The following is a letter to the editor from Steve Sadowski. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own letter, please e-mail [email protected]
After reading Dennis Galvin’s Letter to the Editor on June 28, 2016, I felt compelled to respond, because there were many misdiagnosed analyses replete in his letter. Mr. Galvin is falling for an incorrect political spectrum that was an invention of the Left; the very group he purports to mistrust. According to this incorrect and invented political spectrum, the extreme of political Leftist philosophy is Communism, and the political extreme of the far Right is supposed to be fascism. Both extremes are supposed to represent the historical bookends (i.e. Hitler, Stalin) in order for the Left to “save face” and demonstrate how the right wing, if left to its own devices would be just as extremist and horrible as the Left. The Left incorrectly points to the executed WWII-‐era Italian dictator Mussolini, or Hitler as symbols of right–wing extremism, and only accept Mao or Stalin as examples of Left-‐wing extremism. This is taught on college campuses by liberal academics. The Left’s political bar line looks something like this:
Maybe, you have seen a graph like this, or maybe you also feel that this is an accurate representation of the political spectrum in this country? Unfortunately, it is incorrect and it leads to many incorrect conclusions, hence my letter to Mr. Galvin in response.
The word “fascism” comes from the Latin root “fasces” which means, “a bundle of sticks.” Singularly, each stick was weak and could not support weight, but bundled together they were strong, and so Mussolini borrowed on this metaphor to create a collectivist state where the individual was second to the group, because it was as a group, the bundle of sticks could be strongest. Fascism is not the extreme of right-‐ wing philosophy; it is another manifestation of the Left. It is based on a strong and powerful centralized bureaucracy, command and control state-‐sponsored economy, and most importantly, the needs of the many outweigh the rights of the individual. This paradigm was exemplified in Mussolini’s Italy.
So what is the extreme on the right? What happens, if left unchecked, is the natural destination for the Right? The natural destination for the Right is anarchy. If you keep limiting government, and keep deregulating, and privatizing, and allowing the individual to be free to make their own choices in everything; if you do that to the extreme, you will eventually arrive at anarchy: the total opposite of collectivism. Thus, the bar line is more accurate if graphed like this:
Communism←State Socialism←Progressivism←Democrats←Independents→Libertarianism→Anarchism Fascism←Religious Conservatives←Tea Party←Republicans←
This is why Mr. Galvin’s analysis is so incorrect. His party has more in common with the Left than he realizes. I have read many of his Letters to the Editor, and each one is an advocacy for the state over the individual. He routinely calls for empowering the Police and advocates for more laws to modify, curtail, or incentivize behaviors his party deems harmful to society. He is in favor of the Patriot Act, keeping personal drug choices illegal, the erosion of the 4th Amendment through asset forfeiture, the Drug war, the War on Terror, data collection by the NSA, etc. He is a huge 2nd Amendment supporter, but when it comes to the 4th Amendment, he is firmly a member of the thin blue line. He advocates for the free-‐market, but is a member of several boards that tell businesses how they can build and operate in Town. His party is not for free trade but for Crony-‐Capitalism and subsidies for favored corporations.
As proof, the last Republican President gave us No Child Left Behind: a top-‐down, centralized federal education program. George Bush gave us the Iraq War: an unconstitutional folly of spilled blood and lost treasure that laid the groundwork for the rise of ISIL. His economic incompetence was magnified when the housing market crashed in 2008 and he “fixed” it by bailing out all the banks that helped cause it. And the cherry on the top of the Republican cake: Bush drove the debt through the roof. This is the small and limited government that Mr. Galvin talks about? This is a party adhering to the Constitution?
One might forgive the G.O.P. if Bush was just an anomaly; an outlier, if you will, but they have come forward with their newest nominee: Donald Trump who wants to round up and deport over 11 million people, slap tariffs on countries—countries we have trade agreements with by the way—and force private companies to make their products here. Who does that sound like….George Washington or Benito Mussolini? Everything Trump, and the modern Republican Party stands for can be found on the left of that bar graph: top-‐down regulations, the police state, walls and barbed wire, round-‐ups, no-‐knock raids by militarized local police forces, K-‐9 dog units allowing police to enter your car without a warrant, the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, airport pat downs, wars, drones, and on and on.
Mr. Galvin was right about one thing in his letter: there is a 3rd rail in politics, it’s just that it’s not progressivism. Progressivism is simply to the left of Bill Clinton and to the right of Bernie Sanders. No. The true 3rd Rail is Libertarianism; the only political party that stands up for the freedoms of the individual over the state. In my opinion, it is the way out of this ugly era of growing nationalism and collectivism.