It has often been said that “All forms of extremism are equally bad”; often by people who are extremists. Extremism, in itself, is not wrong. To fight for a just cause and to be uncompromising in that fight is the noblest thing a person can do. People on the left, mislabeled as liberals, are uncompromising in their fight for certain values yet they never refer to themselves, and are never referred to by anyone else, as extremists.
When people on the right start to make noise and air their dissatisfaction, words such as militia, Nazi, skinhead, redneck, racist and many others get routinely thrown around. When people on the left air their dissatisfaction, words such as activism and protest get used. Liberals are community organizers while people on the right are rude agitators. This double standard has never been more evident than in the treatment of people who are voicing their displeasure on the proposed healthcare debacle.
The double standard was evident in early April when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning that there might be an increase in domestic terror by "lone wolf" right-wing extremists, possibly with military experience. There was no specific intelligence for this threat. Janet Napolitano issued a report from Homeland Security that, according to Ralph Peters, “repeatedly warns of our military vets being terrorists. She uses ‘terrorist’. It warns about people who oppose illegal immigration as being terrorist threats, as people who may differ on right-to-life issues as terrorist threats.”
Right wing radio has repeatedly been referred to as hate mongering and extremist. As a result, the Obama administration is actively trying to limit talk radio, disregarding the hate being peddled by people on MSNBC, the misinformation from CBS, NBC, ABC, the NY Times… you get the idea. Would it ever occur to anyone to wonder why conservatives flock to talk radio? Would it ever occur to the people on the left that the reason people seek out talk radio is because the conservative view is constantly being disparaged and maligned by the main stream media? People on the left, not the right, created right wing talk radio. They did this by their media malpractice. People in the MSM weren’t doing their job and in true American and free market fashion, when there is an unfulfilled need, someone will come along and fill that need. FOX news and talk radio came along and filled a black hole in the media market.
It’s much easier to refer to right wingers as Nazis and terrorists than to actually listen or try to understand what conservatives are saying. Is this projection? Does the left look at the right and judge the right based on their (the left’s) values? When conservative authors and scholars give speeches at universities, liberal groups have done all they can to shut them down. They have thrown pies at authors; they have confiscated conservative newspapers and have successfully shut down conservative speeches. Is that an example of their “tolerance”? When Janet Napolitano warns of right wing terrorism, is she thinking, or expecting that the right wing will act the way the left has acted for the last 45 years?
To really view the double standard, imagine Al Gore making a speech on global warming. Someone comes along after the speech and says “Mr. Gore should be careful in his rhetoric. There might be another Unabomber out there who may take what he says too literally.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for that scenario to happen.
It would seem ridiculous to imply that this one crazed environmentalist (The Unabomber, not Gore) should be compared with everyone who is an environmentalist. Yet that invidious comparison is constantly used by people on the left. How often does the name Timothy McVeigh come up when liberals are talking about Conservatives? To the left, all people on the right are potential terrorists. For people who supposedly pride themselves on their understanding of other people, cultures and faiths, they are remarkably ignorant and intolerant of anyone with a different worldview than theirs.
While labeling people on the right as potential terrorists (or as Nancy Pelosi said about people attending town hall meetings, “People with swastikas on their arms”), liberals are eager to look at the causes of Islamic terrorism. Liberals want to know the reasons that would cause a group to do such horrific things. Moral equivalence rears its ugly head and liberals reach for the quote at the beginning of this article; “All forms of extremism are equally bad.”
First of all, when I take my belt and shoes off to go through the terminal in the airport, I’m not doing it because of Christian fundamentalists or Zionists. There is one group that has caused this to happen. We can’t live in a world where we have to pretend that the Emperor is wearing clothes when we can plainly see he’s wearing nothing but a pair of striped boxer shorts. Saying that “all forms of extremism are bad” is one of the most idiotic comments that have come into the modern lexicon (well that and “at the end of the day…”).
Some forms of extremism are noble and some aren’t. Common sense can always be used to tell which is which. The ones who tell 12 year old children to wear suicide belts can be described as the crazy extremists. The ones who fight against that ideology can be described as the noble extremists. It’s really not that difficult. Yet when liberals try to excuse Islamic terrorism, they’ll often play the Timothy McVeigh card again. “Well, there are people who bomb abortion clinics and what about Timothy McVeigh?”
The fact that Timothy McVeigh has to be mentioned so often, really indicates that there is not the epidemic of homegrown right wing terrorism that the left tries to display every time there is a controversial issue. Abortion bombings aren’t cheered by conservatives and they are extremely rare. Though when one happens, the MSM will play it up with news coverage that can only be rivaled when a child accidentally shoots someone.
Middle Eastern, Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is clearly the biggest threat the country and the world has faced and will face in the future. The left draws a moral equivalency between the tens of thousands killed all over the world from Islamic terrorism, and the few people who have died from home grown terrorism. Of course, one person’s death is one too many but no one on the right said, “We need to understand Timothy McVeigh.” Home grown terrorism, as an issue, has been misrepresented. The image one gets when faced with the term “homegrown terrorism” is one of right wing militia groups, Nazis and skin heads.
Two of the biggest and most organized terrorist organizations in the United States are the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The FBI considers them two of the most dangerous home grown terrorist organizations. The Earth Liberation Front, along with its sister group, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), have taken responsibility for more than 600 crimes since 1996, totaling more than $100 million in damages. The Earth Liberation Front sprung from -- and in many ways is still an arm of -- Earth First! As described on their own website: Earth First! (EF!) is a "warrior society" that takes a "by any means necessary" approach to "defending mother earth." The group declines to participate in the democratic process, preferring instead to damage, disable, and destroy the property of its ever-growing list of enemies. EF! targets include, but are by no means limited to, loggers, ranchers, and farmers.
Where is the right wing home grown terrorist group that rivals that? There aren’t any but no one would know it by listening to the MSM. Of course it doesn’t stop there. There are the FALN terrorists (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional), responsible for more than 120 bomb attacks United States targets between 1974 and 1983. Not only did this group commit these horrific attacks, but the current Attorney General and Secretary of State were instrumental in the pardons of some of their members! Can you imagine a Republican pardoning of abortion bombers?
There has been the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and many more. The current president is an associate (some would say good friend) of two of the founding members of the Weather Underground, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Some of the biggest worldwide terrorist groups that are not home grown, but still pose a threat to the US and its interests, such as FARC, are left Marxist groups. There just aren’t the extreme right wing groups that the left mythologizes about.
Liberals talk about “all forms of extremism” being bad, while associating, endorsing, pardoning and excusing some of the most extreme groups ever created. Memo to the left; Please stop calling other people hypocrites.