“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.

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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.