Wednesday, December 02, 2009

First time for everything

Since I began this blog, I’ve never linked to far rightwing websites. There are two main reasons for this: I don’t want to help them get any publicity and I don’t want to help them get higher search rankings based on unique links to their sites.

There’s a third reason: I really don’t want to deal with the wingnuts who come pouring out like cockroaches to attack anyone who dares criticise their favoured site. I generally don’t delete comments, unless they’re spam or particularly vile, and I really don’t want all that negativity clogging up my comments sections.

This has applied to wingnut websites, not necessarily to conservative sites in general, and I’ve linked to such general sites here in New Zealand. However, I can’t remember linking to any US-based conservative sites—until now.

There was a post on a conservative site that was so unexpected and, frankly, so interesting that it demands a wider readership than merely those who believe as the author does.

Today Charles Johnson published a post on his Little Green Footballs site titled “Why I Parted Ways with the Right”. He says they support fascists, bigotry, hatred, white supremacism, homophobic bigotry, anti-government lunacy, conspiracy theories—among other things.

Predictably, the wingnuts, who loudly proclaim that they alone are “the conservative movement”, have been vicious in their attacks (the tags used by one leading wingnut site are especially vile). He posted that he’d received a lot of hate mail, but later posted that supportive emails outnumbered hate mail by two to one. In that same post he wrote:

“Call me independent, and I won’t be unhappy. I have bones to pick with both sides, and big issues with the extremists on both sides. And if you’re a politician, you need to prove to me that you deserve my support, because it’s not a given just because you’re on ‘my team’.”

There are many Americans who’d share that view. I know I’d count myself among those he refers to when he said there are “quite a few liberals who miss having opponents who aren’t insane”.

So I hope that he gets a lot of support from his non-insane fellow conservatives. How nice it would be to once again be able to debate issues, and not the hatred, bigotry and extremism of opponents on the right. There’s no need for the screaming bitter partisanship that infects the American body politic, and maybe if more conservatives like Charles Johnson speak out against the lunatics we might be able to return to reasoned debate. There’s a first time for everything, after all.

Tip o' the hat once again to Joe.My.God.

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