Monday, March 05, 2007

U.S. History (and Canadian Prophecy?)

Atrios has a post today on the mainstreaming of radical right-wing ideas in the US. Money quote:
"Over the last few decades we've seen just about every radical conservative idea be completely mainstreamed into our politics and discourse, while at the same time the Noble Defenders of the Left Flank like Joe Lieberman Weekly and Joe Klein have valiantly fought to ensure that every political idea or thought to their left on the rough political spectrum is declared to be "extremist." It's marginalization rhetoric which paints those who those who have those ideas as not just wrong, but actually ineligible to have a seat at the debate table."
This is, I think, a fair assessment of the success of far-right groups in the US in the past two decades. I can't help but think that this is exactly what Stephen Harper wants to import. It's been said that he wants to shift Canadian politics so that the Conservatives are the new "natural governing party" of this nation. The new cadre of editors at Macleans, the alarmist (and alarming) Ezra Levant and his rag, as well as a variety of think-tanks (Fraser among others) are more than willing to facilitate this mainstreaming of radical right-wing ideas.

Conservatives of both the small and big "c" variety are feeling ascendant in this country. The challenge will be to respond to their attempts at driving national discourse. In the US they were aided and abetted by a complacent and sometimes sympathetic media, we have no reason to assume the media will behave differently here.

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