The Enemy Within

Dear American subjects:

Your recently unified government, in powerful alliance with leaders of technology, media, finance, and academia, is resolutely committed to the exposure and destruction of right-wing extremists, and the eradication of their hateful ideology.

The presence of these domestic terrorists within our borders is now by far the most clamant threat to the revised and reformed United States of America that we seek to create. It is vitally important that they be flushed out and neutralized—by re-education if possible, but by any means necessary.

All Americans must join this effort with patriotic enthusiasm. (Any reluctance you may encounter can only be due to precisely the sort of extremist beliefs that we are so rightly concerned about.)

In order to help us ferret out these undesirables, you will need to be able to identify them. We offer here a list of some of the opinions and beliefs that we have determined to be characteristic of right-wing political extremism, and that establish criteria to distinguish treasonous thought-criminals from the good Americans we all need to become. 

These false and dangerous ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • Holding a favorable opinion of former President Donald J. Trump; 
  • Suspecting that there might have been manipulative malfeasance in the recent election;  
  • Wondering whether Joseph R. Biden might, due to such malfeasance, have been illegitimately elected; 
  • Believing that, for political reasons, the possibility of election-rigging was insufficiently investigated; 
  • Having any inclination to support Donald Trump’s future political ambitions, such as they may be; 
  • Hesitancy to accept that Donald Trump deliberately, and thereby treasonously, provoked a violent assault on the United States Capitol; 
  • Finding it odd that a single day of protest at the Capitol is seen as an existential crisis for the nation, justifying the deployment of tens of thousands of troops—while a year of riotous disturbances that caused billions in property damage, widespread injuries and deaths, and included destructive assaults on federal property, is no big deal; 
  • Holding any of a number of more general opinions about society, culture, and politics, including: 
  • Believing that the Earth has warmed and cooled by natural processes throughout its history, and that our power to control this is limited; 
  • Believing that the costs of trying to control the climate must be weighed against other concerns; 
  • Believing that the United States, though imperfect, represents a noble, and historically exceptional, experiment in human self-government; 
  • Believing that the great figures of American history, in particular the founders, are worthy of admiration; 
  • Believing that Americans should respect their flag, and should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance; 
  • Believing that we are endowed with inalienable rights as a matter of natural law; 
  • Believing that among those inalienable rights are the rights to hold whatever opinions one likes, and to express those opinions; 
  • Believing that we have a natural right to defend our lives and property, and to resist oppressive government, and therefore to acquire and possess the means to do so; 
  • Believing that there are natural, inborn variations and differences between individuals, and between the sexes; 
  • Believing that these natural differences will, in a free society, quite naturally result in different behaviors, inclinations, choices, and life outcomes; 
  • Believing that there are two biological sexes, and that they differ in ways that actually matter; 
  • Believing that long-separated human populations may quite naturally exhibit different statistical distributions of heritable characteristics (but that this tells us nothing, in advance, about any individual human being); 
  • Believing that the preservation of fundamental liberties is at least as important as the regulation and equalization of life outcomes; 
  • Believing that the pursuit of an unnatural “equity” by government force necessarily entails corresponding infringements of liberty and creates new inequalities of power and access to power; 
  • Believing that unborn children are living human beings, and are therefore morally entitled to protection against lethal violence; 
  • Believing that crime statistics show that the overwhelming majority of violence against black people is committed by other black people, not whites, and that interracial violence is mostly committed by blacks against whites, not the reverse; 
  • Believing that a nation that does not control its borders cannot remain a nation for long; 
  • Believing that throughout its history there has been a common American culture, based on ancient Western legal and religious customs, and united by a common language, that immigrants should aspire to assimilate to; 
  • Believing that socialism, radical multiculturalism, and “critical race theory” are dangerous and corrosive ideologies that work to damage the health and cohesion of the American nation; 
  • Believing that serving the interests of America and its citizens should be the basis of American immigration policy; 
  • Believing that any nation that teaches its children to despise its history and its heroes sows the seeds of its own destruction; 
  • Believing that a nation must foster commonality and civic virtue in order to survive; 
  • Believing that setting one group of citizens against another merely on the basis of race or sexual identity can only foster and encourage enmity and discord; 
  • Believing that people should be treated as unique individuals, responsible for their own behavior, opinions, and choices, rather than as mere placeholders in this or that identity group; 
  • Believing that not treating all free adults as having responsible agency for their life choices and outcomes, and instead automatically blaming anonymous others on the basis of race or sex, is as infantilizing, racist, and paternalistic as any aspect of “White Man’s Burden” colonialism ever was; 
  • Believing that there such a thing as objective reality, which we deny at our peril; 
  • Believing in a Supreme Being as the transcendent source of Truth and Good, and of our natural rights; 
  • Believing that traditions are mankind’s way of preserving time-tested, pragmatic wisdom about what is and is not conducive to human flourishing; 
  • Believing that healthy and enduring societies are similar, in their vast complexity and hidden origins, to living organisms; 
  • Believing that no person or group of persons knows enough about the organic complexity of human societies to significantly re-engineer them without causing unforeseeable harm; 
  • Believing that because of the near-certainty of causing harm, tinkering with the foundations of society should be done slowly and cautiously; 
  • Believing that what has always been considered “normal” might be so for far more than merely arbitrary reasons, and so should not be lightly discarded; 
  • Believing that democracy in itself is simply one form of government among many, with conspicuous liabilities of its own; 
  • Believing that the right measure of any government is whether or not it governs well; 
  • Believing that the nation was rightly founded as a federal republic of sovereign states, with a properly limited role for raw democracy; 
  • Believing that the Electoral College is an essential bulwark for the people of the smaller states against the tyranny of the larger; 
  • Believing that the quality of government under democracy can only be as good as the quality of the people themselves and that in such a system the corruption of the people is every bit as dangerous as the corruption of any other sovereign; 
  • Believing that any government can decline into tyranny and that the people have not only the right but also, as stewards of their nation, the duty to resist tyranny when it appears; 
  • Believing that the traditional civic virtues of industry, thrift, self-reliance, faith, patriotism, and self-governance are essential for the survival of the American republic; 
  • Believing that excessive reliance upon the beneficence and guidance of the State to provide for life’s needs and well-being is corrosive to personal and civic virtue, and to the health of the nation; 
  • Believing that Western civilization has produced towering, sublime achievements of art, literature, science, mathematics, philosophy, discovery, prosperity, and human happiness, and has bequeathed all of this to us as a priceless heritage—and that as stewards of this incomparable legacy we have a duty, perhaps above all other duties, to cherish and preserve it for our children, and for our children’s children; 
  • Believing that we are no wiser than those who came before us, and very possibly far less wise; 
  • Believing that the past has many lessons to teach us, but that to judge it, not in its own context, but rather on the fleeting criteria, fashions, and prejudices of our own moment in time, is a conceited and dangerous error; 
  • Believing that if we despise and erase the past, we break the great chain of transmission that binds a civilization across generations and centuries, and so become, in the words of Edmund Burke, “little better than the flies of a summer.”

We hope this helps. This is far from an exhaustive list of these dangerous and contagious ideas, but it should go a long way toward enabling you to identify political extremists among your friends, family, and co-workers, and to know when to take appropriate action. 

If you suspect that someone you are in contact with may, in fact, be harboring one or more of these beliefs or opinions, you should contact someone in a position of authority such as your human resources manager, a member of your city council, or a journalist.

If we all work together to eliminate this enemy within, we can transform America in ways that previous generations would never have imagined possible. Thank you for your compliance. 

About Malcolm Pollack

Malcolm Pollack is a recording engineer and writer living in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He blogs at malcolmpollack.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mtpollack.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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