Editor: There is a pervasive belief in this country that our two major political parties are diametrically opposed in every respect. That each party is equal promotes extreme, fringe policies, thus are equally at fault when nothing gets done.
This fallacy assumes that over time, the Left has moved further to the left, and that the Right has moved further to the right. The problem with this view is that the true fringe views are far more pervasive in the Republican Party than in the Democratic.
There are countless examples of politicians from the Republican Party pushing fringe agendas. In particular, we can look to the recent version of the Farm Bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hoping to end the SNAP and WIC programs, conservatives slashed the “food stamp” program by $40 billion. By the reasoning explained earlier, this would imply the Democrats are actively seeking to expand “food stamps” such that all people are given their food by the government. This reasoning assumes that the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail for the government to seize control of agricultural/food industry and equally distribute food to the populace.
Obviously, this is a ludicrous assumption. There are no Democrats demanding that all people receive equal food as distributed by the government. No progressive/left activists, commentators or politicians would support such a ridiculous and unconstitutional measure. An identical claim can be made for the Republican position on welfare, unemployment benefits, gun control and certain aspects of Social Security. Democrats do not hold the polar opposite view on any of these issues.
Supporting the welfare program is not the same as demanding the government ensure all people are given jobs (i.e.: that the government be the sole employer in the nation). Supporting certain gun controls is not equivalent to demanding that all guns be confiscated from all citizens. This undeniable, yet unseen truth can be best described in a single phrase, “There is no left equivalent.”
It’s time for the electorate to realize that while stark differences absolutely exist between the polices of the right and the left, it is the right who have moved to the fringe. It is the Republican Party, under the influence of the Tea Party, the “religious right” and other organizations that has become the poster child for supporting politically extreme policies.