by Nathan Empsall, Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 02:57:34 PM EDT
Is there anything more sickening in politics than folks who call their opponents Commies or Nazis? I submit very little.
Even someone as “distinguished” as Newt Gingrich tears into Pelosi and Reid as “socialists.” Excuse me? If you took liberal politics to their extreme, yeah, maybe you’d get socialism, but that’s not what’s happening. The government has taken over ONE private industry, and even that was temporary.
The left isn’t always much better, though. We see less of it now than we did during the Bush years, but conservatives are not fascists or Nazis. And unlike the “socialism” claims, those attacks don’t even make sense. Conservatives claim to be about small government, and if you take small government to its extreme, you don’t get an over-bearing government. You get no government.
Thus, using their own exaggerated “logic,” libertarians aren’t fascists. They’re anarchists. Violent anarchists.
Hyperbole aside, current right-wing populism really does border on anarchy. Historically libertarians claim the government should be for little more than defense, but now we see the Tea Party wanting to abandon even that. Sarah Palin has lost favor with some partiers because she wants to exempt defense from their small-government ideology. And Glenn Beck even said we should get rid of the US military and use only mercenaries. (Does this mean he endorses the criminal murders and theocratic mindset of Blackwater/Xe?)
I agree with Jerome – beating up on the tea party won’t help us win this November. But, focusing on tea party candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, tying them to Beck and Palin, and portraying the whole GOP that way might just make the election partly a referendum on the right-wing rather than entirely on jobs. (There’s no getting around the fact that it will be mostly jobs. It just doesn’t have to be all jobs.)
But the midterms aside, all I’m really saying is, the next time a tea party friend calls you an evil Socialist, use his logic and call him (or her) a reckless anarchist in return.