I anticipate that the lefties will be using the word “extreme” a lot in the run-up to the 2012 elections—directed, of course, at the nearly 50% of Americans who identify themselves as conservative. It’s amusing, really. In their warped world-view, it’s “extreme” to want fiscal sanity in government, but not extreme to spend trillions of dollars of money that the nation does not have. It’s “extreme” to believe in any deity (except Allah, of whom they inexplicably seem to approve), but not extreme for the ACLU to oppose the display of the ten commandments in a public school. And, of course, it’s “extreme” to support the state of Israel, an ally and an effective democracy in the Middle East, but not extreme to support Palestinians who persist in calling for removing Jews from the fictional “Palestine”.
I am currently reading Ann Coulter’s new book “Demonic”, in which she discusses at length the left’s penchant for slogans, and in this she is characteristically correct. We of the right, substitute logic for the emotion used by the left, who seem to think that the simple use of the word “extreme” will persuade people.
Janet Daley, writing in the Daily Telegraph, took a slightly different approach when discussing what she sees as the failure of the European experiment: “It seems that the European political class still thinks that an assertion of its mystical belief can alter reality: that what it insists is so, will be so. If its idea of itself and its design for the future are in conflict with the facts of economics or life as it is actually lived, then it is those facts that will give way.” While she was talking about a different topic, that same denial of facts and data is what undergirds the left’s attempt to brand us as “extreme”. Since they can’t (and won’t) debate us on the facts, they have to resort to other strategies, such as branding us as “extremists”, or “racists”, or “homophobes”, or whatever.
This leads me to the much-touted meme that we of the right “hate science”—of course, in an “extreme” way. Yet it is the left that has been caught falsifying scientific data in the climate-change debate, it is the left that politicized (and lied about) the science in the stem-cell debate, and it is the left that continually lies about the science in the field of energy, particularly when discussing oil and its potential alternatives.
The good news is that the public is beginning to see through this cynical ploy. The “racist” meme is the most obvious example that the left’s attempt to discredit by the simple use of false labels has backfired. And I remain optimistic that other labels will meet the same fate.