September 30, 2011

A. BARTON HINKLE: What’s wrong with “extremism?”

Suppose that, in 1955, a Southern political candidate had declared segregation obscene, laws against ethnic intermarriage odious and the notion of racial supremacy grotesque. Suppose he organized bus boycotts and lunch-counter sit-ins and marches for civil rights. Suppose he promised to overturn Jim Crow as soon as he took office. If any candidate had done that, he would have been widely denounced as the “most extreme” you-know-what-lover ever.

He also would have been right.

Kind of like people today who say the jig is up for the post-New Deal era of bottomless spending, and actually mean it.