I Must Be Out of the Loop...

I came across a term today that made my head spin: "unreconstructed liberal." Having been born and raised in the South my first response to the term was, "well clearly that's a contradiction in terms." As it turns out the term "unreconstructed" much like the term "fundamentalist" has now turned into an adjective used independently from its original context. I simply had yet to notice.

I am familiar with "unreconstructed Southerner." It refers specifically to the period of time known as "reconstruction" in the South. That is why "unreconstructed liberal" seems so bizarre to me: Southern Democrats (especially civil war era Southern Democrats) are not known for being liberal. If the term were "unreconstructed Democrat" it would imply that the person it was describing was a very conservative Southerner.

Meanwhile I do a google search on "unreconstructed" and manage to come across the terms "unreconstructed chauvinist" and "unreconstructed feminist" :wall: as well. That is so wrong. Am I the only one that hears the term "unreconstructed" and thinks: "still fuming over reconstruction, waiting for the South to rise again, or perhaps even missing the good ole days of the antebellum period."

Apparently now feminists and other leftists are bandying about the term to mean that they hold an opinion that is out of favor with the mainstream. I don't know, maybe its a good thing that people can brag about how unreconstructed they are without evoking connotations of martial law, carpet baggers, Jim Crow laws, and slavery. Nevertheless when I hear the term "unreconstructed liberal" a part of my mind still says, "a liberal opposed to desegregation?"

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When I hear it in today's

When I hear it in today's context, I generally replace "unreconstructed" with "paleo-" and it seems to work. For unreconstructed liberal, I think of a person whose politics resemble the stereotype of the garantuan government advocate back in the 60's and 70's. A lefty who didn't change his mind towards a more centrist view along with the bulk of the Democratic Party when Bill Clinton became president.

In this day and age,

In this day and age, "unreconstructed" basically just means "I don't give a shit what you think." Interesting how it evolved.

It's probably a malapropism

It's probably a malapropism for "un_de_constructed liberal"