The attempted coup by Donald Trump and his fascist thugs on January 6, 2021, made apparent to everyone the dangers of the Extreme Right to our democracy. But threats to our democracy come not only from the Right, but also from the Left. Just listen to Bill Maher, not known for being a right-winger, for his take on the agenda of the Far Left:
Take a stand against the extremists, my friends, from both the Left and from the Right!
End of post.
16 thoughts on “The Extreme Left Is Also a Danger to Our Democracy”
I watched a couple more clips from that episode and there was a good quote from a guest who himself was quoting a book saying that when each side gets to the point where they truly believe the other side is evil, then compromise is off the table, and that this is the current state of the US.
Hopefully this link starts at the right place, should be the 4 minute mark.
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The lack of compromise doesn’t need both sides to believe that the other is evil, rather it only needs that from just one side.
Thank you, Gary, for writing this article. I, for one, sat out the 2016 and 2020 national elections in the U.S. because of the deep divisiveness and embarrassing conduct by political and media figures (and a lack of respect for the candidates). I appreciate that you recognize BOTH sides have a role in this process. It is interesting that so few of your regulars have commented here re. this particular article. Perhaps some of them believe all of the blame lies on one side of the political aisle.
BTW, as a side note, John Bolton disagrees with your conclusion above re. January 6 being an organized coup attempt. There were reportedly seditious elements in the crowd, but the event itself was a political demonstration that, on the whole, devolved into a riot (imo). Nevertheless, I would view it as a positive development if Trump and Biden were both out of the political picture by 2024. We need new candidates (imo). Gavin Newsome seems to be popular among Democrats as a potential candidate for POTUS. I also strongly believe we term limits for members of Congress.
Perhaps some of them believe all of the blame lies on one side of the political aisle.
Generally speaking, it has not been my nature to place all the blame on one side or the other. Of course there are differences in political outlooks, but I’ve never been strongly anti- one or the other since I feel both have positives and negatives.
However, in the current political situation, I do indeed feel one side has (literally) demonstrated “embarrassing conduct” and has been promoting several issues that take away from the natural freedom/liberty that many citizens appreciate.
I most definitely agree that we need NEW presidential candidates for 2024, but alas. It does not appear this will be the case. And thus, the dissension, discord, and dissonance will continue.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Nan. I appreciate those sentiments.
If you are referring to the recent SCOTUS decision affecting Roe v. Wade, yes, that has enflamed people on both sides of the debate. There doesn’t seem to be much common ground shared between the different sides.
I have said this before, and I believe the two-party system we have in place is an abject failure that has led to what seem like unbridgeable gaps on many issues. It is also hard to walk one’s comments back when someone labels another person (or another group) as “evil” or “deplorable” or “fascist” or “communist” etc. The public application of such labels is not readily forgotten. This is one reason why I feel that apart from having more than two legitimate political parties, the best situation is a division of power. I believe prolonged one-party rule would be a terrible situation at the national level. If one side of the political aisle crafts all the new legislation, passes said legislation, and enforces said legislation without any meaningful input from the other side, that situation is fertile ground for unchecked corruption and civil unrest… and perhaps worse. Our political climate really is a hot mess (imo). I despise it.
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It’s not just that SCOTUS decision. There’s the whole voting rights thing, and the entire movement to by Trump supporting Republicans to put people in place (namely as Secretary of State) that will help Republicans steal the election should they find himself on the losing side in particular red controlled swing states. It’s the embracing of authoritarianism, showing that Republicans have a strong desire to rule, rather than to represent. On top of that they’ve signaled that they think other minority rights should be eliminated, and decided by states.
Note that it’s also Republicans putting forward the idea of “independent state legislature theory”, which is probably the most dangerous idea to our democracy that’s currently out there, and the only thing that may stop it is the Supreme Court. If the conservative lead SCOTUS goes along with this idea, state legislatures will literally be allowed to throw out the results of elections that they don’t like. It should scare the pants off of everyone, given what we’ve seen come out of that court, and that one of the justices couldn’t remember the five freedoms of the first amendment.
This idea of “both-sides” that seems to have infected some people makes me worry. That people seem to believe that both parties are equally bad, or equally guilty of these kinds of problems, and are both responsible for the slide into strong authoritarianism, is just nonsense. It doesn’t all balance out in the wash, and there is a clear danger from one party that needs to be countered.
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No argument from me that the Republican Party is much worse than the Democratic Party. It the party of fascism, racism, and authoritarianism. It is controlled by the extreme right. The Democratic Party is a center left party. It is not, at the moment, controlled by the extreme left. However, I see the extreme left as just as dangerous as the extreme right.
In my view, the Extreme Left/Woke crowd wishes to replace our democratic capitalist system with a socialist authoritarian system in which free speech only applies to those who abide by the rules of the Woke agenda. Criticize Critical Race Theory or the Pronoun Police and you are immediately branded a racist bigot and cancelled as a valued human being.
Woke authoritarianism is just as scary to me as fascist authoritarianism.
“It’s not just that SCOTUS decision.” – Herald
Nobody here claimed that, Herald. Nan made reference to “several issues” without offering specificity. I assumed that was one of the key issues.
“That people seem to believe that both parties are equally bad, or equally guilty of these kinds of problems, and are both responsible for the slide into strong authoritarianism, is just nonsense.”
Nobody here claimed that, Herald.
Herald, I’ve been involved with the political process in the U.S. at the local, state and national level to various degrees for more than 40 years. I’ve lived in Texas since the 1980s, and I have substantial first-hand knowledge re. the many struggles to establish a new political party. In my case, that would be the Reform Party in 1995 (i.e. Ross Perot was the nominee for POTUS in 1996). The struggles to establish the Reform Party on a national level stemmed from the fact that our two-party system is deeply entrenched in power on many levels. As popular as Ross Perot was with independent voters, he didn’t win a single electoral vote in 1996. Sadly, in our current system, I believe it is virtually impossible to get a third-party candidate elected as POTUS. The two-party system is too deeply ensconced in power (imo).
Regarding your concerns with “Team Red”, members of “Team Red” could rattle off as many concerns they have with “Team Blue” as you rattled off about “Team Red”. To cite a few examples, unless I am mistaken, it is some members of “Team Blue” who advocate abolishing the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, packing the SCOTUS with more justices (i.e. until the balance is to their liking), granting statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico (to permanently increase the “Team Blue” representation levels in Congress), and to effectively secure one-party rule. If you believe prolonged (or permanent) one-party rule by “Team Blue” is the best solution re. your concerns with “Team Red”, you are flat wrong. I do not advocate one-party rule by any political party in the U.S. I believe a balance of power is the best solution under our current system. Prolonged (or permanent) one-party rule could disenfranchise 75 to 80 million voters and yield catastrophic results for the nation (imo).
P.S. Thank you, Gary, for allowing this discussion on your site.
” The struggles to establish the Reform Party on a national level stemmed from the fact that our two-party system is deeply entrenched in power on many levels”
The two parties realize that they have all the power and they are unwilling to give it up. It’s going to be extremely difficult to get the two parties to give up power to a third party. They certainly won’t do it willingly.
“some members of “Team Blue” who advocate abolishing the filibuster in the U.S. Senate,”
The filibuster is an archaic senate rule meant purely to maintain the status quo and impose an arbitrary point of “majority.” Why 60%? Why not 70? Why not 40%? Why not 50%? They’ve carved out exemptions to the filibuster, and I see little reason for the rule. The senate itself is anti-democratic, as is the filibuster. In my ideal world I’d eliminate the senate entirely and give all legislative power to the House, which would be a filled by proportional representation of a plurality of parties.
“packing the SCOTUS with more justices”
The funny thing is that SCOTUS has already been packed, you just don’t see it. It’s been packed thanks to efforts from one side that used every tool and trick at their disposal to make sure that they could add as many of their favored Federalist Society judges as they could when they returned to power.
It’s also not just SCOTUS that has been packed, but the entire federal judicial system. The fundamental truth is that adding more justices is about unpacking the court, and fighting against the discarding of decades of precedent, as well as the well established rights of others, that we’ve seen come from an extremist court.
“If you believe prolonged (or permanent) one-party rule by “Team Blue” is the best solution”
I don’t actually like the Democratic party. Under better circumstances I wouldn’t support them as I don’t actually align with them. I think they’re too economically and socially conservative for my tastes. but they are (at least as of today) a much better alternative to the other party. Bring me a party that’s closer to my political perspective (-2, -7 on the Political Compass map) and I’d support them instead.
What I would also hope would come from a prolonged “Team Blue” rule is a “Team Red” that comes back to reality, and adopts positions that looks more like representation rather than simply trying to rule from on high.
Unfortunately, reforming the electoral system in the US to become more democratic (consider the proportional representation democracies of Europe as an example) would require a massive effort to break the entrenchment of the existing two parties, Unfortunately, I see that as incredibly unlikely anytime soon, even if it would be much better for the system overall.
Thanks for the reply, Herald.
“The two parties realize that they have all the power and they are unwilling to give it up. It’s going to be extremely difficult to get the two parties to give up power to a third party.”
We agree. There was deeply-entrenched resistance to the Reform Party as a national party.
“The filibuster is an archaic senate rule meant purely to maintain the status quo and impose an arbitrary point of “majority.””
The stated rationale for requiring a 60% majority to end debate and advance legislation forward was that “checks and balances” were needed to ensure power was not concentrated in the same hands. It prevents a simply majority of 51% from advancing legislation without dealing with some portion of the remaining minority. I don’t know if 60 (or more or less) is optimal, but that’s what it is. As a note of interest, there was a U.S. Senator in 2005 who was outspoken in defense of maintaining the filibuster. He reportedly said that “If the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.” That was Senator Barack Obama. I was chosen as a delegate for him in my state in 2008 during the Democrat Party nomination process for POTUS candidates.
“The funny thing is that SCOTUS has already been packed, you just don’t see it.”
I was only referring to there being a total of 9 members on the SCOTUS. That number has reportedly been set since 1869. Conservatives having a reliable majority of SCOTUS members is fairly recent. That was not the case for decades. Of course, we may disagree re. who is conservative and who isn’t. Now, as far as federal judge appointments go, Biden is reportedly outpacing every POTUS since JFK:
“What I would also hope would come from a prolonged “Team Blue” rule is a “Team Red” that comes back to reality, and adopts positions that looks more like representation rather than simply trying to rule from on high.”
That is sound reasoning in principle (imo), but I don’t believe it is in the cards if “Team Blue” does get its way. If “Team Blue” were to successfully end the filibuster, grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico (which would virtually guarantee them 4 more “Team Blue” Senators and however many Representatives each new state would get), and add more “Team Blue” SCOTUS nominees until they get a majority, “Team Blue” could have a virtual stranglehold on power. Methinks they would have to lurch hard to the Left and alienate a lot of voters before they ceded the mantle of power. I believe that would be “interesting times” for us all.
Bill Maher IS known for being an Islamophobe. And, related, is the blank checks he cuts to Zionism. He’s in general not known as being totally enlightened. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bill_Maher
And, per all the other comments? There are more than two sides to about any issue, per Iranian philosopher Idries Shah. There’s also more than two political parties in Merikkka and some of us don’t belong to either duopoly party.
The linked wiki article read like some guy’s blog rant. It would help if the writer at least tried to pretend he was writing an objective wiki entry, even if his anti maher opinions are right.
I read your Rationalwiki article about Maher. Here is one of his alleged quotes:
On the less “critical” and more “smearing” end, Maher has also described Islam as uniquely similar to the Mafia, saying it “will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book”.
In a liberal/democratic world, people should have the right to satirize anything and anyone. Yet, if one dares satirize the principal prophet of Islam, one may well end up dead. Not all Muslims may hold this view, but a significant percentage do.
I believe that the Koran is no worse than the Bible and maybe even an improvement, but the interpretation and implementation of that holy text in modern Islam is equivalent to Medieval Christianity, in which discrimination against non-Christians and women were justified and horrific torture and executions were carried out in the name of God.
I personally applaud Maher’s courage to speak out against the evils of most organized religions.
Ahh, but you missed the point that I expressly made of Maher having a different take when it comes to Zionist Israel vs the Palestinians. That’s why I mentioned both in the same breath.
If so, he should be called out on it.
But just because someone has a blind spot, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some good ideas. That is one of the big problems with today’s progressives: One must be “perfect”, 100% on board with the Progressive/Woke agenda, or you are a racist, bigoted piece of shit whose opinions are not worth listening to (You are CANCELLED). This type of thinking is anathema to a free democratic society. Just as we do not want Morality Police we do not want Political Correctness Police.
Here is a great video in which Maher castigates BOTH the Extreme Right and the Extreme Left. It is spot on!