There's been a reappearance of rightwing trolls, or maybe it's all the same one since they leave their comments anonymously (or maybe it's my old nemesis Jim just writing under the "anonymous" moniker—it's impossible to know because they all parrot the exact same rightwing propoganda of the day, week, month, etc.).
But on this day of all days, it's time "to take OUR country back"—a slogan associated too much with right, especially the so-called "tea-partyers" these days.
The campaign to paint any disagreement with rightwing positions as somehow "unAmerican" and "socialist"—or in Glenn Beck's terms socialist/facist/progressive/liberal/communist as in his ill-reasoned and ill-informed diatribes they somehow are all equated—has been going on almost since the founding fathers and mothers.
But just to clarify, even if reason and logic and facts have no sway with the right, but as an exercise for my own peace of mind, the choices in our politics have been relatively limited to right and center for a number of years now.
The claims of the rightwingers in comments on this blog and throughout the web and the media that Obama and Demcorats in the House and Senate somehow represent leftist or even "liberal" or "progressive" positions are false.
There are liberal Democrats, but their political positions are still almost exclusively centrist, not leftist. While there are almost no centrist Republicans left, and even the right wing of the Republican party—which IS the Republican party—isn't right enough for many of the most influential rightwingers: Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, et. al.
On the political spectrum of right to left, here's the right's position on healthcare: it should be entirely private, with little or no government regulation at all.
The left's position is: healthcare is a fundamental right and government should make it available to everyone through a single payer system.
There is room for nuance in these positions, but these are the basic perspectives. So Obama's healthcare plan is obviously a compromise between these two positions, thus centrist (the right will say it's leftist because there is an insurance mandate, the left will say it's rightist because of the concessions to the insurance and drug corporations).
On corporate power, the right's position is simple, little or no regulation, ala the oil companies which leads to BP's gulf catastrophe, whereas the left's is government regulation of corporations as in the elimintation of any energy processing that isn't "clean" or as clean as possible. On this Obama and the Dems for the most part are right of center.
But let's do a quick and condensed roll call of the right's and the left's positions historically:
The most liberal or leftist of the Founding Fathers wanted to eliminate slavery arguing that no citizen of this new country could be considered free if some weren't. The right argued for the continuation of slavery. The compromise unfortunately was to the right. In order to have a unified front against the British and enough unity for a central government. The right won out here.
But coninued pressure from the left over the next almost century led to more and more erosion of slavery as an institution and the "rights" of slaveholders until the defeat of slavery all together as a result of the Civil War, etc.
The right's position then became segregation and "states rights" and unfortunately for a number of decades, in order to win national elections the Dems compromised to placate the Southern right wing of their party, but saw the light and under LBJ finally passed a Civil Rights act that led to the end of the most egregious of instituional segregation laws, etc.
We could repeat this history for womens rights, workers' rights, etc. etc. etc.
The only consistent psotion the right has maintained in its history is resistance to progress and support of corporate interests over individuals (it's ironic I guess that Teddy Roosevelt had to fight the right wing of the Republican Party to "bust the trusts" i.e. corporate powers of his day).
We could do this straight down the line, but it's too tedious and most who read this blog I'm sure are aware of all this anyway.
But when I watched the fireworks tonight with my twelve-year-old in the Jersey town I live in I thought of all the struggles people had to go through to extend rights and protections to citizens previously left out and it made me proud to be a part of that history of struggling for more freedoms, more equality of opportunity, and more protections and guarantees for "the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness" as Jefferson so aptly put it in the declaration this day celebrates.
[PS: This article has links to many sad examples of the right's anti-reasoned vitriolic destructive propaganda.]