To answer a question that has come up recently about this label: It’s been a few years since I (as of this writing) used the term in a blog post, and I had actually forgotten about it. I *think* I coined it, but am not 100% certain. I used several search engines and couldn’t find anyone using the exact term “blight wing” previous to the first blog post in the archive of my old blog (from July of 2010), so it would appear it is indeed a term I coined. – SK
Blight Wing vs Right Wing Definitions
I use the term ‘blight wing’ to differentiate between those who are merely very far to the right on the American political spectrum – the right wing, and those who are in the same ideological zone of the spectrum as the right wing, but also display unusually vitriolic, tribalistic and/or otherwise egregious behavior.
Wingnut is a term some use for people like this as well, although I try to use that term when speaking of something with an element of being disconnected from reality, which is often the case with blight wing types, but not necessarily. You don’t need to be missing proverbial marbles to be a blight wing type, although the correlation is strong between the two – I’ve used the hybrid ‘blight wingnut’ a few times, for this reason.
Blight Wing Examples – Roy Moore and Mark Levin
A recent example – one might say the poster child – of a blight wing candidate would be Alabama Republican candidate for US Senate Roy Moore. His views run the gamut of not only extremely far to the right, but blatantly hateful and outrageous.
Perhaps the best illustration of this was when he responded to a question – by a black member of an audience at one of his campaign rallies – about when he last thought America was great, he answered that he thought “it was great at the time when families were united – even though we had slavery – they cared for one another. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
Radio host Mark Levin is an excellent example of a blight wing(nut) pundit. For those who haven’t had the displeasure of listening, he’s even more angry than Rush Limbaugh, often screams into the microphone, is openly bigoted and espouses a range of bizarre conspiracy theories.
Two great examples of why he’s another poster boy for the blight wing are that he was convinced that President Obama was going to somehow magically force Stalinism (not just socialism, or even regular ol’ communism – Stalinism) on the United States, and – in a gesture of bipartisan fairness (kidding) – he also thought that the George W. Bush administration covered up the finding of massive troves of weapons of mass destruction when they invaded Iraq… even though they caught a mountain of flack for saying it was there, then not finding it.
Ideally, I’d apply this term to extremists of all sorts who also behave in such ways, but because it rhymes with right wing, that’s just not something that has stuck – people naturally assume that it’s about the right wing. Maybe someone will come up with a clever counterpart for the worst among the extreme left – any ideas?