Monday, June 22, 2015

The Death Knell Of Freedom Is The Right's Absolutism

     In the past I have compared President Obama to the Roman emperor Nero who, legend has it, fiddled while Rome burned. But more recently the Nero comparison has fitted the actions of many on the Right side of the political spectrum. To Witt: a recent photo taken by an Associated press photographer of presidential candidate Ted Cruz at a shooting range where it appears a gun in a poster on the wall is pointed directly at the Texas senator.
     My greatest frustration with modern politics is not so much what the Left does, but the response of many on the Right to what the Left does. The Cruz photo is illustrative of many on the Right focusing on the unimportant at the expense of the truly relevant. A more extreme example of this counter productive behavior is the insistence by some on the radical Right who cling to the Obama birth certificate issue 18 months away from him leaving office. And the even more extreme members of the political Right who proffer tall tales about Michelle Obama being a man, Barrack being gay, or of the Obama's two children not being their natural born offspring.
     And while political energy being expended on the aforementioned insanity is bad, what is worse is the constant eating of our own in congress. The characterization of Republican members of congress as traitors has been applied to John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, et al. Beyond the incessant misappropriation of the word traitor, is the fact that this kind of self recrimination only helps the Democrats advance their agenda. Why do we never hear the same vitriol for Democrat members of congress coming from the rank and file on the Left?
     To be sure I am in no way excusing some of the positions and strategies taken by Republican leadership in congress. But to call them traitors or abandon them entirely because of those positions and strategies seems to me to be self-defeating, considering they are much more likely to do the conservative bidding than Democrat members of congress. In a perfect world I would have all our representatives in congress holding everything they do up to the scrutiny of the constitution, but alas, we do not live a perfect world.
     More than the Democrats and the Left destroying the Republican Party and the cause of the Right, is the absolutism of too many on the Right that has taken the lead in that destruction. I am constantly reminded of the truism, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Those on the Right who want not only the whole loaf of bread, but the entire bakery, would be wise to submit to the aforementioned truism. Otherwise their absolutism will relegate them to the ash heap of political debate in this country and allow the Left to rule unopposed.


  1. smellycat

    I take your point to some extent, however the elected leader that cowers to his opponents without objection no longer serves the people who elected him. He serves the opposition. If you begin your debate and position as one of appeasement, then you lack leadership and have deserted the people that elected you. The Constitution is the law of the land. When you deny that fact, you are correct, the perfect world does diminish.

  2. I agree with you to an extent. The point of my post is that many of the absolutist on the Right have claimed constitutional fidelity on issues that are not, and have therefore impugned the reputations of those with whom they have a political disagreement.