Friday, July 2, 2010

The Radicalism Of Moderates And Independents

There seems to be an unwritten rule, in the minds of many, that being a Political Independent makes a person more “reasonable” than people on the extremes of the political spectrum. Many on the right look to “soften” their views in order to gain acceptance from the MSM (Main Stream Media). They may say things such as “I’m a fiscal conservative but a social liberal”, or the all too popular “I’m neither a republican nor a democrat”.

People on the left don’t need to soften their views because the MSM never views a far left view as “extreme”. The only time politicians on the left look to soften their views and move to the right is during election time which shows that either consciously or subconsciously, they know that it is THEIR views that are not in the main stream. Yet people who are independent of both parties seem to have a special arrogance as if they are more reasonable than people on the left OR the right.

One of the worst offenders of the “I’m an Independent and therefore better than the rest of you” mentality is FOX pundit Bill O’Reilly. If O’Reilly criticizes Michael Moore, he may also feel obligated to criticize someone associated with the right such as Ann Coulter. When O’Reilly criticizes far left websites such as moveon or the DailyKos, he seems to feel obligated to say that he also criticizes far right websites. He is constantly bloviating about being an “Independent”.

Bill O’Reilly, to his credit, has been at the forefront of a number of controversies. One of his uncompromising issues is child abuse and the need for laws to protect children. O’Reilly would never feel the need to justify his uncompromising stance in protecting children by saying something such as “We need to look at the underlying reasons that cause a person to commit child abuse.” There is only one issue and that is the protection of children. O’Reilly gets this here but on issues such as healthcare, the environment, the economy, national defense, taxes and many others he bends over backwards to show his “independence”.

The issue here is not that everyone on the right must agree on every issue. The left is far more intolerant of people within their ranks. They basically threw Joe Lieberman out of the democrat party because he disagreed with them on one issue – national defense. The right does, and should, tolerate differing views on all issues. However, what is happening today is that people on the right, by constantly justifying and rationalizing their views, cede the moral superiority to the left.

If someone on the right points out that Reverends Jeremiah Wright or Al Sharpton are racists, he may feel obligated to point out that he would feel the same way if they were white racists. Former KKK member David Duke has not been in the news for years but his name keeps popping up, as in “I would feel the same way about Jeremiah Wright as I do about David Duke.” Do the filthy words of Jeremiah Wright not stand on their own? Does it make it acceptable to criticize a minority as long as you throw a white racist former KKK member into the sentence?

When Bill O’Reilly points to extremes, he falls into the same trap that the MSM does. For example, in the Michael Moore-Ann Coulter comparison, saying that one is on the far left and one is on the far right gives them both equal status. Michael Moore has been caught lying many times. David T. Hardy in his book “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man” documents these deceptions. There are NO deceptions of a like status in any of Ann Coulter’s writings. People can debate what she says but there aren’t misrepresentations in her writings. There is a far greater difference between these two people than “far left” and “far right”.

Sometimes the truth is crazier than fiction. If this is the case do you turn the truth into fiction in order to sanitize it and make it more believable? If I said that Barack Obama is fundamentally trying to change this country from a constitutional republic where the government is put into place and run only by the consent and the permission of the people, into one where the government doesn’t care whether or not the people consent to how they are being governed and, in fact, is closer to a dictatorship in that the people have practically no say at all in what the government could do to them, you might say that I am being a radical. Certainly, politicians such as Barney Frank or Anthony’s Weiner would label me as “extreme”.

Perhaps the solution is to say “Barack Obama is gaining dictatorial power but David Duke is a racist and I’d feel the same way if he were gaining dictatorial power.” There is no need to rationalize the truth! Republicans seem to live in constant fear of what democrats and the MSM may say about them. Ronald Reagan was loved by the right because he never rationalized his beliefs. He stated his case eloquently and wasn’t intimidated by how the democrats or MSM characterized what he said. John McCain, Bill O’Reilly and many others labeled as “moderate republicans” or “independents” are looked at with suspicion from the right because they sometimes seem to look at the right with the same condescending attitude that the democrats and the MSM does.

There is a radicalism to Independents that rivals any on the right or the left. There is a need to take any situation and find an alternative to it to show that there MUST be another side to the argument. Ayn Rand spoke about this issue. She said:
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

Today, the strategy being used by democrats is to label all criticism of Obama as “extreme”. During the election, John McCain did not bring up a number of vital campaign issues because he didn’t want to be divisive. McCain failed in his duty as a candidate in the same way that a lawyer might fail in his responsibility if he left out critical evidence that could have exonerated his client. The citizens of the US are not children and they have the right to know the truth no matter how strange the truth is!

It is not radical to ask the President of the US and the leader of the free world (if there is such a thing anymore) to put forth the same paperwork as a person applying for a job at a local bank. Yet republicans run from this by saying it is not a winning strategy. Maybe it’s not, but it’s not a crazy idea to want to know the truth! And this truth involves much more than Obama’s birth certificate. It involves organizations he was part of, his sealed college records, his associates over the years and much more.

Republicans and conservatives will never be successful until they learn how to defend their vision, rather than excuse it. Bi-partisanship is not a virtue when you give up your principles in order to be perceived as a “moderate”. Again, according to Ayn Rand:
Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue…When people call themselves moderates, ask yourself: “Moderate—about what?” Since the basic question today is freedom versus statism, or individual rights versus government controls, to be a moderate is to advocate a moderate amount of statism, a moderate amount of injustice, a moderate amount of infringement of individual rights. Surely, nobody would call that a virtue.

People on the right need to stop worrying about how they are perceived. To lie even when the truth and the facts are on your side makes people doubt what the truth and facts are. Informed people will respect a person who honestly fights for his convictions. Let the left and the democrats lie – they need to!