The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage)
of Modern Political Debate

Political opponents in today's society often utilize the dialog and debate methodology of Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage when discussing issues, policies, and personages. A short definition of these terms, followed by a perspective on their utilization is as follows:


  1. To turn into or as if into a demon.
  2. To possess by or as if by a demon.
  3. To represent as evil or diabolic:


  1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; or defame.
  2. To disparage; belittle.


    1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way.
    2. To reduce in esteem or rank.

Progressives and Leftists are mostly guilty of utilizing The Three D’s, as their goal appears to be acquiescence or silence from their opponents. They also use this technique to get a Conservative to defend themselves against the pejorative rather than stating their opinion. Therefore, there cannot be an honest and reasonable dialog and debate on the issues. In my years of observing how Progressives and Leftists behave in public discourse, I have come to some general observations on how they conduct themselves. These observations are:

  • The Progressives or Leftists use pejoratives instead of arguing the facts and wisdom of their position (i.e. emotional, non-intellectual discourse).
  • Progressives or Leftists can assert anything they want to without having to prove their assertion. When challenged they claim you are wrong, and that you must prove them wrong (i.e. proving a negative).
  • Progressives or Leftists are often asked, "What would you do?" However, instead of answering what they would do they give a long list of what they wouldn't do. Therefore, you are never quite sure what their position is (i.e. never stating a firm position).

When a Conservative and Progressives or Leftists disagree the conservative believes the Progressives or Leftists is wrong. However, Progressives and Leftists often believes that the conservative has undesirable or negative qualities. The Progressives or Leftists then attempts to argue against a Conservative position by utilizing the following Three D's tactics:

  • Denigrate: criticize somebody or something to make somebody or something seem unimportant.
  • Disparage: to refer disapprovingly or contemptuously to somebody or something.
  • Demonize: cause somebody or something to appear immoral, evil or threatening in the eyes of others.

The Progressives or Leftists often utilize these as arguments rather than utilizing intellectual reasoning. This is very bad for the body politick as it cannot lead to understanding, and possible compromise, to achieve a reasonable solution to public policy. Indeed, it often leads to bitter partisanship as the Progressives or Leftists opponent feels oppressed, and the Progressives or Leftists feel righteous. The Progressives or Leftists will then demand bi-partisanship, and since they are righteous, and their opponent is not, the Progressives or Leftists policy should be adopted.

I have also noticed that the attitudes of most Progressives and Leftists are that they are sanctimonious, self- righteous, morally superior, and arrogant. As they believe that they are always correct for you to disagree with them is to make you immoral or evil. Any and all pejoratives and derogatory names may be utilized to describe their opponents. These pejoratives and derogatory names are often accompanied by harangues or screeds. And by these terms I mean:

  • Sanctimonious – Excessively or hypocritically pious.
  • Self-righteous – Morally justified.
  • Morally superior – Of higher or superior quality of morality.
  • Arrogance – Overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors.
  • Disingenuous – Not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness.
  • Immoral – Not adhering to ethical or moral principles.
  • Evil – That which causes harm, destruction or misfortune.
  • Pejoratives – A word expressing disapproval.
  • Derogatory – Expressive of low opinion.
  • Harangue – A loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion.
  • Screed – A long monotonous harangue.

Some of the pejoratives and derogatory names that have been utilized to describe their opponents are; Sexist, misogynist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted, nazis, fascists, dictator, ignorant, stupid, moron, hater, or many of the other terms on the Wikipedia Category: Pejorative terms for people.

Progressives or Leftists also believe that they have the right to shout down or shut down the free speech rights of their opponents. How often have you heard Progressives or Leftists say “I will not tolerate the intolerant”? This is an attempt to shut down the free speech rights of their opponents and excludes their opinions from being heard. This leads to an uncivil society that I have discussed in my article “A Civil Society”.

I have also noticed that recently the Three D's techniques are starting to be utilized by conservatives. They should be ashamed of this, and all sides should stop utilizing this technique forthwith.