Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been rejecting the excesses of the right wing movement for several months. Today he issued a list with the following reasons why he has parted ways with the right:
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
The reasons are similar to those I have frequently written about here. There is some hyperbole here. For example, while I have had a few posts disagreeing with Robert Stacy McCain I have never thought of him as a fascist. McCain responds to Johnson here). Even in the case of Pat Buchanan, while he has certainly shown sympathy for the Nazis, I’m not certain that he outright supports fascism.
One irony here is that much of what he writes here could have applied to his own blog in the past, but he still deserves credit for rejecting that mind set.
To be fair, some of what he says could apply to some on the extreme left. I’ve noted some of the anti-scientific views of people such as Bill Maher on medicine and vaccines, but this is far less prevalent than the belief in creationism and denialism of climate change on the right. I’ve also criticized some on the left for conspiracy theories of their own, but again this is far less prevalent than on the right.
The significant difference between the right and the left with regards to extremism is the degree to which the extremists dominate on the right. The extremists on the right have driven out virtually everyone else. They dominate the major organs of the right from the right wing media to the Republican Party. The left has a handful who, in their own ways, are as nutty as the extremists of the right but they are marginalized rather than the dominant players.