When I go to a baseball game (usually the Mets at Citi Field), I walk into the entry gate as my ticket is being validated and the first thing in view is the man at a portable counter with a horizontal sign overhead yelling “Program! Scorecard here!” Since I like to keep score, the first thing I do is purchase a scorecard and then advance either to my ticketed seat or to the field level to catch batting practice if I get to the game early enough. With respect to the New York Mets, I know the pitchers, catchers, infielders, and outfielders and with the exception of a few rookies and AAA callus, I know the uniform numbers as well. As for the visiting team, I know the superstars but everyone else the scorecard is very helpful indentifying those lesser know players.
Yesterday as I was doing an errant in Stratford, about 20 miles south of where I reside, I had the car radio on 710 AM WOR and I was listening to Rush Limbaugh. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, I find him very knowledgeable on how the Constitution and American government work. He was talking about how the Republican party needs to get swing and moderate voters to bet a Republican elected and one of the things he said was there are no crazies on the right, they are all on the left! My concern about this is fascists are quite crazy and they are usually associated with the far, far right. During the Cold War, the communists were on the far left and the fascists were on the far right. To clear this up so that such a remark can be understood properly and not dismissed as erroneous even though it may have relative value, we need to create a scorecard and know where to place people and ideas so we understand it properly.
The construction of the scorecard begins with the age-old continuum we are first introduced to in eight grade and expand on it in high school with the required American History course:
This continuum is considered to be time and space sensitive and can be viewed globally, i.e., with respect to the rest of the world, or locally, making the continuum region-selective. The continuum measures people and ideas relative to the status quo. In England, John Locke is considered the father of liberalism; however, his ideas today in both the United States and Great Britain would be regarded as modern conservatism. John Locke lived in England when the king had all the power, before power was shifted to the parliament. He lived under tyranny and oppression and therefore freedom and democracy were liberal ideas in seventeenth century England and to transform from absolute monarchy to representative democracy required drastic changes, making him a liberal rebelling against the establishment, the monarchy.
On the global continuum, Vladimir Putin in the Soviet Union of the 1980s would be considered a conservative as Russian Communism was the status quo. In the post Yeltsin era, he is considered more reactionary as his vision is to resurrect the Soviet empire. The global continuum requires a modification on the far right to go beyond reactionary and label it Radical Right.
Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Osama Bin Laden would considered Radical Right whereas Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, and Mao Zedong would be classified as Radical (left). ISIS would be Radical, not Radical Right, because they are not the Arab-Muslim establishment.
Globally, Mr. Limbaugh is wrong as confirmed by the aforementioned Radical Rightists. But he is spot on correct locally because in the United States of America, republic or representative democracy is the status quo and tyranny from either side would represent a radical change in this country. We have escaped the pearls of both fascism and Communism throughout the entire history of the U.S. Constitution. As I have mentioned in prior posts, there is a difference between a conservative and a reactionary and beware of reactionaries who market themselves as conservatives. The prophesies of conservatism can be fulfilled with sensible decisions both fiscally and socially but the prophesies of reactioarism (as it were) would require a time machine. We drink from the fountains inherited to us from our Founding Fathers, but we do not emulate our Founding Fathers who were mostly slave owners. We use their wisdom to guide us, use the Constitution as a rulebook, and America commits a foul whenever it violates the constitution
I ask all voters, especially registered Republicans who will be voting in caucuses and primaries very soon, to check each candidate on the scorecard and be sure to elect a conservative, not a reactionary. Understand that the Constitution is the ultimate status quo in America and limited government works the best with it because the status quo bequeathed unto us by this constitution clearly defines human rights, common law, and principles of proper operation of a representative democracy. The Constitution is not about never change anything and push a reset button labeled 1789, but rather that our Constitution was done right and that change comes with changing times but principles remain the same; ubiquitous in time, and new laws must check with this omnipotent document. And that the most important obligation all elected officials have is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Check your scorecard, Iowa and New Hampshire.