Whitewashing history


Local conservative group sanitizes a defender of racist politics Looking for a reason (other than a bottomless pile of corporate money) that conservatives so often seem to be on the offensive in modern American policy debates?  Here’s a big one: The scale of their ambition. While progressive nonprofits and politicos worry about polling [Continue Reading...]

Going to extremes


Senate Republican leader confirms that market fundamentalists are fully in charge Since the beginning of the 2011 session, some caring and thoughtful observers of North Carolina politics have clung to the hope that not all legislative Republican leaders are far right ideologues. These folks have held on to the optimistic view that there [Continue Reading...]

The company they keep

You might be surprised at what many on the right actually believe

There is a bit of common wisdom in modern American culture about the intersection of the debate between progressives and conservatives. It’s often voiced by politicians, members of the media and a lot of average folks. You may have even espoused such a view yourself. It goes something like this:

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More cause for optimism


The right is relegated to just making stuff up

It’s a favored catchphrase of sports fans everywhere – usually uttered by supporters of a talented team that finds itself up against an overmatched opponent. It goes something like this: “If we can’t beat these guys, then we don’t deserve to be champs.” Think, for instance, of the U.S. soccer team and its World Cup match with Algeria this week.

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A shrinking club


Political “scorecard” shows just how extreme the conservative movement has become

America has always had a full complement of “conservatives” of varying stripes. Comfortable suburbanites and dirt poor farmers, religious fundamentalists and libertarian freethinkers, ideologues who don’t believe in government at all and respectable establishment types who view public office as their birthright, single issue fanatics and sober pragmatists, immigrant haters and immigrant hirers.

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Since when is opposing the estate tax a “family value”?


The unfortunate alliance of religious conservatives and anti-tax ideologues

For most progressives, there’s something that rankles about the longstanding, often successful effort of religious conservatives to appropriate the word “family.” The presumptuous notion that one particular band of one religious tradition – in this case conservative Christianity – has the right to anoint itself as the “defender of traditional family values” is simply offensive to millions of loving, caring and family-oriented people who come from lots of other faith and non-faith-based traditions and hold different political views.

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How to fight the right


Should progressives play just as mean and nasty as the ideologues on the other side?

Maybe it’s because progressives are soft and naïve. Maybe it’s because they’re a frequently divided and disparate movement with a long and varied list of distinct priorities. Maybe it’s just because they cling to a shred of human decency and a belief that love and tolerance rather than wealth and greed and meanness ought to be the underpinnings of human society and governance. Maybe it’s some combination of all three.

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