Loesch's argument rests upon a small passage from Wikipedia. One might think that someone trying to explain the definition of a word might consult dictionaries that, you know, provide definitions for words, but we're not dealing with people who are in any way tethered to reality here. We should just be happy she didn't cite Gateway Pundit. Anyway, the Wikipedia passage states the following:
The terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution, referring to seating arrangements in parliament; those who sat on the right supported preserving the institutions of the Ancien Régime (the monarchy, the aristocracy and the established church). Use of the term “Right” became more prominent after the second restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 with the Ultra-royalists.From this, she somehow infers the following:
Using Norway’s government as an example: Norway is ruled by the Labour Party, a socialist party, and is affiliated with the Party of European Socialists. The Labour Party embraces the Keynesian economic theory and more centralized state control. This, according to the proper definition of the term “right wing,” would classify not only Norway’s socialist Labour Party as “right wing,” but would also classify America’s Democratic Socialists as “right wing.” Nazis, officially the National Socialist Party, would be correctly classified as “right wing.” Ideologies which oppose such heavy-handed government control would be accurately considered “left-wing.”It's honestly hard to even know where to begin with such a ridiculous argument. First of all, she's not even capable of reading and understanding the full Wikipedia article, and instead relies on cherry-picking quotes. For example, the same article she cites says that "right-wing" is defined in opposition to "socialism or social democracy" and includes the philosophies of, "conservatism, Christian democracy, liberalism, libertarianism, and nationalism." These considerations, of course, point to the exact opposite of the conclusion she draws. But Loesch can't even settle for cherry-picking her quotes: she also selectively ignores parts of the passages that she does quote. Out of all the various characteristics of the original "right," she chooses just one property, "heavy-handed government control," as the only relevant defining feature. The fact that pretty much no one else took that to be the only defining feature seems irrelevant to her. One gets the impression that if she had seen a painting of someone on the "right" from France with long hair, she would have declared that the correct definition of "right-wing" means 'long hairs," and would have been happy to label anyone who disagrees with her as "historically ignorant."
Even if her description of the original term had been correct (it's clearly not), you have to wonder what cave she's been living in to think that the "true meaning" of a term is determined solely by it's original usage. Language and the meaning of words change over time, and claiming that you're using the 1815 definition of a term is a pretty good way to ensure that no one will want to speak with you.
Furthermore, what exactly is the point of Loesch's desperate attempt to rewrite history? The media wasn't calling the apparent shooter "right-wing" because his email address was RightWing178383@aol.com. They called him right wing because his political views lined up with the political views of the far right in the U.S. (and Europe): he's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, a Christian fundamentalist, etc. So if the term "right wing" was mistakenly applied to him, then it's also mistakenly applied to a lot of conservatives in the U.S., but this doesn't change the fact that the Oslo shooter's views align more with them than with U.S. liberals. So even if Loesch's revisionary history was correct, it would have zero relevance for the discussion of the guy's politics.
But finally, the most hilarious thing in my opinion is that Loesch, in doing her traditional pose-as-an-intellectual-by-carelessly-throwing-together-some-quotes-from-Wikipedia routine, has managed to smear herself. She started her essay with the following;
I loathe when American conservatives define themselves as “right wing” anything, even in jest — just as I loathe when the liberal press uses it as identification for American conservatives — because it is an inaccurate use of the term.She later says "the media" is "ignorant" and "callous" for using the term. So isn't it just kind of hilarious to find that Loesch describes herself as "right-wing" on her radio show profile:
Yep, a proud "member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." Which, by her brilliant reasoning standards, means she is One With the Nazis, and the hippies for that matter. Just another day of thoughtful analysis from this CNN employee.
H/t to @BillStreeter who had an interesting Twitter exchange with Loesch on this subject yesterday.