What do Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter all have in common, aside from the fact that history will judge them to be among the most successful people in their respective fields? Why, they're right-wing extremists, of course, and although one of them is no longer with us, he's still regarded with as much contempt as any living conservative, by people like Dan Rather and Ted Kennedy.
Funny how the most popular conservatives are always labeled extremists by left-wingers and their lapdogs in the "mainstream" media. Apparently in the minds of liberals, if the majority of people find you to be bright, articulate, charismatic, talented, and well informed, you must be evil incarnate.
Indeed, if you've been voted the 'Greatest American' (1) of all time in a national poll by millions of your fellow citizens, created the most popular program (2) in the history of talk radio, or written 5 consecutive non-fiction bestsellers (3), you deserve nothing but ridicule from those enlightened few who, for some inexplicable reason, have a popularity rating on par with brussel sprouts.
Moreover, anyone who is outspoken about his beliefs, and refuses to compromise on his fundamental principles risks being pigeon-holed as an extremist in this politically correct day and age, especially if he's a conservative, and God forbid he should use disrespectful terms when reflecting upon the absurd antics of looney-tune lawmakers like Nancy Pelosi. Why, that sort of rhetoric is simply uncalled for, no matter how insanely incompetent the object of such ridicule may be.
In the eyes of a lot of journalists, only "moderates" are deserving of praise, because their aim is to "bridge the gap" between the left and the right. Of course, it doesn't seem to matter that for liberals and conservatives to reach an agreement on virtually any morally-based issue, one of the two sides has to sell out their core values... that is, assuming that liberals actually have core values. But then, appearances are far more important than little things like honor and integrity to many contemporary news reporters.
Folks in the political middle are often characterized by the drive-by press as being "above the fray", and more reasonable than other people, but in reality they are just as disrespectful in their rhetoric as everyone else. The main difference between a "moderate" and an "extremist" is that the latter of the two is more interested in doing what he believes to be right than being patted on the back by a group of people who would gladly stab him there five minutes later, if doing so would afford them higher ratings.
Yours truly has been called an extremist on numerous occasions, mostly because I stick to my guns on issues like abortion, capital punishment, religious expression in the public square and affirmative action, and some middle-of-the-road acquaintances of mine can't seem to understand why I'm so unwilling to reach "common ground" with their left-wing friends on these topics. Well, just in case you're still wondering, Mr. and Mrs. center-lane, it's because I'M RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG, and I'd have to be a schmuck on wheels to water down my opinions just to make you or anyone else feel better.
If you disagree with me, either prove me wrong or shut the hell up, but whatever you do, don't waste my time with your touchy-feely, can't-we-all-just-get-along, gibberish! The only people who annoy me more than liberals are people who swear they're not liberals, but then go out of their way to try and convince me that liberalism is as valid and moral an ideology as conservatism.
Just the other day an individual who claimed to be politically purple in orientation wrote me a rather testy letter in which he referred to me as "an obnoxious right-wing extremist", because I once wrote that Senator Dick Durbin is a traitor. I wrote back to him that in my opinion Dick Durbin IS a traitor, and that saying so is no more extreme than calling him a pathetic waste of space. Hey, if the shoe fits...
But even though he really hacked me off, I would still like to take a moment now to thank Ari from Long Island for sharing his feelings with me. After all, not every op-ed columnist can boast of being maliciously attacked by a complete stranger for merely telling the truth, and I know my newfound pen pal isn't alone in his disdain for me, as past emails from my many other "fans" have demonstrated.
Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if thousands of people I've never met, will never meet, and wouldn't want to be seen standing next to if I did, consider me to be as pernicious as lung cancer, and just thinking about that possibility brings a smile to my face. The way I see it, once a conservative writer has built up a loyal following of disgruntled moderates and leftist moonbats, who have nothing better to do with their time than write snotty, degrading messages to him, that writer has truly come into his own, and I look forward to the day when I find my email inbox crammed to the gunwales with abusive messages from people like good ol' Ari.
No matter what happens though, you can bet I'll be the same uncompromising fellow tomorrow that I was yesterday, because I'd rather be unpopular and right, than well-liked and wrong, and anyone who can't grasp that simple concept is lame... in the EXTREME!
Edward L. Daley is the Founder of the Conservative Convention 2007 Project - http://cc2007.us