I’m pleased to note that these are tough times for the far-right. Right now, Americans seem to prefer to be governed by more sensible folks.
And we’ve recently seen a spate of scandals and such among right wing politicos. It should be noted that no portion of the political spectrum is immune to such failings. But a number of recent peccadilloes have involved those who enthusiastically embrace hypocrisy - among other embraceable things.
It’s easy to lampoon these folks and then just consign their entire movement to an obscure corner of history’s dustbin. As much as I wish this were possible, it isn’t.
Whatever manifold shortcomings our opponents may have, they do not lack for enthusiasm, alas. Nor do they lack adherents.
So, we’d do well to pay close attention to what they say and what they do.
Case in point. Take a look at a recent commentary by one Fred Hutchison published on the RenewAmerica website. RenewAmerica was founded by one of Americans leading cranks, Alan Keyes.
Here’s Mr. Hutchison’s insight du jour:
“The hatred of babies and children surely must be an important contributing cause of the birth dearth in Europe.”
OK, it seems laughable. We know that small families are better equipped to provide quality health and education for the next generation. That seems more like love than hate. But Mr. Hutchison and his ilk never let the facts get in the way of their ideology.
So, we can shrug off these sorts of rants, right? Well, not so fast. Take a look at RenewAmerica's web links which, they say, are “provided to encourage cooperation among like-minded Americans.” Links include talk radio lunatic Michael Savage and those slightly (slightly, being the key word) less opprobrious broadcast bloviators, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In fairness, I should point out that links to several fairly mainstream groups can be found as well. But they are surrounded by a circus of loony folks such as the charmingly named “Klan Parenthood.” I kid you not.
We can and, rest assured, will poke fun at these people - just as we did with Derek the Abstinence Clown.
But we do so to illustrate their folly, not because we don’t take these folks seriously. We do. They’re not going away. They are working hard to regain the upper hand. Let’s make sure we don’t forget the oh-so-recent past when they and their allies held real power. If we ignore or dismiss these antics, we’ll pay a terrible price.