In this article, I will attempt to correct some of the disinformation that has been spread by certain members of the right wing. I have compiled a list of the top 5 right wing myths. So, without further ado, let’s get to debunking!
While the wording used comes specifically from conservative radio host Steven Crowder, this is a sentiment that has been expressed by many thought leaders on the right such as Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager. Obviously, this could not be further from the truth. Hitler was in no ways a leftist. For starters, he decried Marxism saying things such as “...the future of the German nation is the question of destroying Marxism” and constantly claiming that Marxism was an integral part of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.
Hitler and the Nazis also banned trade unions and worker strikes. They also privatized all 11 state firms that had been previously nationalized by their predecessors. In fact, the very term “privatization” was popularized by The Economist in their description of Nazi economic policies.
The Nazis also relaxed gun control and made providing an abortion to “Aryan” women a capital offense. They were just about as socially conservative as humanly possible. There was nothing about Hitler and the Nazis that was left-wing.
While Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party, it is important to take that with a heavy helping of salt. After all, what’s in a name? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is by no means a democracy, for example. The utilization of left wing rhetoric by fascists to gain popular support is a well known phenomenon.
4. DR3 (Democrats are the real racists)
This one is a doozy. It starts with the correct premise that the Republicans were the party of abolition while the Democrats were the racist party. Where it goes wrong is where is asserts that this is still somehow the case today. An integral part of this myth includes denial of the Southern Strategy- a Nixonian electoral strategy in which the Republican party courted racist white voters to try to break up the southern Democratic stronghold. This denial comes despite prominent conservatives such as Michael Steele and Lee Atwater admitting to the strategy being real.
While it is true that the Democrats were the party of the KKK, ask yourself: who is the party of the KKK today? Well, the Ku Klux Klan officially endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Furthermore, at the alt-right ‘Unite The Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, many marchers were seen wearing Make America Great Again hats. Am I saying that all Republicans are racist? Not by a long shot. But, racists have certainly found a home in the current day Republican party in ways that they have not in the current day Democratic party.
3. America was founded on Judeo-Christian values
We are a secular nation whose Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion. None of the “Founding Fathers” were Jewish and many were not Christian. In fact Thomas Jefferson, possibly the most famous “Founding Father”, was a deist and famously said, “...the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”.
And by the way- what exactly are “Judeo-Christian values”? If you have an answer, please let me know in the comments.
2. Trickle down economics
In short, “trickle down economics” is the idea that cutting taxes for the rich will lead to a trickling down of wealth to the lower classes. This is due to the idea that, with the extra money in their pockets, they are more likely to invest and employ more people, thus benefiting the economy as a whole. However, billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett- who, notably, would be one of the people who stands the most to gain from such an economic system- disagrees:
Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund has found that there is correlation between cutting taxes and economic output. And with income inequality increasing at near exponential rates, I think it is safe to say that this myth’s days are numbered.
1. The Native American Genocide
There are many myths and lies surrounding the treatment of the Native Americans on the right wing. For starters, many deny that there was a genocide at all. Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza has been one of the main pushers of this pernicious propaganda. The simple fact is that 90% of the Native American population was killed and if savage massacres such as the Wounded Knee and Old Shasta Town are not enough to convince you of the “settlers’” intent, check out some quotes from their military leaders:
- General John Pope
- Major George W. Baird
- Colonel John Milton Chivington
Many, such as radio host Steven Crowder, also claim that smallpox blankets are nothing more than folklore, and were never actually used to kill Native Americans. Crowder’s rationale for this is that they would not have had the forethought or knowledge to use such a weapon since they had “no knowledge of advanced germ theory”. However, no knowledge of “advanced germ theory” is required to comprehend the fact that diseases spread by contact. The evidence for the existence and use of smallpox blankets is abundant. For example, during Pontiac’s Uprising, a local trader by the name of William Trent documented an encounter he had when two Native American chiefs visited the fort he was living in. He mentioned the fact that he and those living with him gave the chiefs smallpox blankets: