Am I an Extremist?
by Andy Joppa
If I were to define myself based on all presently used methods of categorizing American’s as extremists, I am an extremist…I might even be an extreme, extremist. As best I can judge from the rhetoric, I am an immediate danger to my country and the majority of my fellow citizens who aren’t, themselves, extremists. Not a figurative danger, a literal danger.
Apparently, I am to be shunned by all decent citizens and should be denied any access to the public arena. Where it can be accomplished, I should not be employed in any capacity where there is the remotest chance, I can do harm. Perhaps, in the interest of public safety, I should have an “E” branded into my forehead to alert those around me to the danger I represent. It has been suggested by many on the Left, I should be sent to a reeducation facility where my errors can be expunged from my behavior and, if I had young children, they should be taken away and made wards of the state.
I presume I must be categorized within the Barry Goldwater comment (actually his speechwriter Karl Hess), “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” It was attacks on these, apparently atrocious ideas, that helped defeat Goldwater in 1964. While I can see some excesses that might arise from the broadest and boldest fulfillment of those thoughts (no I really can’t, but I want to appear to be open-minded), I fail to see where they are inherently “excessively extremist” in their implications.
Let’s lay out the alternative, that is, “I will very moderately defend liberty and justice.” Hummm…I’m not especially pleased with the way that sounds or the “snowflake” actions it would generate. I would suggest that more lives have been lost, and nations destroyed, because of that alternative than by adherence to the original. I’ve not heard it described that a nation fell into chaos and its citizens ravaged, because it defended liberty or justice immoderately. I’ve also not heard it offered, “Thank God they weren’t extreme in their pursuit and defense of liberty and justice. If they had, the amount of damage from liberty and justice is unimaginable. The horror would have been incredible. Can you just imagine if we had all that liberty and justice?”
I’m fairly confident that many nations that succumbed to the devastation of totalitarianism wished they had a bit more of that type of extremism. I’ve patiently waited for 56 years for someone to supply one example of an action that was negatively extreme in its defense of liberty or pursuit of liberty that has actually occurred. What would it look like? Please, I’m aging, give me but one example of this phenomenon. For the life of me, I’ve never understood how the Goldwater remark has been accepted for all these years as a “very bad idea.” It seems absolutely correct in its implications. Perhaps I only feel that way because I AM AN EXTREMIST.
If I ignore any specific issues for the moment, and try to describe who I am, at least within my minds-eye, and as measured by a lifetime of human contact and interaction, I don’t think I’ve got an extremist bone in my body or thought in my mind. I love The Constitution and the law it represents. I deeply admire our Constitutional Republic and fervently believe that every person should be judged only by their actions…and the content of their character.
I’ve never struck anyone in anger and have no tolerance for proactive violence. I’ve treated people around me with respect and was awarded faculty member of the year status, five times, as chosen by my college’s graduating seniors, approximately half being minorities. OK…that’s enough horn blowing in my defense. I offer that to merely explain…I have no personal attributes of an extremist nor any action in my background that could be defined in that manner. So, why now, have I obviously been categorized as an extremist and a danger to all decent people? There are so many reasons…let me count the ways.
First and foremost, I am a white, heterosexual, male Conservative. Do you need anything more than that to document that I’m an extremist? In 2021 you don’t need anything but that; case closed. But if you need more, there’s plenty of ammunition (even that gun related reference marks me as an extremist). I’ll elaborate on a few, while some, for the average Progressive, are simply statements of categorical extremism.
I am a Trump supporter and think he’s been our greatest president…extremism.
I am an America Firster. This means any action taken by our leaders must offer some benefit to America. It doesn’t mean anyone else has to be damaged …extremism.
I believe that American citizens must always go to the front of the line for any benefits…extremism.
I believe the legality of voting is far more important that making it easy…extremism.
I believe the right to bear arms is an absolute allowing only for the most critical type of modifications (documented insanity for example) …extremism.
I am advocate of free speech. As an extension, hate speech that amplifies penalty, is clearly unconstitutional…extremism.
OK…to this point I might have survived intact. I would have been looked at askance but probably could have avoided severe penalties. But now comes my extremism coup de graces (can I make that a plural?).
I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen by the insidious Leftist machine…very extremist
I believe that President Trump won this election in a landslide…very extremist.
I believe that there has been a generalized deep state process to ignore these illegalities with only one intent, the removal of our great leader…very extremist.
I believe that Joe Biden is an immoral criminal and has been so for most of his years feeding at the public trough…very extremist.
I believe there is no systemic racism and the charges of its existence are all politically motivated…very extremist.
This “very extremist” list could have more added. At this point, you either understand why I’m an extremist to be feared…or…a person with perfectly rational responses to reality…and/or…an American citizen much like yourself. It is these latter positions of “very extremist” that offer the possibility, if they become focused on, can destroy every fiber of my professional and personal life in current America.
That this even exists as a possibility, defines an America that itself has become “extremist” in its very worst manifestation.