Leaving the Right

Two very interesting posts on the interwebs from conservative voices this week.

First, from Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs entitled "Why I parted ways with the right":

"{...} 2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)

3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)

4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)...

5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)

6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.) {...}

And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.

I won’t be going over the cliff with them."

In response to that post, Andrew Sullivan drafted his own version:

"{...}I cannot support a movement that claims to believe in limited government but backed an unlimited domestic and foreign policy presidency that assumed illegal, extra-constitutional dictatorial powers until forced by the system to return to the rule of law.

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt.

I cannot support a movement that so abandoned government's minimal and vital role to police markets and address natural disasters that it gave us Katrina and the financial meltdown of 2008.

I cannot support a movement that holds torture as a core value.

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

I cannot support a movement that is deeply homophobic, cynically deploys fear of homosexuals to win votes, and gives off such a racist vibe that its share of the minority vote remains pitiful.

I cannot support a movement which has no real respect for the institutions of government and is prepared to use any tactic and any means to fight political warfare rather than conduct a political conversation.

I cannot support a movement that sees permanent war as compatible with liberal democratic norms and limited government.{...}"

Now the partisan temptation is for "liberals" to read pieces like this and pat themselves on the back, glowing with moral superiority. But as the comments on LGF make clear, these posts represent no acknowledgement of the superiority of the other side. The political left has its own embarrassing skeletons, and while honesty on the right should be welcomed, it should be matched with similar self-reflection on the other side of the political equation.

Kudos to Johnson and Sullivan for their intellectual honesty and bravery.

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