The EU

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Comment on BBC Mentality

At Samizdata we have this comment on the Geert Wilders Affair in the Netherlands.
And the fact the BBC calls him 'far right' tells you nothing useful about Geert Wilders' views but speaks volumes about the BBC.
The labels Left and Right are having less and less value as ways of accurately describing political ideas and ideals.

Regards  —  Cliff


Jack Mitchell said...

Fully concur. When Barack Obama is radical Left and Michelle Bachman is moderate Right, Houston we have a problem.

The New Englander said...

I'm no Geert Wilders apologist -- at all.

However, the terms "extreme right" and "xenophobe" get thrown around so quickly and easily in Europe anytime someone talks about the potential downsides of immigration or about preserving Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedish, etc. culture.

This is a point where I think the European nations differ from us...if you look at how and why the USA was both settled and founded, we are a melting pot. We have a long history of assimilation, and the motto on our coins still says "E Pluribus Unum" as I hope it always does.

All THAT said, I think when, say, French politicians talk about preserving their language and culture, they have a different ground to stand on. (When they talk about their secular ideals, it's also worth pointing out the story behind their bloody Revolution...regardless of when it technically ended, no one there has forgotten).

Ditto for other outlets call them reactionary and radical right-wingers when they talk about preserving their national culture/heritage, but when you look at what's going on around them, they have some valid fears. European voters will continue to back that up as long as they're sharing those concerns.

C R Krieger said...

Re Jack's comment, I agree with him that a two dimensional look at folks leaves a big hole.  Who is to the "right" of Rep Bachmann that makes her a "moderate right" and who is to the "right" of President Obama that makes him "radical left"?  Or, to the "left" of President Obama?

People are multi-dimensional and we need to look at them and characterize them as such.  And, can we reduce such a multi-dimensional look to a single score, helping us evaluate all candidates based upon our own ideas as to what is desired in each of the dimensions?

Regards  —  Cliff