“Far” Right and Left

Should have figured: at least one conservative gabber (Media Research Center’s Matt Hadro) is objecting to the MSM’s characterization of Wisconsin temple massacre perpetrator Wade Michael Page as a member of the political “far right,” calling it a “smear” of the “political right.”

Hadro seems to consider the justice of his complaint self-evident, so I don’t know if he’s one of those libertarians who insists that anyone favoring a strong state is of “the left,” against the universal practice of historians and political scientists. Yes, I know, we are not sitting in the French Parliament, so the whole left/right framework is somewhat artificial, but the purpose of these words is not to assign virtue or vice but to provide information on whether someone is likely to favor a nationalist, culturally exclusivist/ traditionalist, and corporatist (in the sense of a hierarchical organization of the economy) perspective or one that is (relatively) more universalistic, egalitarian, secularist, and redistributist. I certainly object to communists, probably as much as Hadro objects to neo-Nazis, but have no objection to communists being referred to as the “far left.”

This is one “smear” that conservatives will just have to learn to deal with.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.