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Extremism Is the New Race Card

There was a time in American politics when the “race card” was an effective Establishment strategy against arguments it could not refute logically. Regardless of how unrelated an issue may have been to race, the Establishment would try to make a connection in order to avoid confronting the troublesome argument. Alternatively, they might completely ignore the issue at hand and simply present evidence that the proponent himself was racist. So distasteful is racism to most Americans that the mere suggestion that a politician might be racist was enough to condemn any idea, policy, or position he might take, whatever its merits.

Today, that is no longer true. While hardcore liberals still try to use the race card to discredit anyone who opposes their policy positions, it is apparent that it no longer resonates with average Americans. It was always a strategy with a limited shelf life. Besides, it is only effective for one half of the Establishment. If the race card sounds hollow and timeworn coming out of the mouths of liberals, it sounds downright ridiculous when employed by conservatives.

Besides, the entire ruling Establishment is in trouble. Their welfare-warfare state is coming apart at the seams. While the blue team and the red team will continue to fight with each other, they both realize that average Americans are becoming more open to hearing from people who refuse to put on either jersey. Something must be done to stifle any reasonable consideration of these unapproved ideas. The ruling class needs a new pocket ad hominem, one that can be used by conservatives or liberals.

Extremism has filled the void. “Extremist” is a word that elicits an immediate emotional response. Thanks to the all-out propaganda campaign against extremism, average Americans immediately associate the word with images of bomb-laden Muslim terrorists or McVeigh-like “militia types,” both apocalyptic threats to all of humanity. The moment an argument is made that departs from the status quo, the tag of extremism is applied to its author in the attempt to deflect attention away from the argument itself.

The most discouraging aspect of this new slur tactic is its effectiveness. Not only is it employed by both conservatives and liberals, but it is immediately given credence by both sides as well. Recall any discussion you’ve had on a political issue. If a position is taken that is outside of the Mitt Romney-Hillary Clinton continuum, it is inevitable that someone in the room will allege extremism. Heads will immediately nod in agreement, as if merely uttering the word makes the allegation true. It is also assumed without question that any “extremist” position must be wrong. The result? The discussion goes back to the continuum. So it goes in millions of households and hundreds of millions of minds.

But what does the word “extremism” mean? Merriam-Webster defines it (in the most relevant of several definitions) as “going to extreme lengths.” Often, extremism is characterized as “too much of a good thing.” For example, one might agree that too many carbohydrates in one’s diet is not healthy, but consider eating no carbohydrates at all as “extreme.”

However, what does the word mean when applied to politics? If politics is the pursuit of justice, can any position be accurately characterized as “extremist?” Can there ever be too much justice?

Recently, freshman senator Rand Paul made an argument on the senate floor that equated the assertion of a “right to healthcare” with support of slavery. This was identical to the argument I made in Chapter 7 of my book. Of course, this immediately drew accusations of “extremism.” Certainly, the statement “Claiming a right to healthcare is claiming a right to enslave” is provocative, but does that make it “extremist?” Absolutely not. Extreme and moderate do not apply here. It is simply a fact.

There are some things that are not a matter of opinion. Anyone who has taken an introductory algebra class recalls the transitive property of equality. It states that if A = B and B = C, then A = C. A doesn’t “somewhat” equal C. It does not equal C most of the time. There is no moderate or extremist way to look at this theorem. It is absolutely true without exception or qualification.

This mathematical/logical principle applies directly to our example. Consider the following:

If (A) a right = (B) healthcare

And (B) healthcare = (C) the labor of other people

Then the right to healthcare must equal “a right to the labor of other people." The words “moderate” or “extreme” do not apply to this statement. It is simply true. One cannot partially agree or disagree with it.

In order to disagree with it, one must reject one of the first two statements in the theorem. Assuming that one does not want to reject the first statement (healthcare is a right), then one must take the absurd position that healthcare is not the labor of other people. Without accepting this absurdity, one cannot deny that a right to healthcare constitutes a right to the labor of other people. If that is not the definition of slavery, then what is?

In American politics, the practice of extorting the labor of one person in order to provide benefits to another is not limited to healthcare. It is ubiquitous. It is virtually all that the federal government does. Sometimes the recipients of these ill-gotten gains are rich people. Sometimes they are poor people. Sometimes they are people of moderate income. Regardless of who receives the benefits, the redistribution of wealth by the government is always predicated upon the idea that one person or group can have a right to the labor of another. If you believe slavery to be morally wrong, then government healthcare must be morally wrong. It follows that if it is wrong to extort money from some people to pay for the healthcare of others, then it must be wrong to do likewise to provide education, housing, medical research, energy, jobs – the entire government redistribution system must be immoral.

Most people would characterize this line of reasoning as extremism. In other words, an extremist is someone who employs logic and faces reality.

The Establishment uses “extremism” as a bromide. It provides a comfortable escape from those realities that most Americans are not ready to face. That the entire edifice of our society is built upon legalized theft is one of them.

Things are going to change. The American empire is coming down, one way or another. Economically, we have, as Margaret Thatcher put it, “run out of other people’s money.” We can go on limiting the solutions we are willing to consider to approved Establishment absurdities, like cutting $30 billion from a $1,600 billion deficit. Or, we can face reality and conclude that virtually our entire military establishment must be dismantled and our entire welfare state phased out. The former path leads to certain collapse. The latter offers a chance for survival. When you hear someone called an extremist simply for acknowledging reality, don’t take the bait. Like the race card, the extremist card attempts to make you stop thinking and retreat into self-delusion. At this point, that is the only way that anyone would tolerate the status quo. Denying reality may have worked in past decades, but it is much too late for that now. If reason, justice, and equity are extremism, then it is time to listen to the extremists.

Check out Tom Mullen’s book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

© Thomas Mullen 2011

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healthcare is slavery? really? No.

If (A) a right = (B) healthcare

And (B) healthcare = (C) the labor of other people

and (C) the labor of other people = (d) slavery ???

That argument can be picked apart by an eighth grader. I support some of Paul's ideas but this is just an example of a sound bite. I mean seriously. To hold water (c) the labor of other people would have to = (d) slavery which it doesn't because health care workers are compensated, and very well I might add. I think what people are trying to accomplish is AFFORDABLE healthcare, not free healthcare. I would have died recently if not for an emergency surgery for which I am now in debt over 30,000 dollars. So for one day in the hospital and a surgeons less than one hour of work I am indebted more than a new car. I am an independent I disagree with both parties but somehow the price we pay for these fundamental procedures needs to be addressed because in the end we pay for each others health care as it is. Does anyone you know pay cash for their health services? No. Their insurance pays for it. Insurance is based on the fact that most people will pay in more than they get back, right? How else would they stay in business. How can the average American address the price of goods or services received ? They pay for health insurance not health care. There is part of the problem. The middle man syndrome. Its a lottery and a rigged game. Rigged against the people. So because I opted out of the lottery I am now sacked with debt. Oh well I lose.

Tom Mullen's picture

and how are the healthcare workers compensated?

with money forcefully seized from other people. They earned that money with their labor. So they enslave the taxpayer to pay the doctor.

Rand Paul's statement merely attacked the assertion that healthcare is a right - he did not intimate that the health care providers really work for free. However, what really does happen is just as much slavery as his example.

Today, the government pays the doctor to treat the patient with money the govenrment seized from someone else. The person forced to pay is a slave - his labor is taken from him without his consent, just like an 1830 cotton picker.


The government only pays the bill if you are receiving medicare.. which people pay into their whole lives with a certain expectancy that if they pay someone elses way now, when they get old and can no longer pay someone will return the favor. I'm not debating the constitutionality of the federal income tax here. I was referring to private insurance as a reason to the rising cost of health care which causes a flawed system to become even more flawed. I'm not saying health care is a right, but consider the fact that people on trial have a right to representation which is in fact someone elses labor, which is in fact, written into the constitution. At that time, in our country there was an expectation that as a developed advanced society even the lowest of the low would not be treated with indifference. United we stand. Imagine as a kid your parents foot the bill for pretty much everything you do and then you grow up and move away and they call saying they have no money could you help and you say hell no, not my responsibility. I don't know maybe I am wrong here but it seems to me the reason that health care is so expensive is that the free market is influenced by wasteful government spending. If the government will pay x amount of dollars for something then the private insurance has to pay close to x amount of dollars for the same procedure. I think insurance is a scam anyway. Like I said if people payed cash for services the services would be less expensive. Also medicine is very heavily regulated which drives up cost not to mention the cost of malpractice insurance...lol. Once again theres an insurance company rearing its ugly head to drive up prices.

pro-slavery literature

pro-slavery advocates also argued that since the slave was compensated by food and shelter then the forced servitude was justified.

it is precisely that philosophy shared by those ancestors who allowed themselves to rationalize slavery, like you are doing today.

Well Said Troy!!

Though I did not read the comment that preceded this one, I just like the logical way you framed it. Good job

Some arguments I have heard.

Problem is most progressives would agree with your syllogism. Progressives believe people have a right to other peoples labor. Taxation is considered proof. They would argue slavery is evil because of the degree, not a principle. Progressives will clearly explain that government by consensus is good, by which they mean better than plutocracy, the imagined alternative. More generally they view society in a state of economic competition and they believe the People should vote for their economic self-interest; if they can get more healthcare by voting, they should vote for more healthcare. They believe that people who vote otherwise are ignorant, brainwashed and fearful of the conservatives' imaginary god. All other opposing opinions are similarly evidence of attempts by plutocrats to use media outlets such as Limbaugh for social control. thereby getting hillbillies to vote against their economic self interest. Liberals believe property rights have no special status and could easily be replaced by enforced sharing.

Progressives believe this because they are collectivists.

They don't recognize the right of the individual not to be enslaved for the "good" of others.

They basically have no problem with slavery. They think healthcare is somehow a "right", and they will hold a gun to your head to get it. Since they are too squeamish to hold the gun themselves, they empower government goons to do it for them, who are all too happy to oblige in exchange for votes.

Ann in Florida

"It's not extreme enough!" The judo tactic.

The best response when being "accused" of extremism is to simply say, "It's not extreme enough!"

This tactic reminds me of that Southpark episode where everyone was running around "accusing" each other of being straight. Haha. Say it enough times using a derogatory tone, and people start to think it must not be cool.

Good Read

Glad to see I'm not the only one who has picked up on the new go-to debate stifler.

The right may not be able to play the (black) race card effectively, but they hold the most powerful card in the deck; the anti-Semite card. It can also be used a beefed up version of the race, religion, culture, or holocaust card at will.

A signature used to be here!

Great article. Thanks.

Great article. Thanks.