The belittling of others intelligence based on political views is a component in the harmful feedback loop of political polarization in America. Oxford dictionary defines libtard as “ a contemptuous term for a person with left wing political views”. A contraction of the words liberal(a term for someone with left wing views) and retard(a slang used as a general insult to one’s intelligence), libtard has become a “hot” word in recent months. One man describes the slur: It’s part and parcel of a common modern political tendency to demonize and belittle the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with you. Liberals do this the other way, using terms like “wingnut” and “Republic**t.” Neither side achieves anything except alienating the other side and provoking pointless animus.
This attitude has been seen in both sides of politics. On the surface events like the berkeley protests of 2017 seem to be the cause of all of this. A website article from the guardian titled “ Alt right speaker cancelled as berkeley protests erupt” displays this. It shows a video of people throwing things into buildings, angry mobs running around dressed in all black, shouting into the night. This unbelievable display of ferocity by self titled “Antifascists” is not a cause of this political polarization , but a symptom. The pew research center published an article with a GIF graph that contained information regarding the political polarization of america from 1994-2014. It showed that the lines between liberal and conservative that were once blurry are now hardened. ( Doherty, Carroll. “Polarization in American Politics.”
An article titled, “ the top 14 causes of political polarization.” by David Blankenhorn on The American Interest outlays the reasons for political polarization. The end of the cold war removed the “them against us” mentality towards another nation. This did indeed cause that same mentality to be adopted, but it was more of an “us against us” attitude. Another reason for this polarization is party sorting. Where there was once a four way spectrum of liberal, conservative, republican and democratic there is now just a line. conservative republican on one end, liberal democrat on the other.
This has caused a myriad of problems, the first of which is the simple fact that nothing is getting done. Congress is currently as close to a fight between monkeys throwing feces at each other as possible without actually throwing feces. The entire political landscape is changing, which will set into motion and already has set into motion a most excellent display of how much hate humans can muster over simple issues. The word libtard is but a small rose on this massive, treacherously thorny bush that is political polarization in the United States.