Political Demonization

You Are the Threat!

Right Wing Extremists

 

You may never have considered yourself a terrorist, but if you are a conservative a new government study indicates that you might well be:

The report’s author is Arie Perliger, who directs the Center’s terrorism studies and teaches social sciences at West Point. I can only imagine what his classes are like as his report manages to lump together every known liberal stereotype about conservatives between its covers.

As Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times, who broke news of the report on Thursday, recounts:

[The Center’s report] says anti-federalists “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement.”

The report also draws a link between the mainstream conservative movement and the violent “far right,” and describes liberals as “future oriented” and conservatives as living in the past.

“While liberal worldviews are future- or progressive -oriented, conservative perspectives are more past-oriented, and in general, are interested in preserving the status quo,” the report says. “The far right represents a more extreme version of conservatism, as its political vision is usually justified by the aspiration to restore or preserve values and practices that are part of the idealized historical heritage of the nation or ethnic community.”

The report adds: “While far-right groups’ ideology is designed to exclude minorities and foreigners, the liberal-democratic system is designed to emphasize civil rights, minority rights and the balance of power.”

The Times quotes a congressional staffer who has served in the military calling the report a “junk study.” The staffer then asked: “The $64,000 dollar question is when will the Combating Terrorism Center publish their study on real left-wing terrorists like the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, and the Weather Underground?”

This is not the first time elements of the federal government have tried to smear conservatives with sloppy work and a broadbrush analysis. Continue reading

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