You’ve got to hand it to the right - they're brilliant when it comes to marketing. Polls routinely show just how unpopular their platform is, yet they continue to win elections at a relatively astounding rate. While this phenomenon is no doubt multifactorial, marketing certainly plays a big role. One of the tropes they have attempted, rather successfully, to shove down the American public’s throat is that they are the party of freedom. In this article, I will be going over 5 examples where the right is anti-freedom. I’m using the right as an umbrella term; when I say “the right," I refer to what the leadership on that side of the political spectrum has accomplished. In other words: sorry libertarians - you’re in the minority. Let’s get started.
1) Support for apartheid states
The American Right has a long and unsavory history of supporting countries that deny basic rights and freedoms to large segments of their populations. The two hallmark examples are apartheid South Africa and the modern state of Israel.
2) Fascist military dictatorships
While the right wing's support of dictators has been well documented, the role they played in facilitating the rise to power of various military juntas is seldom discussed. In 1973, under Republican President Richard Nixon, the CIA staged a coup against a democratically elected leftist and placed into power General Augusto Pinochet. What followed was an onslaught of mass atrocities. Under the newly-fascist state, tens of thousands of dissidents were tortured and thousands were executed. Death by ejection from helicopter became a famous practice under Pinochet. Another similar example of the right staging a coup and putting in place a military dictatorship can be seen in 1954 in Guatemala. Once again, the CIA, under a Republican president (Eisenhower), overthrew a democratically elected leftist and violently put their own gang of military and corporate stooges in his place.
3) Free Speech
It has been a recent trend among right-wingers to denounce “the left” as being anti-free speech. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This is coming from the people who voted for the ONLY candidate who made curtailing free speech (he called it strengthening libel laws) an important part of his campaign. Furthermore, their support of anti-BDS laws - state targeting of those who choose to boycotts Israeli companies - is clearly anathema to any reasonable person’s idea of what freedom of expression is.
4) Social Issues
Here's the most obvious one. On many social issues, like drugs and gay marriage, the right wing positions themselves as anti-freedom. They oppose the freedom for people to put whatever they want in their body and the freedom for someone to get hitched with whomever they choose. Simple enough, right?
5) Civil Liberties
Bush 43, Patriot Act, NSA - need I say more? It’s almost as if the right doesn’t care as much about the Constitution as they say they do.
While it's inaccurate to characterize the right as the side of freedom, it's also important to note that freedom, like any other concept, should be questioned and isn’t necessarily always the correct philosophy. Finding the balance between freedom, virtue, and order is one of the great conundrums of politics.