As published in the Leavenworth Times, January 3, 2011. The title was, “Moderate may be worst of all.” (not my title)
A recent letter in the Times referred to “right-wing kooks”. This was written by a left-wing kook, but it got me thinking: what, exactly, is a right-wing kook? What is a left-winger? I thought about the spectra (spectrums? spectrumses?) that exist in political thought. It isn’t as simple as liberal/conservative.
I would arrange the parties from left to right as: communist, Alinsky radical, socialist, progressive/liberal, moderate, establishment conservative, conservative, libertarian, and anarchist. Communists want government to have total control of property, people, and the economy. The government is the Party, which has all power. Party members are more equal than ordinary citizens, who have no rights or privileges not granted by the government. It’s as though every citizen is in the army.
In the communist philosophy of Karl Marx, communists come to power through violent revolution, with deception and cheating as key tools. Ethics aren’t important. Saul Alinksy, an American leftist, refined the idea to say that violence wasn’t necessary to achieve the revolution, deception and cheating would work just fine. It is alleged that Barak Obama is a disciple. He worked in Chicago for an organization founded by Alinsky.
Socialist governments own all businesses, may grant some privileges to citizens, such as home or farm ownership. They provide cradle-to-grave income and health care for all citizens, with correspondingly high taxes and lack of personal freedom.
Liberals generally agree with pulling the country toward socialism. They favor big government, strive to provide cradle-to-grave security for “the poor” and want to tax the hell out of those who actually work. They favor control of business through many regulations, believing that they and their appointed bureaucrats are smarter than the economic forces. They are also known as progressives.
Moderates are confused, ignorant, and/or apathetic, and don’t know what to believe. Gullible souls, they generally decide how to vote based on personal appearance, catchy slogans such as “Hope and Change”, or 30-second TV sound bites. Bless their hearts.
Establishment conservatives are often RINOs – Republicans in name only. Typically, their views are a mix of moderate, conservative, and sometimes even liberal ideas. They are often career politicians or TV pundits. They fear real conservatives. John McCain is their patron saint, and Mitt Romney is about to be anointed.
Conservatives favor individual freedom and the responsibility that goes with it. They want government to stay out of the way with fewer laws and regulations. They want government to be efficient, as small as possible while still able to provide essential services. Think Tea Party. This is the main-stream group in the country and in the Republican Party. There are more conservatives than liberals in the United States.
Libertarians are the true extreme of the right. They want no laws regulating personal behavior, but grudgingly allow felony laws, and police. Most would repeal laws against illegal drugs or prostitution.
Anarchists want no government at all. If such was practical, you’d see many more of them. By definition, they are insane, as are many libertarians.
So, a “right-wing kook” would have to be a libertarian or an anarchist. A “left-wing kook” would be communist or socialist.
Another spectrum — slave state to personal freedom — matches the political spectrum. Communists states enslave their populations. So far, the United States hasn’t.
Another: theocracy (total control of living through enforced religion), something in between, and freedom of religion. This matches the political spectrum, so I would call Iran’s government leftist and akin to communism.
Hitler’s Nazi government was a socialist dictatorship. Please, stop associating conservatives with Hitler.
If I could stop thinking, I’d happily be moderate. But knowing what the left intends, I’ll try to stay to the right of them.