one of the opposites of “right”? “Wrong.” Right? So, if you are calling one of your political parties, “Right,” then the other one, by vocabularic extension, must be “Wrong.”
I mean, yeah, it’s opposite could also be “Left,” but think about that word for a minute. “Leftovers,” “What’s left,” “Left alone,” “Left to their own devices,” “Is there anything left?”
Pretty different from “Yeah, it’s right over there,” “Right on”, “Right as rain.” “Right round the corner.”
There’s a distinct, not even the least bit subtle, tonal difference in the situations that “right” and “left” are associated with… and which one’s got all the super-positive associations?
On top of all this, we live in a world of largely right-handed people. And I’ve read that the reason we do had something to do with the use of toilets. There were, as well, times when left-handedness was considered to be a condition that had to be remedied. Nevermind the poor ambidextrous among us, of which I am one. Evil freaks, the lot of us.
So, a political party that hopes to thrive and possibly win, has a hell of a lot to overcome when an exceedingly high percentage of the press it receives is subliminally referring to it with a label — “Left” — that implies a whole host of negative associations.
Am I wrong?