Extremely Scary

So yesterday, my mother-in-law was ridiculing my wife for writing-in Ron Paul on her ballot. She said "Nobody wanted Ron Paul because he is too extreme. Hitler was too extreme, too."

Since she's a blind (R) partisan, I wonder how she would respond to this phrase given by the Republican nominee for president in 1964:

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

Interesting how the word "extreme" is such a mighty smear in political discourse whereas the same word has such a powerful attraction in the market – often being childishly spelled without the E and a silly and exaggerated X, probably in different colors and looking assymetrical and haphazardly painted.

This is why the Croation HS2000 handgun is imported into the US as the "Springfield XD" (meaning "eXtreme Duty"), why there are TV shows called "Extreme Makeover," and why you find things like "Extreme Sports" and "Extreme Grip" tires.

People want extreme things. Except they also recognize that the state is a terrifying monster that devours everything in its path. They don't want an extreme version of that. When discussing the character of the state, "extreme" is extremely scary because the state is scary. They want docile and submissive in a way that's paradoxical to its nature.

Date: 2012-11-07 06:59

Author: Anthony "Ishpeck" Tedjamulia

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