Fiorina’s Right-Wing Extremism

Brian’s post about Fiorina versus the Bill of Rights is good – and given the importance of the issue, it deserves further elaboration.

Carly Fiorina has campaigned for the US Senate as a proud right-wing extremist. She’s called for overturning Roe v. Wade, supports SB 1070, supports Prop 8, supports the Bush tax cuts and opposes their repeal, thinks suspected terrorists should be able to buy guns, and praised the Tea Party.

With less than 3 months to go to the election, Fiorina appears to be changing tactics to distance herself from being seen as the extremist she actually is, through the use of code words and nuance. While Newt Gingrich plans an anti-Islam rally on September 11 with far-right Islamophobic politicans from Europe to protest the Cordoba House Islamic center in New York City, and while her whole party is seizing on anti-Islamic hate as their ticket to a November victory, Fiorina is refusing to openly attack the project – but she is embracing the coded arguments against it:

“I think it’s now about the sensitivities of people who lost loved ones and honestly I think we ought to leave it up to the community of New York to work this through,” Fiorina said. “But it’s, I think, clear at this point that a large number of people from that community support the right for anyone to practice their religion, but are asking for some sensitivity and forbearance.” She added that the sentiments of the families of 9/11 victims-some of whom have spoken out against the mosque-“are paramount.”

Although many other 9/11 families have supported the proposal, Fiorina believes that there should be some sort of mob rule veto on the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion.

Fiorina probably thinks she’s being clever here, coming off as “moderate” while appeasing her base’s hatred of Muslims. In reality, she’s showing how little regard she has for our basic freedoms.

Here’s the thing about a “right” – it means you can do it even if – and especially if – others think you shouldn’t do it. One’s rights are not subject to a public vote, formal or informal.

But Fiorina believes they are. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that same-sex couples had a right to marry, owing to the 14th Amendment’s mandate that states provide “equal protection of the laws.” Fiorina thinks this is wrong and that the US Constitution should be ignored if enough voters say it should be (which isn’t how the process of amending the Constitution actually works).

And now Fiorina believes that Muslims’ right to freedom of religion should be undermined through the loud protests of a small anti-Islamic minority.

Fiorina needs to understand why the First Amendment exists. During the colonial era, many people were persecuted for their religious practices by a government controlled by another denomination or another religion entirely. The public demanded a Bill of Rights protecting freedom of religion (among other things) as part of the Constitution, as free expression of ideas was a core element of the American Revolution. At the same time, states disestablished churches, meaning separation of church and state became legally mandated in order to ensure everyone could worship (or not worship at all) as they chose.

To Fiorina, as with the rest of her party, the US Constitution no longer matters if it runs counter to the right-wing’s hatreds. The First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion? Ignored. The 14th Amendment’s mandate for equal protection of the laws and birthright citizenship? Gone.

Apparently the only amendment that Fiorina takes seriously is the Second Amendment.

2 thoughts on “Fiorina’s Right-Wing Extremism”

  1. Mr. Cruickshank’s post on Carly Fiorina is a quintessential example of a  liberal fear-monger’s lazy attempt to plug hate and race relations into political debate.  The problem with this argument, however, is that the author quoted Mrs. Fiorina’s position verbatim.  In not taking Mrs. Fiorina’s comments out of context, he made a valid argument against HIMSELF.  Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer have essentially the same position on the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.  According to a statement from a Boxer spokesperson, “Senator Boxer believes the City of New York has the right to make this decision.”  The only difference in the two candidates’ position is that Mrs. Fiorina elaborated as is deserved by the voters of California, and Mrs. Boxer’s campaign issued an empty one-lined statement.  The rest of the propaganda in this post is nothing short of hubbub, and I would encourage its author to fact-check before debating himself in the future.

Comments are closed.