When did the mainstream in America become the right wing “extreme”? When did the memo go out (and who sent it?) to begin portraying ordinary Americans with their parents’ values as space aliens bent on world domination or subversion of the democratic process?
What is it that defines their extremism or at least justifies the application of the label? Is it that their belief system is based on the recognition of something larger than themselves? Have we reached a point in our society at which anyone who believes that good and evil are real and that a just God exists or who doesn’t believe that their ancestors swung from trees is extreme?
Since this label largely appears in a political context, whose opinions or issue positions are usually branded as being extremist?
Is it someone who believes that the definition of marriage today should be the same as it was say fifty years ago? Or at a minimum, that democratically elected legislatures should make such decisions, not unelected judges?
Is it someone who believes that the Constitution should be applied to our government and society as written and originally understood by those who wrote and ratified it?
Is it someone who believes that just because a child has yet to exit from its mother’s womb it still has the right to live, (as opposed to whether or not its mother “wants” it to)?
What about people who believe that an effective government monopoly of primary and secondary education is no more desirable than having one for college education – and that the free market can do a better job of producing quality education at a more reasonable cost?
Are you extreme if you believe that the American people (via their government) have a right and a duty to defend themselves against terrorists? And that it’s OK to capture them (if you neglected to kill them) and lock them away in prison to prevent them from getting back into the terrorist game?
Is it extreme to think that there is such a thing as decency and that broadcasters should be required to avoid things like profanity and nudity, especially when children may be tuned in? Or what about believing that government schools shouldn’t be in the sex education business – much less undermining what parents try to teach their kids about the subject.
Would someone be extreme if he or she goes to church more than once a week? Perhaps even tithe? Or if he or she thought children should be allowed to pray in public schools? Or that the Boy Scouts shouldn’t be required to hire homosexual scout masters?
Perhaps people who prefer lower taxes are extreme – especially when they vote for politicians who work to keep them low and refuse to support those who don’t. Or what about those people who hold to the notion that the Second Amendment is still a valid part of the Constitution? Total wackos?
Are people extreme if they cling to the idea that when they buy a home it is theirs – and that it would be wrong for the government to take it away from them and give it to someone else who might pay more in taxes?
Since we can readily prove from history that these beliefs are not alien or “new,” at what point did they become “extreme”? What brought about this change in labeling? Could it have something to do with who does the labeling, (such as the press, liberals, Democrats, academic elites, the entertainment industry, etc.)? And why? Is it because their world view has changed in recent years and is somehow threatened by more dominant traditional values?
Call me crazy (or extreme) but it seems to me that the supposed “right wing extremists” have an awful lot in common with the people who founded this country. Which makes you wonder about the people who are calling them extremists, doesn’t it?