John Livingston

The Political Theory of Relativity

Several times this week while listening to political pundits on both sides of the spectrum the word “Extremism” or “EXTREMIST” has been used. The Big question for me is who decides what is extreme? King George certainly felt that the Colonial American Patriots were extreme. Members of the Jewish religious hierarchy certainly felt that Jesus was extreme. Roman rulers felt the early Church Fathers were extreme. Maybe the word “threatening” should be used to replace the word extreme.

How far away from one’s political adversary on the political spectrum do you have to be to call your opponent extreme? Certainly, Marxist political and economic theory is “extremely” different than Republicanism and capitalism. In relationship to each other are these positions each extreme when compared to each other? What about when they stand alone? Who decides and doesn’t that really make a difference? Maybe Joey Bahar or Whoopie Goldberg should decide!

A secular humanist friend thinks I am extreme because of my PRO-LIFE POSITIONS. One of my neighbors thinks I am extreme because I fly The American Flag and Idaho Flag in front of my house every day. It happens to be my opinion that medical professionals are extreme in their beliefs and positions when they create the illusion of sexual ambiguity and then profit by claiming that “science has an answer” to such a problem that is far more complex than science. We fail to understand the limitations of temporal material means to answer spiritual—my liberal progressive friends would use the word “existential” wrongly, to describe these types of complex problems. “Settled science” and “the law” means to an end, and never the whole answer. Neither is capable of answering completely these types of questions.

And that to me is precisely the point. Political opponents calling each other extreme is a lazy way to paralyze debate. Instead of debating principles and policy you call your opponent a name. It is a cheap ad hominem attack.

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The political left has purposefully tried to confuse the words extremism, ultraism, and radicalism, especially after January 6th. Their line of thinking is that radicalism involves thought and not action whereas extremism involves action based on ideology. This is creating a political moral equivalency and an obfuscation of language at its best. Camouflaging ideas and thoughts that have real meaning with words that have changed their meaning is as old as antiquity. Today conservative principles are grounded in classical liberal political and economic theories. Anti federalists became Republicans, who became Democrats. Federalists became Whigs who became Republicans. The labels changed—the ideas didn’t.

The creation of false political narratives based on fantasies and theories that have at more than any other time in history been proven to be false, creates a void for those in the ruling and media classes that can only be addressed by diverting our attention to the realities of the real world. Only they have the answers to these theoretical questions. Only they can save us from ourselves—so they want us to believe.

Where has totalitarian socialism ever worked? Is progressivism very different? Where, when evil is allowed to change an argument with false words or false ideas, have the lives of everyday people ever been made better? Using words like equity and equality in the same sentence when those words represent very different ideas is purposeful and creates again a false narrative. The same thing with “social justice” and “Biblical Justice”. What about when government spending is described as an “investment” or a tax is a contribution or a government handout is a form of charity—ask “we feed them” Nancy Pelosi or Bosie Democrat Lauren Necochea: “The ways in which we care for one another. the best ways we do this as Idahoans is through Medicaid” which “provides necessary care for our children, pregnant Idahoans, seniors who need nursing home care, and both adults and children with disabilities.” — LN 

Again, the implication has no moral predicate. A government program that may have a place can never take the place of “true charity”—a covenant relationship between giver and receiver to which God is a party. We are called first to give of ourselves to others. We are advised to only “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars”. A government transfer payment is not charity. It may even make us think that we are being “charitable” by legislating transfer payments to those in need.

The final danger being played out today by those “in the know” legacy classes in both parties—aka Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff et al, is that the blurring of words and ideas can be turned into a political narrative that can be used as a lever against one’s opponents by politicians and bureaucrats in government who do their bidding—or is it now the other way around(?). One such career government commissar opined—and here is the danger:

“The terms radicalism and extremism are often used synonymously in everyday language. From the point of view of security authorities’ radicalism is the forerunner of extremism. (The idea proceeds the action jml). Security authorities draw the line when it comes to extremism when violence becomes the means to a political end … Ideologies are not recognized”. DON’T BELIEVE THAT! Read what James Madison had to say about that in Federalist 10—The violence of faction.

I enjoy The Latin Mass. When I accept the host and say Amen has the action been completed? By saying I believe am I an extremist or am I just in the process of being radicalized?

Who decides? Isn’t that the point?

It all seems to be so relative. It is in the end “In the eyes of the beholder”.

That is not what our Founding Fathers and our Founding documents had in mind.

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3 replies on “The Political Theory of Relativity”

The Declaration of Independence is the most well recognized founding document. it is also eerily prescient for our times and gives us a clear path to pursue.

Sadly, labels are used on BOTH sides of the aisle. I have a good many conservative friends who are labeled by other conservatives as “RINOS” simply because they do not walk in lock-step with the preferred candidates of the latter. I have been labeled as a RINO by those who actually support documented liars and do so because those liars are “not so-and-so” and that is all that matters. I have watched local GOP members DESTROY fellow members because they do not idolize preferred legislators. I have seen good, productive, hard-working members of the local GOP get run out of their positions because they choose to think for themselves. Yes, the left is famous for labeling and language is twisted for nefarious purposes. Sadly, the “right” is not without sin in this area.

Rob Ann

Couldn’t agree with you more.

Republicans are throwing “haymakers” at each other. Nationwide 33% of the country is Republican, 33% Democrat and 33% indpendent. The more we wittle down our base, the more independents we have to win. My guess is in a national election we will have to win 65% of the independent vote. Locally, outside fiancial sources are impacting local elections and traditional Idaho candidates with Idaho values are under assault.

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