Evocative of the lunatic fringe, the phrase began existence as a disparaging slur against the "Far Left;" however, due increasing polarization within United States, and an ever-shifting culture war
, the term has come to denote virtually anyone with a "liberal agenda," or an aversion to McCarthyism
. It is also used within a condescending framework in reference to young, perhaps inexperienced, political dissenters.
While no doubt extremists do exist, the casual disregard for alternative viewpoints, and the implied disdain for Constitutional dissent which simmers beneath its surface, is far more disturbing to the average political theorist than any Leftist dogma, extremist or otherwise, yet to surface.
"Don't call him a 'Commie pinko,' Dad--call him a 'moonbat.' Awww...look--he's cryin'! Maybe he'll go hug a tree."