Friday, December 08, 2023

OPINION: Left-wing propaganda divisive and destructive

by DEAN HAAGENSON/Guest Opinion
| August 4, 2023 1:00 AM

It is no secret that we are experiencing serious right-wing extremism statewide and particularly in Kootenai County and the other Panhandle counties. The political success of the right-wing ideologues is quite evident, and the damage to principled and thoughtful governance has already been experienced.

The turmoil surrounding North Idaho College and the real threat to accreditation is a vivid example. The chaos has also appeared in the governance of the regional library district. The November 2022 election saw the defeat of a number of principled and thoughtful state legislators: Jim Woodward, Paul Amador, Jim Addis and Peter Riggs, to name a few.

While recognizing the threat to responsible governance and the damage to community cohesion resulting from the local rise of extremism, perhaps it is useful to consider why it is on the rise. I believe the present left-wing extremism that has captured the national Democratic Party is, if not the cause, certainly putting fuel on the fire. Some policies and social trends give reason for some to gravitate to the extreme right. I offer some questions to consider whether they are fuel:

How often have you seen a white man driving in an automobile commercial?

While two of the three legacy news anchors are white men, how many of the correspondents on those programs are white men, or men of any color?

When an incident occurs and a white man, especially a white cop, kills a Black man, it is headline national news with emphasis on the white man implying racial prejudice. Why when a Black man is the perpetrator and either a white or Black person is the victim, a picture may be shown, but no mention of the race of the perpetrator?

The Black population of the U.S. is less than 15% of the total. What percentage of the actors in TV commercials are Black with an Asian occasionally included?

When our current administration selects cabinet members or Supreme Court justices does it check the resumes or just check the boxes — race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.?

When did it become insufficient to accept the LGBTQ+ community but rather be required to celebrate it or risk being called a bigot?

Sex used to be determined at birth. How and why did it become fluid? Why are we required to learn new pronouns? Why must the larger community accommodate a small minority?

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, heatwaves and wildfires have happened forever, often more frequently in years past than recently. Why then are all current extreme weather events caused by climate change?

We are being gaslighted and subjected to left-wing propaganda designed to create an alternate reality. It is divisive and destructive.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that the above questions justify or support the extreme right-wing extremists and their attack on our community and community institutions. I am suggesting that the current extreme left-wing politics at the national level and its celebration of every crazy cultural development helps breed the right-wing extremism that we are witnessing. Can you imagine why a white nationalist message might resonate especially among the young feeling left behind and actually being left behind? Can‘t the fuel be reduced? Whatever happened to the Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Washington) pro-business and pro-defense variety of Democrats? Extremists of either the right or left are not capable of compromise or able to govern effectively.

The right-wing extremists like to call people like me RINOs: Republicans In Name Only. I accept their term though I call it “Responsible Individuals with Noble Objectives.”

Let us all do what we can to reduce the political temperature for our good and the good of our country.

• • •

Dean Haagenson is a former state representative and a resident of Hayden.

Recent Headlines