Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pet Peeve

I normally don't post much on politics, because this is a blog of madness, but not that kind of madness. However, I can't resist commenting on this story, because it contains a pet peeve of mine: the labeling of a Nazi-sympathizer as "right wing." In America, "right wing" refers to conservatives and Republicans (generally, there is no hard definition). Conservatives in this country look to preserve institutions and traditions that have worked well in the past in this country. It might, might, be accurate to refer to a German neo-Nazi as "right wing," because that person would be looking to Germany's past traditions. Here, the traditions conservatives generally (I stress generally) value are individual liberty, personal responsibility, etc. If you read the article and see the kind of philosophy that sick kid in Minnesota was espousing, you'll see something quite different from anything in mainstream American conservatism or liberalism. I know the article I'm talking about appeared in the Guardian, but it would be nice to see some responsibility from them with the labels they fling around. After all, the name of the party whose message board this kid was posting on contained the words "socialist" and "green," but conservatives would be rightly condemned if they tried to affiliate the kid with the American left.

What happened in Minnesota was a tragedy, an example of the dark side of human nature, but I think it is inappropriate to attempt to subtly slur a political party with it.


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