The Core Dump

A site doesn’t have a tagline

[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 03 May 2014]

Further to the right

The idea that both the left and the right in America are getting more extreme is false. Here’s why.

Politics in America has drifted far to the right: Kooky militia ranchers are occupying the spotlight, and tea partiers are occupying state houses and school boards. Nevertheless the media narrative is that both the left and the right are getting more extreme. Which is at best lazy reporting and at worst deliberate propaganda.

Allow me to explain.

The other day I had coffee with a Norwegian friend and we of course ended up talking about politics. Now, by Scandinavian standards I’m slightly left-of-center and my friend is middle-right. In Scandinavia that’s a huge gap—we are far apart in our views.

We’ve both been in America over 20 years each, so we’ve both had plenty of time to adapt and “go native.”

And yet by current American standards we are both progressives. That’s right: The entire political spectrum in Scandinavia takes up a small portion of the liberal side of the American spectrum.

What constitutes mainstream Republican thought these days would be considered extreme right in Scandinavia and the militia surrounding Cliven Bundy, well, they’re right off the charts.

This isn’t to say there are no hard-right views in Scandinavia: We had the tragedy of the Monster of Norway murdering innocent children to satiate his fantasies and there are several nationalist organizations attracting the disaffected, but, and this important: Those views are far outside the mainstream.

By contrast, in America today pointing a machine gun at a federal officer is just something that, you know, happens. Shrug.

As a sidenote, there are few things more ironic than a person who carries a copy of the constitution in his pocket at all times for the purpose of telling people he carries a copy of the constitution on his pocket at all times renouncing the federal government defined by that constitution while waving around his copy of the constitution.

You need to be a special kind of snowflake to do that.

So if there’s anything the Koch brothers’ billions have bought them it’s this: The political compass of America is drifting hard to the right.

If the false equivalency of both sides getting more extreme was correct there would be a senator right now advocating for Bank of America to be taken over by the federal government with the tax payers getting the profits. Then this senator would bring that bill to a close vote in the Senate. It might lose, but it would be close. That’s actual socialism. And it’s not happening here.

No, both sides are not getting more extreme. The far right is getting more funding, more attention, and more extreme.

« The secret origin of “log in” (Designcult)

 »


You like to read about politics? Oh, I have thoughts about politics!

When the levee breaks

The Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and now Trump. America is angry.

The tire fire of democracy

Nic has never been more worried for the future of America.

Yearning for the Cold War

The GOP base is searching for a new Evil Empire to fight.

Jade Helm and the fever swamps of patriotism

Did you know the U.S. government is planning to invade Texas? Well, it’s not. Nic attempts to explain.

Another shot of wet socks against net neutrality

The Republic prints another sad editorial about net neutrality. Nic’s regard couldn’t be any lower.

Against net neutrality

The Arizona Republic prints a willfully ignorant editorial against net neutrality. It makes Nic unhappy.

As the rage rages in the Tea Party’s rage

Nic tries to understand why people choose to live lives of fear and anger.

Voting in America

The American voting system is stuck in a time warp. This makes Nic sad.

Red immigration meat in the Arizona primaries

There are ways to fix the illegal immigration problem. They don’t involve yelling at children in buses. Nic explains.

After the empire fades

Game of Thrones and The First Law Trilogy illustrate the different ways England and America are dealing with fading empires.

White privilege in extremism

It’s way easier to be an extremist in America if you’re white.

Further to the right

The idea that both the left and the right in America are getting more extreme is false. Here’s why.

How to privatize a public good

The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.

Blaming the victims

The Arizona Republic editorial board thinks the young ’uns are lazy.

Communists in the House of Representatives

If things are in balance, there should be Marxists.

What the hell were they thinking?

Nic tries to understand the Tea Party. Predictably, it doesn't go well.

Two Americas, one good one bad

Nic immigrated to an America that looks to the future and uses science and engineering to make the world as great as possible. And then there's another America.

Cain and the Democratic conspiracy

The harrassment charges against Cain and the sad kabuki theater of the Republican nominations.

The long democracy

Campaign season is gearing up in America and Nic has some thoughts on the endless primaries ahead.

Sports journalism is hurting democracy

Political news coverage in America tends to be abysmal. Nic explores why.