Comments about ‘Letter: Questions for understanding far left’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

These are interesting questions. I am a socialist. I am not a liberal nor am I a Democrat. There are two corporation parties in the United States - Republicans and Democrats. Your list of socialists does not exhaust the list of same. Many fine men, like Eugene V Debs, have been socialists - Debs ran for the presidency 3 times. Look to Debs if you want to see what a "good" socialist amounts to. In no way do I wish to be counfounded with either liberalism or the Democratic Party.

Mad Hatter
Provo, UT

Well, to many Republicans, the term "Far Left" refers to anyone who doesn't think like they do. Generally, with the recent purge of RINOs from the Republican Party where you no longer find liberal/moderate Republicans like Nelson Rockfeller, Dwight Eisenhower, Thomas Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt, the term shows considerable shift in definition with the Right-Ward shift in the body politic. But conservatives today usually say that the "Far Left" are people who advocate "socialism" and "communism" although they don't appear to understand what these political philosophies entail.

In communist countries like China, the former Soviet Union, and Cuba, the governments could be seen as ultra-conservative, establishing a political elite who profited from the power and financial exploitation of the general public, and corresponds to todays extreme Right-Wing advocates of dismantling our democratic government and establishing a socially conservative society benefitting corporate interests.

So it gets really confusing. However, for anyone who has had dealings with liberal politics, it is really a hodge-podge of political attitudes, not displaying the ideological discipline of the Republican Party and aligned conservatives. The reasons why it is difficult for Democrats to work together is because it is democratic.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Someone else who doesn't see any difference between North Korea and Norway. Not that any Democratic politician even wan's to get anywhere near Norway's social democracy.

Springville, UT

This is a cheap smear on Democratic candidates - comparing them to communists and socialists? How can something like this even be published? There is no good faith at all in this letter.

Orem, UT

"How close does a liberal Democrat compare to one of these socialists politically?"

To Castro? Or Stalin?

Not even close.

If folks still believe that Obama is anywhere close to Stalin or Castro, then they:

A. Don't know what they're talking about. It's a complete insult to those who have actually suffered under Communism.
B. Have no clue what the GOP has done for almost 2 decades. Bailing out (vitual) car/banking companies/organizations, stimulus packages, and Obamacare? yeah, all were done/were past ideas, of the GOP.


So the editorially balanced Deseret News accompanies a question about the 'far left' with a picture of Obama and Clinton? Would you run a picture of the self-described' 'severely conservative' Romney and Ayn Rand devotee Ryan as 'far right'?

Leaving aside the question of 'extreme', Castro and Stalin are Communists, a system based upon a dictatorship of the proletariat. They do not believe in a multi-party democracy. Democratic socialists, common in Western Europe believe in democracy, and varying degrees of government control of business. The more extreme favor direct government control of many businesses, the less extreme favor tighter regulations on independent businesses. Few Conservative politicians in Europe are as far to the right as their American counterparts, except for the relatively fringe far-right nationalist parties. For example, Conservatives in Britain generally support National Health Care (Britain's socialized medicine).

Most American liberals would be considered moderate social democrats in most other countries. They believe in democracy and capitalism but also progressive taxation and government regulation. Conservatives in this country believe in far less regulation of business and less taxation, but believe in more government regulation in what some would consider personal moral decisions.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

An extreme unreasonable liberal democrat, call extreme conservatives "socialists" and name calls like elementary scholl children on the playground.

T. Party
Pleasant Grove, UT

The lefties in the room will be in full denial...but they'll be hard-pressed to find a tenet of Marxism they disagree with.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Listening to a Republican trying to explain what a Democrat is, is often like watching a Baptist preacher describe what a Mormon is...often times hilarious.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Good heavens. If you're a Korea War veteran, like my father, then you are most likely in your late 70s/early 80s and you don't need someone to answer your questions for you. You can most likely make decisions all by yourself. Just make a decision and vote the way you feel. If a particular party is not to you liking, then don't vote for them. You get one vote, just like I do, so make it count.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

My sister would qualify as a liberal Democrat (though I would not apply the label "extreme" to her).

How does she differ from Joseph Stalin? I suppose the first thing is that she has not killed several million of her countrymen nor sent millions more to the gulags. Nor would she ever advocate such positions.

Please, such nonsense as this does us no good. Some of us are more conservative, some more liberal. This name calling is just idiocy.

Yes, the president is a Democrat. His chief challenger is a Republican.

In the US, the Democrats are the center-left party. The Republicans are the center-right party. There are differences and similarities between them.

But comparing either to the excesses of Stalin, Hitler, etc. is just so much foolishness.

We need to do better.

Eugene, OR

Says Lyle as he enjoys his Social Security, Medicare, and military benefits.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Many fine men, like Eugene V Debs . . . ."

Fine men like Debs?


You must be talking about someone other than the unrepentant socialist/anarchist felon, who, upon imprisonment for urging draft resistance, desertion, and the overthrow of the United States government during World War I, fomented 8 days of rioting by "unionists, socialists, anarchists and communists," starting May 1, 1919, and who admitted, "while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

If that's the type marxists consider "fine men," it's no wonder they're considered half-a-bubble-off plumb, even by other leftists.

Clearfield, UT

Sadly, those of Mr. Tillet's generation usually only see the biased nonsense that is printed on the Deseret News editorial page, and not the much more balanced discussion that follows it online.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Gotta love it when someone who enjoyed a government paid for education, enjoyed a life where the middle-class thrived because of Democrat policies', who is now living off SS and Medicare, complains about "Socialism."

Huntsville, UT

I used to be a Republican. Now I'm considered a "far left liberal".

That's what extremists have done to the GOP.

Salt Lake City, UT

This letter illustrates the tendency towards exaggeration and gross over-simplification regarding political ideology, particularly regarding ideology that differs from our own.

Mr. Tillett (and others) might be surprised to learn that there is not a single, all-inclusive continuum labeled "Liberalism vs. Conservatism" that comprehensively defines all political ideology. Other (often better) means of analyzing and categorizing political positions include "Collectivism vs. Individualism", "Populism vs. Corporatism/Institutionalism", "Totalitarianism vs. Anarchism", and "Capitalism vs. Marxism" (which, incidentally, are both economic theories); and, there are still other continuums that could be used.

Really, the labels of “liberal” and “conservative” have become almost too abstract and subjective to be useful.

A deeper, less simplistic way of analyzing political positions can be found at The Political Compass website. I’ve taken the survey there twice, about 4-5 years apart, and both times I ranked almost dead-center on both axes (for what it’s worth). Honestly, I would be very interested to know where several of the “regulars” here in the DN Opinion section comment threads rank on the Political Compass (though I think I could pretty accurately guess for some).

Kearns, UT

There are really 2 extremes in the world. Socialists on 1 side and Fascists on the other. There are many degrees between them.

The same questions that are in the article regarding socialism, communism and Democrats can also be turned to communism, fascism and Republicans.

There are many stories about how Republicans state that they are for less government and regulations yet at the same time, they want the government to stop that which they don't like, fund the military machine (Government doesn't create jobs) and so forth.

What needs to happen is for parties to be pushed aside. Look at exactly the issues that the candidates are running on.

Why must it be that any Democrat in congress is a vote for Pelosi? Is any Republican in congress a vote for doing nothing and letting the country and the economy dissolve away to nothing?

Let's all just take a step back and look at the candidates and not their party. If we can't ignore the party, then we can't ignore the candidates history. This would mean that Romney would ship more jobs overseas if elected and Obama will repeat 4 years of economic growth?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I am an American, a veteran, an active citizen [and active LDS].
Although I do not consider myself “Far Left”, nor Democrat – I do consider myself an extreme Liberal.
To begin with, you have been told wrong [most likely be either Joe McCarthy or Glenn Beck] -- Castro and Stalin are Communists – NOT Socialists.

lib•er•al [lib-er-uhl]
1. favorable to progress.
4. maximum freedom.
5. freedom of action, especially matters of personal belief or expression.
6. representational government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant.
8. open-minded.
10. give freely or abundantly; generous.
11. not strict or rigorous; free.

Be definition --
Jesus was a Progressive Liberal,
as were our Founding Fathers,
Lincoln, Roosevelt,
JosephSmith BrighamYoung….all ProgressiveLiberals.
We should be likewise.

The USMilitary is Social/Communistic.
Same,Equal - Having ALL things in Common

so are Families,
early Christians,
the Nephites,
American Pilgrims,
early Latter-Day Saints,
So I reckon Heaven is also.

This may come as a shock and surprise to you [I know it did for me!]
But it’s the truth,
And the Truth shall set you free…

~ Peace

one old man
Ogden, UT

A "liberal" is really just a conservative who won't allow anyone to fool him.

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