How to be on the “Far Left”, from the paper of record

According to the New York Times, an American is on the “far left” if they are angry over Obama’s support for the FISA bill.  Or, in other words, if an American is vocal about defending their civil liberties, that puts them in the fringes of politics — the outcasts wandering around the hinterlands, forgotten and ignored because of their extreme views.


Why don’t we see extreme activities which receive Republican support as being considered “far right”? Why isn’t the anti-immigration group the Minutemen ever considered far right?  How come wanting to destroy social security isn’t from the far right?  How come wanting to enforce religion by law (for example, by making gay marriage illegal) isn’t on the far right?  How come using tax cuts to distribute more wealth to the greedy isn’t coming from the far right?  I could go on — and I’m sure you could, too. Suffice to say, in today’s political discourse “far right” is defined as either God Hates Fags or Adolf Hitler; yet the “far left” consists of activists who dare to defend the Constitution.

Insert some witty cliche about the “liberal media” here.  When this is the starting point defined by the mainstream, no wonder political discourse in this country is a joke. 

4 Responses to “How to be on the “Far Left”, from the paper of record”

  1. Mark says:

    First – shameless plug for my post attackking the very concept of a political “center” of any meaning, here:

    Second- if any group was as or more angry than liberals/progressives over the FISA bill, it was libertarians. Last I checked, most people liked to associate us with the “far right.” So now I’m completely confused about where I fall on the one-dimensional political spectrum that everyone always likes to pretend exists. Apparently, I went from being “Far Left” to being “Far Right” without changing a single one of my policy beliefs. Awesome!

  2. tas says:

    Welcome to American politics, Mark. If you support something that the Bush administration doesn’t, that makes you far-something. Because certainly the Bush administration hasn’t been extreme in any of their actions.

    I suppose Little Green Footballs is just a normal, mainstream, run of the mill political website, too.

  3. Ron Chusid says:

    Those of you who proudly claim to be from left field should feel honored to have your position on the political spectrum defined based upon support for civil liberties and the Constitution.

    As for Mark’s comments, the definitions of left and right sure have changed. At one time economics was the major factor. Now that socialism is pretty much dead there are far less differences based upon economics. Social issues, civil liberties, and opposition to the war far more separate left from right. Therefore the saner libertarians like Mark are often closer to leftists. (The far right can keep the Ron Paul variety of libertarians, although they would also go along with us with regards to FISA, further demonstrating how little meaning the left/right spectrum has.)

  4. tas says:

    Funny you should mentioned libertarians and liberals being lumped together in today’s politics… Back on my old blog, I had a libertarian guest blogger and when people asked how we could coexist in the same environment, I pointed my finger at Bush. That man is making strange bedfellows.

    As for why it’s not Bush whose is labeled as an extremist, that still confounds me. Has the media paid attention to what this man has accomplished in seizing power for the executive branch? And what about the Republican Senators which have decided to filibuster every single bill that comes up for debate? Both are unprecedented in history.

    In the case of the former I’m sure Nixon would have loved to make a precedented case but the nation had good sense enough to tell him to leave or be impeached. Ahhhh, the good ol’ days where a president faced punishment for breaking the law. Now if you don’t support the president’s illegal activities, you’re on the far-something.

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