There is a lot of nuance to politics. Surely, it is due to the fact politics are comprised of people, which are themselves nuanced, but just as rhetoric tends to do with people, rhetoric tends to generalize politics. What I mean is words have meaning, and the English language has nuance to describe shades of colors, as it does to describe shades of politics.
Much of modern political rhetoric consists of people throwing out the terms "the Left" and "the Right." People talk about leftists or conservatives in broad strokes, and it does nothing to help political discussion when half of the dialogue is clarification. For instance, I can say, "the Right believes we should create a white ethnostate and also believes in lower taxes." Now, that statement might be inflammatory to some, which is its purpose, but bear with me.
Young Americans for Freedom was recently on Mississippi State University's campus, and their signs said something to the gist of, "conservatives are not Fascists." We could have the argument there is a disturbing historical precedent and present occurrence of a political coalition of fascists and conservatives, but I would agree they are not one and the same.
True political conservatives are socially and economically, who would have guessed, conservative. YAF, as defined by Steven Inring of the Encyclopedia Britannica, was founded in 1960 upon the "new conservatism" of its founder, William F. Buckley Jr.
"Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), American youth organization based on conservative principles, notably limited government, traditional social values, and free enterprise," Inring explains.
What is fascism, then? Fascism is a somewhat nebulous term to pin down, but for a start, Robert Soucy of Encyclopedia Britannica describes the aspects of fascism as "extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites" and the want for a populous subservient to the needs of the state, rather than the individual.
I have already let the cat out the bag and said my peace about the possibility for fascists and conservatives to be bedfellows. If you do not remember, the Charlottesville, Virginia white nationalist rally in August 2017 was labelled "Unite the Right." If you do not think fascists are on the Right, they certainly think so themselves, and members of white nationalist groups are intent on legitimizing their views by association.
For an example of such legitimization, current Republican Rep. Steve King, as reported by Cleve R. Wootson Jr. of The Washington Post, has lamented the fact "white supremacist" has become derogatory, tweeted "our civilization" cannot be restored with "someone else's babies" and claimed black mothers could afford abortions if they stopped buying iPhones. King is a racist, disgusting and monstrous man who does not deserve the office he holds, but as Tony Leys with the Des Moines Register writes, he plans to run again on the GOP ticket in 2020, claiming he has nothing to apologize for.
His position in Congress gives credence to both the ideas that the GOP is a place for such ideas and that those ideas are politically acceptable enough in America to have political power. Since King was reelected in 2018, after many of these remarks had been made, it is an unsettling idea to consider.
So, let us discuss political generalization in the article about political generalizations. In light of all this talk of fascism and conservatism, why is it bad to generalize? Well, many conservatives would take issue with my assertion, "the Right wants to create a white-ethnostate," and they would be right to.
Most people on the large, vague political construct we call the Right do not feel like creating a white ethnostate, and most, emphasis on most, are not bad people. I would personally say they are wrong about many things, but I would not say they are all white nationalists, which is an important distinction.
Similarly, it is frustrating to hear rhetoric painting the entirety of the Democratic Party as socialists because of the media prominence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There is a distinct difference between democratic socialists and liberals, and the assumption Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden are suddenly radically new politicians because more socialists than Bernie Sanders are now openly in the Democratic Party is asinine.
To be clear, I am not drawing similarities between socialists and fascists in an ideological way. I am drawing similarities between how the media, politicians and others paint politics with broad brushes because of a select few in power. All Democrats are not socialists, and all Republicans are not fascists. There are socialists in the Democratic Party, and there are fascists in the Republican Party.
It helps no one to say leftists, when talking about liberal Democrats, believe in socialism, and it helps no one to say conservatives, when talking about crypto-fascists, believe in white supremacy. General statements are good for many things, but politics, that which governs our very existence, is no time for generalities. Call fascists fascist. Call socialists socialist. Do not, for the love of God, call Nancy Pelosi a socialist.