Warning: Non-medieval content ahead.
I had hoped this was only a local phenomenon, but after having heard grad students (and a couple of faculty too, I'm afraid) from around the country talking this week, it appears to be nation-wide:
Hatred of Sarah Palin on the Left (and particularly the intellectual Left) has rehabilitated terms "retard" and "retarded" to describe politicians and policies negatively. I don't recall hearing the terms used in an actual session, so there do appear to be limits still on where it is considered polite conversation..
So, here's in praise of my mother, who has been a yellow dog Democrat her whole life. She caught the whole cultural zeitgeist before me when she said how disgusting the attacks on Palin's children were, and worried that the personal attacks would turn into general scorn for special needs children. I thought she was over-reacting, but I guess not. Regardless of who wins the election, it looks like the intellectual Left is poised to become long-term haters of the mentally retarded.
Fear not, though! I have a solution! All Democrats must watch The Ringer, the only Johnny Knoxville movie that isn't a crime against humanity, before making any more public pronouncements about politics. Can't we at least all agree that caring for a special-needs child is a politically-neutral act?
In order to prevent this post from becoming a platform for attacking my siblings or my parents, I'm going to do something uncharacteristic of this blog and not permit comments. Oh, yes, please refrain from using "retards" and "retarded" as terms of contempt when meeting me at future academic conferences. I don't care for it.