In my early teens, I was a Labour Party supporter and given my belief that anything that could be nationalized should be, based on what might be described as social justice concerns, it put me to the left of this leftist party. On leaving university, I was apolitical but based on what I observed and if pressed I was more Conservative leaning than Labour having seen the drawbacks of too much government but more importantly the need to uphold the rule of law. I never did become an outright supporter of any party from that point on and my record shows me to be what was once termed as a “floating voter”, and tending to vote for the individual rather than party, often differing when it came to national and local elections.
Some who read my blogs might think I am right wing and some might think I am extreme. Because these terms are not always well defined, especially “extreme”, that is for others to judge but, in my defense, the social justice concerns I had in my youth have never left me and, while it would be too simplistic to say the left are more likely to represent these than the right, I have met many whose politics are right leaning who get social justice. In my daily news roundup, I watched a clip from US conservative broadcaster, Tucker Carlson, criticizing prospective Democrat presidential candidates all declaring they would give free health care to illegal immigrants. While the issues are convoluted, the US system differs from the UK etc., based on my experience I tend to disagree with Carlson.
I was interested to listen to today’s BBC Radio 4 “Thought for the day” installment when the speaker referred to the son of a Nazi war criminal that was executed for his crimes, who recently wrote that he could see some of the signs that led to the rise of Nazism happening in today’s Germany. I have been listening to an excellent BBC documentary titled “Rise of the Nazis” which besides providing an accurate portrayal of how Nazism gained power with evil consequences to follow begged the question that the same could so easily happen today, a view I share. But is the danger more likely to come from the extreme left and extreme right? I see the tell tale signs from both sides, even though if mainstream media is to be believed the danger is more likely to come from the right as this hit piece: “Is President Trump Fascist? | NYT Opinion” argues. Besides attacking Trump, those who raise concerns of a rise in fascism point to the various popularist uprisings happening in many places world wide e.g. Orban – Hungary and Bolsonaro – Brazil and even UK’s own Boris Johnson, as evidenced by his recent proroging of Parliament, fearing right wing dictatorships and worse.
While not dismissive of these concerns, I don’t quite see it that way even though I agree we would do well to bring leaders to account, which in a democracy is still possible, at least in principle. It seems to me that Trump, and also Johnson, has been opposed by both the legislature and judicial branches of government and often unhelpfully so, give the branch he leads, the executive, should be allowed to govern, albeit with the necessary checks and balances. In Trump’s case, and to a slightly lesser extent Johnson. Trump has also been opposed by the rich and powerful, including mainstream media, civil servants and academia and his “antics” are often a reaction but with support by the overlooked “deplorables”. As for threats from the right, they exist to be sure but also to consider is more damage was done in terms of lives lost under Communism and other far left entities than Fascist leaning ones. Recent violence has been perpetrated by groups like Antifa. From my reading of “Dark Agenda” there are many examples of lives ruined, albeit not by violence, by leftists attacking those who question their “progressive” agenda. As for the “Left” agenda, often portrayed as progressive or to do with social justice, there are as many, if not more, parallels with Communism as with the “Right” gravitating to Fascism.
We do live in disturbing times and the danger of extremism is ever before us. Right versus left is but one of the issues facing us and, in my view, both ideologies are flawed. I see a much bigger conflict between globalism and nationalism and the rise of radical Islam and damage caused due to rampant secularism, moral relativism and the marginalization of Christianity. There is much we don’t have control over, and we have to accept that reality, but it is well to watch what is going on and be vigilant. Going back to the rise of the Nazis documentary, I believe if more good people had spoken out and acted things may have turned out differently. In any case we can / should be on the side of right / truth and trust in God.