Sunday, February 10, 2008

These are NOT our natural friends

There's a lot of matters where I am in strong disagreement with Tim Montgomerie but that's what healthy debate does for you. But there's one matter where he and I are very much in agreement and that is the way the fringe nutters in the US Republican Party do so much to damage the cause of conservatism with their rampant bigotry and naieve view of the world. Tim highlights this again in his post CentreRight: The Ann Coulter problem and shows the following picture of car stickers being sold at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC):

Well okay a few are bearable (e.g. "Proud Republican" and "Mitt Romney for President") but the bigotry and personal abuse is such that I almost feel sorry for Hillary Clinton - and that really takes some doing. If stickers like the racist "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for deportation", the homophobic "Republican Women like Men" or the sexist "KFC Hillary Special - 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts, ... Left Wing" (or a T-shirt comparing the landmark abortion Supreme Court ruling with the Holocaust) appeared alongside those for any significant British politician, they, their party and the very ideology would be rightly crucified from all sides. That wouldn't be any "liberal bias" (and the US right needs to learn what "liberal" really means), that would be the ordinary, decent humanity of the vast majority rejecting twisted bigotry.

Now you may thing that this is just the product of an extreme fringe. But it's a very popular fringe with Ann Coulter having no remote counterpart in terms of popularity or outspokeness (or the ability to leave Jeremy Paxman gobsmacked) on the right in the UK. Tim is right to clearly and openly distance himself and others from this extremism.

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