Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Political Science 101

OK kids, it's time for political science 101. Oh, don't worry. I'm not some tenured sap from the NEA. There's no paper required and there's no final exam. You get an "A" for simply showing up. (In other words, it will be just like high school here in South Florida.)


Today's lesson: Left and Right.


I find it amazing how many of my fellow Conservatives actually use the word liberal as a code word for "evil Communists bent on world domination". That is simply not the case. Back in the 30's, when Franklin Dictator Roosevelt was in charge, folks like us (Conservatives) who fought FDR's fascism tooth and nail, were called liberals. This was because the primordial Conservative movement sought to liberate the masses from FDR's fascism. (Think of them as the first Tea Party.)

Of course, over the years, that changed. The Progressive movement sputtered in the United States as the folks got fed up with people like Franklin Dictator Roosevelt running their lives. Progressives realized that a make over was needed, so during the Great Disruption of the 1960's they started calling themselves "liberals". The folks who rightly despised Franklin Dictator Roosevelt, began calling themselves "Conservatives", as in conserving the freedom that the Constitution provided.

Of course, this had nothing to do with the Left and Right that had dominated European politics for years. Right and Left had completely different meanings in Europe. An extreme Rightist in Europe would be a fascist. An extreme Leftist in Europe would be a communist. (Truthfully speaking, there is no real difference between fascism and communism.) The size and scope of government were never debated in Europe. Europe has always had big governments, from the Roman Empire, to the monarchies of the Middle Ages, and right up until the advent of the social democracies that rule most European countries today.

While one can certainly make the arguement that Righties can't be called fascists, the same can't be said about calling Lefties communists in America. Your average Joe Six Pack Tea Party guy would have found life in Nazi Germany unbearable. Your below average Code Pink zealot, however, would be right at home in Stalin's USSR and would learn the ropes in Nazi Germany. That is because the American Progressivevik Left has its roots in the failed, tired ways of European politics. The Right in America is a uniquely American idea. The idea of small government goes back to the Founding Fathers and some documents you may have heard of called "The Declaration of Independence" and "The Constitution". (If you attended a public school, you might want to Google them. Public education shies away from controversial topics like freedom.)

Here's the point, folks. Let's stop using the word liberal as an insult. Let's start using the word Progressive as an insult instead.

God help us all.

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