Note to Herbert: It’s Not Radical At All, It’s Centrist

A recent question posed by NY Times columnist demonstrates just how far to the Palinist right our political and social discourse has shifted:

I always wondered why Howard Zinn was considered a radical. (He called himself a radical.) He was an unbelievably decent man who felt obliged to challenge injustice and unfairness wherever he found it. What was so radical about believing that workers should get a fair shake on the job, that corporations have too much power over our lives and much too much influence with the government, that wars are so murderously destructive that alternatives to warfare should be found, that blacks and other racial and ethnic minorities should have the same rights as whites, that the interests of powerful political leaders and corporate elites are not the same as those of ordinary people who are struggling from week to week to make ends meet?

None of these things are radical at all. I’m old enough–and I’m not that old–to remember that most people, including many Republicans, would have agreed with these statements. The political arguments were about the proposed solutions to these problems (although I think some of the conservative solutions were not offered in earnest). These should not be debated or debatable points, yet we have shifted so far to the right, that horrid melange of Palinism, Randism, and theopolitical conservatism, that we, in fact, debate whether we should be solving these problems.
By the way, this is how a conservative healthcare proposal gets portrayed as liberal.

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2 Responses to Note to Herbert: It’s Not Radical At All, It’s Centrist

  1. BaldApe says:

    Similarly, see this.
    American “liberals” are really conservative, “centrists” are really reactionary, and “conservatives” are really wingnuts.

  2. david says:

    @ BaldApe 1
    Article is correct that we have two right wing parties. Would we knew the sources of our conservatism as they do in Europe after World War II. A good religious regime set up by the Nazis was the Vichy regime in France. They were quite ready to restore moral order and worked closely with the Vatican. The French priests told the people that the invading Germans were Catholic too, so get along. Abortion was made a capital crime and there were guillotinings of doctors. And the Vichy government gladly rounded up and shipped away French Jews, Italian Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, put them on trains to the ‘labor camps’ in Germany and Austria. Moral military government.
    We have today a media willing to twist and lie as Fox news worthy of Dr. Goebbels, a type of scientist.
    Out come the listeners and watchers who are as mean as a rattlesnake as thick as your arm, and they are discussing what they do not want the poor to have. We call them conservatives but they are not like UK or Australian conservatives. Their conservatives are more like our liberals, hence the two conservative parties in the US as seen from Europe.
    But you knew this and have read about Petain’s Vichy regime in France.
    If we had Europe’s experience with the two world wars, would we be better able to recognize the sources of conservatism? Reagan who called Medicare communistic and made the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich ever made and distracted the public with wall talk and rayguns was the ideal of Presidents Bush, which includes the same Bush who was head of CIA when Allende was assassinated under Nixon, the same Bush who invaded a country where was located a man who had tried to kill his father so said the Saudis, admiring that same Reagan who first politically courted the evangelicals. Where, where is the American memory? Gone for soldiers, gone for fantasy.
    And Johnny has gone for a soldier. Well working class Johnny has.

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