In the Arena

Since you asked

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A left-wing extremist exhibits many, but not necessarily all, of the following attributes:

–believes the United States is a fundamentally negative force in the world.

–believes that American imperialism is the primary cause of Islamic radicalism.

–believes that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not an individual case of monumental stupidity, but a consequence of America’s fundamental imperialistic nature.

–tends to blame America for the failures of others—i.e. the failure of our NATO allies to fulfill their responsibilities in Afghanistan.

–doesn’t believe that capitalism, carefully regulated and progressively taxed, is the best liberal idea in human history.

–believes American society is fundamentally unfair (as opposed to having unfair aspects that need improvement).

–believes that eternal problems like crime and poverty are the primarily the fault of society.

–believes that America isn’t really a democracy.

–believes that corporations are fundamentally evil.

–believes in a corporate conspiracy that controls the world.

–is intolerant of good ideas when they come from conservative sources.

–dismissively mocks people of faith, especially those who are opposed to abortion and gay marriage.

–regularly uses harsh, vulgar, intolerant language to attack moderates or conservatives.

This is a partial list, off the top of my head–additions and subtractions will be carefully considered. If readers would like, I’ll give you my definition of right-wing extremism next week.

P.S. It would be wildly stupid for me to get into a pissing match by naming names. I won’t go there…And bear in mind, the characteristics above should be regarded as tendencies, not cast-in-stone beliefs.

Correction:: Sean Hannity is a ideological extremist and a bully. Atrios may or may not be an ideological extremist–I was wrong to say he was, since I don’t know enough about him–but he sure is a purveyor of extreme and terminally smug rhetoric.

Readers’ Bottom Line: There are no lefties left. There are no socialists left. No one has ever assumed that “corporate” equals “evil.” No one has ever said that America was an aggressive, imperialistic power in the world. No one has ever accused anyone of “blaming the victim” when it comes to crime or poverty. No one–certainly no one in the blogosphere–has ever mocked Roman Catholics.
Jeez, that’s a relief.

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