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Left-Wing Loony

The term “left-wing loony” or “loony left” is a pejorative description primarily used in American politics to describe someone perceived as holding fringe leftist views.

It’s often employed to discredit or marginalize individuals advocating for policies seen as overly progressive, radical, or out of touch with mainstream sensibilities.

It’s a more modern version of the term “pinko.”

While the term is useful for rallying a base that is skeptical of progressive ideologies, its derogatory nature can stifle substantive debate.

More on “Left-Wing Loony”

A dismissive conservative way of describing liberal activists.

Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes is believed to have coined the phrase during the heat of the 2004 presidential race between President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry. Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore played more than a bit part in the campaign, as many Democrats embraced his scathingly anti-Iraq war Fahrenheit 9/11.

“Flights of paranoia, far-out analogies, conspiracy theories, and wild charges devoid of evidence are the stock in trade of the Loony Left,” Barnes wrote in 2004. “Normally such ideas are ridiculed or ignored by those in the political mainstream. But these days the fantasies of the Loony Left are increasingly embraced and nearly always tolerated by the Democratic party and its auxiliary groups. The result? The Loony Left now has a toehold on the Democratic party.”

Loony left actually has British origins. It’s one of the most beloved political slams of the British Right. Loony left made its first appearance in the 1980s and has remained a staple of the Tory-supporting press to the present day

From Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes © 2014 Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark.

Use of “Left-Wing Loony” in a sentence

  • The conservative talk show host dismissed the policy proposal as the brainchild of “left-wing loonies” who have no understanding of economic realities.
  • In the primary debates, the moderate candidate warned that the party risks being taken over by “left-wing loonies,” thereby alienating centrist voters in the general election.
  • While the senator once had a reputation for bipartisanship, his recent policy shifts have led some critics to label him a “left-wing loony,” questioning his political pragmatism.