People on the right are quick to condemn leftist “extremists” who, if they had their way would, they claim, destroy American society and replace it with a Socialist, Communist or Fascist State, or even worse, bring on anarchy.  Accordingly, vigilance must be constant lest these powerful forces gain a secure foothold, initiate a takeover of the government and transform our free society.  Such fears are of long-standing and unlikely to go away.  The difficulty I have with this is that the liberal left tends to concede these points to the right, acknowledging that within their own ranks are “crazies” spouting destructive ideas and itching to do their mischief.  Accordingly, these people and their policies must be repudiated so that serious and workable proposals can be advanced within the political arena.

I don’t get it.  Look across the political landscape and identify for me, if you can, some of these outrageous lefty schemers.  The mainstream media certainly gives them no credence or air time (of course not, they’re part of the conspiracy) – never mentions any of them.  Rather, what receives attention are extreme conservative beliefs, some even presented as middle of the road policy prescriptions.   They offer us those who believe climate change to be a hoax, a liberal plot that will kill jobs, undermine energy companies and shift investment dollars into untested and inadequate green power sources.  Many are quoted who insist that Evolution is merely a theory and should be taught in concert with Creationism as presented in the Bible.  We are, other reports tell us, a Christian nation that must allow prayers in our schools, religious symbols in our public spaces and facilities and ensure that religious sensitivities are everywhere respected and protected.  Virtually unlimited gun distribution and possession cannot be restricted is what we hear from Second Amendment defenders.  Guns, after all, are essential for protecting civilians against lawless elements lurking everywhere and against government eager to erode our freedoms.  The free market is indispensable, nearly all commentators proclaim, to maintaining individual freedom.  Government efforts to intervene and regulate private transactions are certain to be heavy handed and will inevitably stifle innovation as well as economic progress.  Labor unions, moreover, threaten harm by artificially inflating wages and insisting upon outdated and restrictive work rules which stand in the way of greater efficiency and more robust profits.  The foregoing merely scratches the surface of the right wing conversation.  These positions are not just think-tank speculations but represent serious legislative proposals which in many instances have been enacted into law.

I’m at a loss.  Do liberals really have a “crazy” left out at the margins hawking policies many would classify as bizarre and well outside the mainstream?  You do hear calls for single payer health insurance systems, for scaling back military expenditures substantially, for vigorous support of alternative energy, for taxing the wealthy at the same rate that lesser folk pay, for reining in banks considered “too big to fail” and other stuff as well, but where are the sinister proposals?  Will the architects of anarchy with their “loony bin” proposals that would undermine America and all that it stands for please step forward.  I imagine that somewhere out in the blogosphere are sprinklings of anarchists, pacifists, man-child love advocates, supporters of communes and worker co-ops and unilateral disarmament types, but I doubt whether the average American hears anything about them.

No!  The fact is that political discussion in America has shifted decidedly to the right which exerts considerable pressure on liberals, who in an effort to be “fair and balanced” feel they must acknowledge certain unnamed “unsavory” characters in their midst, admit to having black sheep in the family.  These sheep, however, are either well-disguised or have long ago been consigned to the slaughterhouse.

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