The Political Spectrum
By Rob Chase
Many years ago I had been taught that the well-known “Political Spectrum” we learned about illustrated that on the extreme political Right is anarchy – or no government, and on the extreme political Left is totalitarianism – or total government. I had thought if I had to choose between the extremes I would rather deal with Anarchy – i.e. I would rather deal with Jesse James than Joseph Stalin, but both would be awful.
Until the Enlightenment most people believed in God, and knew God had instituted Government, so who were we to complain? Life was short and brutal in those former days and we were not going to be around long anyway. If we played by the rules that God had instituted there was a good bet our conditions would improve upon death.
But things started improving in the 18th Century so Western man became dissatisfied with his lot, and so we had the French Revolution, which was total anarchy and lots of bloodshed. We also had the Russian Revolution which was total government and even more bloodshed. Like Goldilocks the American Revolution was just right with limited government. Except for the Civil War, where Lincoln pushed too far left, most Americans thrived under the limited government of the US Constitution.
I range somewhat right of center, in part because I have seen the center of the Spectrum trend Left in my lifetime. We need to steer back to Starboard to have an even keel again for smoother sailing through the turbulent waters of the human condition.
I have been debating the Political Spectrum on Facebook with Leftists who claim Nazis are on the Right. I have tried to be patient with them but they have been indoctrinated to believe Totalitarian leaning Nazis somehow are on the right side of the Spectrum. Politically of course you can’t go wrong coming out against Hitler, but you would think these liberals might want to have some consistency for the sake of argument. They even cite the existence of Leftist Libertarians. I suppose there may be such an animal as a Leftist libertarian but I would liken it to Woody Allen’s comment in his movie “Love and Death” (a parody of Tolstoy’s War and Peace) where his brother in the Russian army had been “bayoneted to death by a Polish Conscientious Objector.”
Over the years political definitions have been slippery on the rails of time and trends. Republicans today are more like the Democrats of 20 years ago, and John F. Kennedy would have been a hard right Republican today, which shows both major parties have been “fellow travelers” bound leftward. Libertarian Anarcho-capitalist Lew Rockwell describes both major parties as “two wings of the same bird of prey.“
The 18th Century terms of “liberal” and “conservative” have changed much since Disraeli and Gladstone. On the far Right we have both paleo-conservatives and libertarians. There is only a slight distinction and many people, myself included, are both. Economist Bob Murphy explains the difference as “like the fans of Bill Murray versus the fans of Caddyshack.”
Getting back to Facebook, WA State Rep. Matt Shea has been the victim of a full court press by the press. Matt did not actually do anything wrong, but the power whine for his resignation is several decibels above a scream by his enemies, because of people he has associated with. One of these “friends”, let’s call him Judas Iscariot, released private conversations he had with Matt to the local unfriendly press. Part of being a politician is you meet all kinds of people and you have a duty to engage with all of them. Some are friendly, or not friendly, but it is natural to welcome someone who agrees with you, even though he may just be a sycophant or informer. Still, there is a bond of trust in confiding with people who seem to agree with you, but have a secret Agenda of five minutes of fame. A lot of people complain that politicians beat around the bush or never say anything of substance and this is why. Matt Shea is refreshingly direct but there is a price to pay sometimes. This has happened before to Rep. Shea but that is why he is a lightning rod. People either love him or hate him. More people have loved him than hated him, in his district, but the piranha seem to smell blood this time. None of these people would vote for him anyway but I do hate to see bullying of any fashion.
I have been friends with Matt Shea for ten years and I have never seen the straw man that the Press is trying to turn him into. He is hated by the Left because he is an effective legislator for family values, lower taxes, and less Government control. He is squarely on the Right side of the Spectrum and so is most of the 4th District.
The attacks on Matt Shea are a microcosm of the ongoing attacks on President Trump. The Mainstream Press has a double standard because President Trump is not part of the Club at the National level, nor is Matt a part of the local Club. Trump did nothing wrong but win and Matt Shea is a winner too. Everyone loves a winner it is said, but sometimes they are hated too.