The Daily Scoop: My break with the extreme right

I worked for Reagan and wrote for National Review. But the new hysterical right cares nothing for truth or dignity


I was always way ahead of the curve. And my exposés primarily appeared in right-wing publications. Back when they were interested in serious research. I also founded a conservative college newspaper, held positions in the Reagan administration and at several conservative think tanks, and published five books that conservatives applauded. I’ve written for umpteen major conservative publications – National Review, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, among them.

But no longer. That was the old right. The last thing hysteria promoters want is calm, reasoned argument backed by facts. And I’m horrified that these people have co-opted the name “conservative” to scream their messages of hate and anger.

Extremism in the defense of nothing

Nothing the new right does is evidently outrageous enough to receive more than a peep of indignation from the new right.

When did I end up in bed with Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber? Could it be because I did specialize in blowing things up while serving my country for four years as an airborne combat engineer? I also watched human beings blown up. I had friends and Navy SEALs I was in battle with blown up. My own intestines exploded on the first of my four combat embeds, three in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Took seven operations to fix the plumbing. I later suffered other permanent injuries.

Yet now I find myself linked not only with the Unabomber, but also Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. Or so says the Chicago-based think tank the Heartland Institute, for which I’ve done work. Heartland erected billboards depicting the above three declaring: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Climate scientists now, evidently, share something in common with dictators and mass murderers. Reportedly bin Laden was scheduled to make such an appearance, too.

You see, I’ve published articles saying I do “believe in global warming.” Yes, I’ve also questioned the extent to which man-made gases have contributed to that warming and concluded that expenditures to reduce those emissions would be as worthless as they’d be horrifically expensive. No matter; just call me “Ted.” Or “Charlie.” Or “Fidel.”

Read more…

4 Comments to “The Daily Scoop: My break with the extreme right”

  1. Simply wow … and verification of rule by the wackos.

  2. Although I am not old enough to remember it (err – actually I was not yet born!) – I am not unaware of The Cuban Missile Crisis but… does this – or anything else – explain the USA’s antipathy towards Fidel Castro? I don’t think so. I think The United States of America (or the GOP at least) needs to get over its superiority complex already; and stop being so unbelievably hypocritical: If you (or they) want to take a principled position in relation to Marxist dictators then you (they) had better stop buying cheap oil from Venezuela.

    Although I am no Marxist — in fact I am not a prisoner to any ideology other than perhaps ecologism (i.e. the ecocentric [but not misanthropic] equivalent of anthropocentric environmentalism) — I do think that Western democracies could actually learn a lot from Latin America: Despite all the negatives (which I do not dispute), Cuba is probably one of the most environmentally-sustainable societies on the planet (an achievement borne out of necessity due to the collapse of the USSR and isolation from the USA).

    This and more I learnt from reading Derek Wall’s No Nonsense Guide to Green Politics (2010), which I reviewed here: I would recommend it to all because, irrespective of any existing political bias, I believe it will challenge many preconceptions held by anyone open-minded enough to read it.

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