Unhealthy and deeply destructive

The far right's bigotry, lies, and small-minded hatefulness are contemptible. But the far left is also damaging in the extreme.

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro, like much of the United States, is all too often putting the subjective feelings of the individual ahead of the rights and health of the community.

I have generally voted Democrat my entire adult life. However, in recent times, a frightening portion of the left has become so extreme that it is at times on parity with the extremist right.

I find the extreme right such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump to be abhorrent. Their bigotry, lies, and small-minded hatefulness are contemptible.

However, the extremist left in 2023 is also deeply destructive.

The concept of “woke” may have begun as a good thing, but humans have a penchant for bastardizing things. Woke has now generally devolved into militant authoritarianism.

I am not saying that all the left or all progressives fit this paradigm, but the following are general attributes just pertaining to the slice of the pie constituting the extremist left in 2023.

• The extreme left doesn't believe in working. They believe work is an affliction and associate employment with pain. An honest day's work is good for one's mental health, physical health, and self-respect, yet, the extreme left believes everything should be done for you. This is not sustainable for a healthy functioning society.

• The extreme left perpetuates learned helplessness and dependency. The extreme left (and innumerable cowards of all political and social backgrounds), because they're not working, have nothing better to do than engage in petty witch hunts on the mostly waste-of-time otherwise known as social media. They do this to be self-aggrandizing all while ignoring their shortcomings they could be working to improve about themselves.

This is the most privileged class of people who have the luxury to flex anonymous keyboard disparagements because they're not working when they could be. Here's a nonconformist suggestion: How about putting down your cell phone and reading an actual book?

• The extreme left shuts down differing viewpoints and tries to censor anything they don't happen to like.

• The extreme left suppresses the robust exchange of ideas and demonizes any intellectual inquiry that differs from their orthodoxy.

• The extreme left cancels, condemns, and dehumanizes anyone who asks honest questions that challenge their self-righteous narrow way. These are vestiges of the extreme right as well.

• The extreme left lionizes victimhood and believes everything happened to them, rather than perhaps as a consequence of their behavior, choices, and actions.

• The extreme left makes excuses for criminals and refuses to hold them accountable while honest community citizens (and towns) suffer in the wake.

• The extreme left believes in coddling to the point where society becomes fragile and can't learn to deal with difficult circumstances.

When we as a society totally shield ourselves from tough experiences, we never learn to live with the hardships, we only learn to live in avoidance of them.

• The extreme left wants to excessively coddle everyone, which renders us unable to cope with any discomfort. This extreme Left coddling philosophy will not help us all become stronger, healthier humans in the long run.

I can't stand the extreme right or the extreme left.

Is it too much to ask to have a moderate, healthy, and sensible middle ground?