This is from an article defining the threat from the right including “anti-federalists”. You know… us.
It 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.”
First and foremost, it is damned offensive because it attacks a founding American principal – republicanism – as a threat and potentially violent. Noted anti-federalists include Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, George Mason and James Monroe. Furthermore, even the federalists at the time of the Founding would be considered ant-federalists by the standards of 2013.
I want to focus on this, however.
“While liberal worldviews are future- or progressive -oriented, conservative perspectives are more past-oriented, and in general, are interested in preserving the status quo.”
This may have been the case in the past, but it is demonstrably false today. A “liberal” today is somebody who defends the 20th-century blue state social model. A “progressive” is now somebody who thinks America is on the wrong path and that we must restore the government regulated, unionized economic model of the 1950s and 1960s. They support government propped up unions, trade restrictions, heavy handed regulation of banking and finance, government control of ground transportation and airlines, government control and subsidies for the media, public and private and a general cradle to grave management of individuals as part of the economy. This is a model that has been falling apart since the 1970s and is in full collapse since the 1990s.
Most of what passes for liberal and progressive thinking today is a reactionary response to economic and social changes the Left doesn’t like. The people who call themselves liberal in the United States today are fighting rearguard actions to save the policies and institutions of an economic system that has been eclipsed by technology, innovation and individual liberty.
We, on the other hand, support a philosophy grounded in individual freedom and limited government in which individuals are able to achieve whatever they are able through technological and economic innovation. We see a future in which people aren’t chained to a 1950s era assembly line but in which the industry of the people, in a hundred thousand corners of America, are able to build an economy that is dynamic and changing and sustainable without the heavy handed controls of the 20th century to which the left demands we return.
The irony is that the authors of this study believe that those demanding a return to the 1950s economy are forward thinkers and those embracing change and innovation and growth are stuck in the past.
Hat tip to Tony for the link.