Just Who Are The Extremists, Anyway?

July 14, 2010

by Attorney Wilton Strickland

The word “extremist” is cropping up rather frequently these days, but this should come as no surprise — the federal government and its parasites are scrambling to fend off growing criticism of the path America is taking. Tarring dissent as “extremist” is a cheap and easy method for discouraging debate, since most people abhor the prospect of falling out of step with prevailing opinion and thus endangering their social standing. For those of us who care more about what is true than what is popular, though, it is worthwhile to compare the “extremist” ideas to the supposedly enlightened ones we are told to embrace.

Summarized below are some of the “extreme” ideas that respectable Americans must not entertain (at least not openly) if they hope to fit in at a university, a business office, a news organization, a governmental agency, or even a cocktail party. The fact that these ideas provoke such controversy is not a reflection on the people expressing them, but rather on the dismal state of modern American thought.

* There is a difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, and between truth and falsehood.
* No matter how much daily life has changed since America’s founding, human nature remains just as dangerous as ever, especially when it comes to wielding power.
* The federal government possesses only the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Any exercise of non-enumerated powers is unconstitutional.
* The state governments possess plenary powers and may do anything that the Constitution does not specifically forbid.
* A judicial opinion cannot change the Constitution; rather, a judicial opinion changes how courts will behave in adjudicating disputes. Only an amendment or a convention among the states can change the Constitution.
* America was founded as a refuge from the rest of the world, so America should not try to emulate the rest of the world.
* America is not an empty vessel to accommodate foreign cultures. America has a culture of its own, and it is worth preserving.
* Re-distributing wealth through government action is not charitable. It is contemptible. True charity consists of voluntarily giving what is yours.
* Every American should be highly familiar with American history, and not just from the past fifty years.
* Animals have no greater rights against humans than animals have against each other. This is because rights necessitate responsibilities, and we do not hold animals responsible for their actions.
* Earth has flourished through calamities far worse than mankind’s brief tenure, and Earth will flourish for a long time to come. Governments may not curtail or destroy our inalienable rights to preserve a particular notion of how Earth should be.
* Free markets are a proven success and have raised our standard of living beyond what kings used to enjoy. Central planning is a proven failure, and the more planning there is, the worse our condition becomes. Even if central planning worked, it is immoral and destroys our inalienable right to pursue happiness as each of us sees fit.
* The vast majority of those who fought for the South during the Civil War did so to repel an invasion of their home, and there is nothing improper in commemorating their heroism.
* Men and women have unique abilities. There are things men can do better than women can, and there are things women can do better than men can. This is why men and women complement each other.
* Religion is not merely a set of beliefs to be harbored in secret. It is a way of life, and those who practice it are entitled to do so in public. If you disagree with religion, you are free to reject it.
* The Declaration of Independence announces timeless principles, especially when observing that we may alter or abolish any government that becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
* Government is a necessary evil at best, and an intolerable one at worst.

Each of the ideas summarized above is grounded in reason and historical experience. Some of them are just common sense. They do, however, threaten the government and its perpetual quest to expand its power over our lives. To succeed in that quest, the government must destroy the foundations of reason and memory, leaving us with no anchor to reality other than the government itself. With that in mind, let us turn to the “enlightened” ideas trumpeted by our latter-day elites.

* Words such as “right,” “good,” and “truth” have no real meaning. They are mere constructs that reflect prevailing opinion. If prevailing opinion – especially as expressed by government – declares that something is true, then it is.
* Life has changed so much since America’s founding that it is useless to apply the founding principles to modern problems, which are unique from anything mankind has ever experienced.
* The federal government possesses any power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution, as interpreted by federal courts. The actual words of the Constitution have little or no relevance.
* The state governments cannot exercise any power that the federal government denies them or uses for itself.
* Judges can and should alter the Constitution to keep pace with the judges’ perception of how America has changed. America need not be consulted to make its opinion heard through amendments or conventions, since this is time-consuming and might yield a contrary result.
* America should erase the lingering differences between it and the rest of the civilized world. Those differences mark America as backward.
* America is meant to accommodate all of the world’s cultures. It is cruel and bigoted to advocate preserving American culture at the expense of others.
* Government can and should take from those with more and give to those with less. Anyone who questions this is mean-spirited or greedy.
* To the extent anyone wishes to learn American history, it should be for the purpose of understanding how evil and oppressive America once was, and how America began improving only recently.
* Humans are no different from animals. At the same time, humans have a unique duty to respect animals’ rights.
* Mankind poses a mortal threat to the Earth. The prior calamities that Earth endured were different because mankind didn’t cause them, regardless of how serious those calamities were. No concept of rights should stand in the way of government action to make the Earth more as it would be if humanity did not exist.
* The recent economic downturn shows that free markets don’t work. Prosperity that America enjoyed before then was the result of government planning.
* People who fought for the South during the Civil War were traitors who wanted simply to preserve slavery. There was nothing wrong with making war on Southern soldiers and civilians, except perhaps that the Union didn’t kill enough of them.
* Men and women are the same except for their physiology. Any suggestion of gender roles is discriminatory and must be drummed out of children’s minds.
* Religion is a set of irrational beliefs that should be kept to oneself. It makes no difference whether others are free to disagree with those beliefs – their mere mention is offensive, and they should not play a role in hiring, firing, buying, selling, or any other societal interaction. Self-evident beliefs such as environmentalism and statism, however, should be forcibly subsidized and taught to everyone.
* The Declaration of Independence is a historical document and a product of its time. There is no need to abolish the federal government because, with elections, there is no difference between the government and us.
* Only an anarchist would call government “evil.” Once again, there is no difference between the government and us.

These are the kinds of ideas that a sober-minded, “mainstream” American is supposed to adhere to, yet they require doublethink and are divorced from reason and historical experience. If most Americans do believe this nonsense, or are too frightened or lazy to disagree, it’s their problem rather than mine. Their greater numbers do not make their beliefs any less ridiculous or pernicious. I will happily wear the “extremist” label because even though it may not ingratiate me with my contemporaries, it keeps me in good standing with my conscience and the American spirit.

Courtesy Liberty Defense League