Human Events Blog

How to Spot An Extremist

 

Since the air is buzzing with accusations that anyone who wants to reduce the size of our massive government is an “extremist,” it seemed like a good idea to prepare a field guide for spotting the real extremists, who are sometimes difficult to pinpoint through their media camouflage.  Here are some signs that you are observing the behavior of a genuine extremist:

Godwin’s Law Violations: Godwin’s Law states that every online argument eventually degenerates into Nazi comparisons.  The most widely quoted corollary of this law is that the first person to compare their political opponents to Nazis loses the argument, as they have run out of ideas. 

For example, Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who ran out of ideas decades ago, said of Republican budget reforms pertaining to abortion funding: “You have to keep a receipt [if you get an abortion.]  Did you know that?  It’s sort of like an old German Nazi movie.  Show me your papers!”

As a reminder, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party launched a war that engulfed the entire world, killing around 70 million people, including the millions callously slaughtered in their genocidal Holocaust.  This is not remotely comparable in any way to debating the funding of a taxpayer subsidy to a billion-dollar corporation like Planned Parenthood.

Assuming Listeners Are Morons: Speaking of that lovely Slaughter quote above, the “Nazi-like” behavior she’s freaking out about – keeping receipts for tax purposes – is the standard operating procedure of the IRS.  Slaughter’s party passed a massive, badly written law called ObamaCare, among whose requirements was the recently-repealed demand that American small businesses save up every receipt for every purchase from every vendor they spend more than $300 per year with, so they could complete 1099 forms.

Comparing the Removal of a Government Subsidy to Murder: Eleanor Holmes Norton, non-voting Democrat representative of the District of Columbia, said that Republican budget cuts are “the functional equivalent of bombing innocent civilians.”  If that’s true, shouldn’t President Obama ask NATO to launch air attacks on the Republicans?  His stated reason for dragging the United States into the war against Libya was to prevent the bombing of innocent civilians.

Not only is a budget cut not the “functional equivalent” of violent death, it doesn’t even destroy government-subsidized companies, unless they were entirely dependent on that funding.  Planned Parenthood, for example, is a billion-dollar corporation with a large number of six-figure executives.  The end of government contracts and subsidies will not “shut them down,” unless their business practices are so awful that the IRS should shut them down.

Equating Budget Cuts to Racial or Gender Discrimination: Democrats have begun desperately pushing the narrative that cuts to Planned Parenthood funding are a “war on women,” with Nancy Pelosi being one of many to spout that phrase today.  Planned Parenthood subsidies are paid for by male and female taxpayers alike.  Many of those taxpayers, including many of the women, have strong moral objections to Planned Parenthood and its agenda.  If they refuse to pay their taxes, they will be fined, and ultimately arrested.  They are compelled to subsidize Planned Parenthood through force.  If this is any kind of “war,” therefore, it is a war of resistance and liberation.

Assuming Murderous Intent From Political Opponents: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that “Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there’s nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings.”  Objecting to government subsidies for one of the many operations that provides such services is not logically equivalent to saying you don’t want such screenings to occur at all, or are motivated by a desire to see women die.  (The question of how much cancer screening Planned Parenthood actually does is another matter entirely.)

According to Reid’s logic, it is entirely fair and reasonable to say that Barack Obama wants to shut the government down because he wants to see American troops defeated by the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  We can’t function as a society if we don’t accept that there can be humane, or at least non-monstrous, reasons for opposing views, even those we strongly disagree with.  It’s one thing to accuse opponents of mendacity – every politician must battle the presumption that he supports any given position because he thinks it will help him stay in office.  It’s another to accuse them of mindless homicidal urges.  Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader, not a drunk holding forth on a campus bar.

Defending Trillion Dollar Deficits: The entire atmosphere of Democrat hysteria gripping Washington comes from their steadfast refusal to cut more than a penny on the dollar from a $3.6 trillion budget, which is running a $1.3 trillion deficit.  Even getting them to a penny on the dollar was a massive undertaking.  They are, in other words, insisting on their absolute right to spend money that does not exist.  We are on the edge of a government shutdown because Democrats failed to perform their basic job duties and pass a budget in the 111th Congress.  This was because they knew they would be forced to begin making budget cuts, and they don’t want to cut anything at all – they want to spend more. 

Democrats cling to a weird fantasy of closing the deficit through tax increases, even though we could confiscate every dollar of income and assets, from every big corporation and every American who makes over $250,000 per year, and still not balance the budget.  They have long told us their massive government is crucial to American survival… but they’re willing to shut it down in order to protect the funding for one favored corporation, whose contracts and subsidies amount to less than .01% of the total budget.  That is extremism.  Know it when you see it.

 


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