Writer Michael Fumento explains why he is “breaking with the extreme right.”

The right didn’t create this reservoir of fear, anger and hate. But it has both tapped into it and roiled it. Indeed, the right-wing mass hysteria is what sociologists call a “moral panic.” It occurs when a society is undergoing a wrenching transformation. Somebody then comes along and creates a “folk devil” both to provide an explanation for bad conditions, real or imagined, and a target. Kill the devil; eliminate the bad conditions. But the right has no serious incentive to help solve or ameliorate these problems. Indeed, as with the reelection of Obama, it will benefit from their continuation or worsening.

So animosity has now reached levels both hysterical and historical. The last time anything like this occurred was during World War II, when at least it was aimed outward. Before that? Just before the Civil War.

While I can see some of his points, I don’t feel the need to break with anyone. Just as there are some people on the left with whom I agree on some things, there are some people on the extreme right with whom I agree about some things. Especially things like taking the Constitution seriously and reading it literally.

And of course there are others on the right (the WND rabid anti-gay right comes to mind) who make me genuinely squeamish, and I often wish the GOP would stop catering to bigots who drive voters leftward despite their natural distrust of the left. But even so, catering to bigots is not as bad as catering to Communists, and for me, what it’s all about is who at the end of the day would take away my property and/or kill me for trying to keep what’s mine. Who is against self defense? Who wants to put government busybodies in charge of my life? I just want to be left alone. And while the extreme right doesn’t believe that there is any right to be left alone, they are still better than the extreme left, for the latter don’t believe in the Constitution, or legal process, or God, or anything but their own power.

It’s been years since I broke with the extreme left. As a libertarian, I never really embraced the extreme right, so I cannot break with them.

I’m more on the right than on the left, but I don’t like line drawing, and what I especially don’t like about is a recently emerging accusatory tactic that some right wing activists have of looking for heretics. That reminds me of the left, and long ago an Ann Althouse commenter remarked on a key difference between the right and the left:

…the Right is looking for converts and the Left is looking for heretics…

It would be nice to keep things that way. As Ronald Reagan famously said:

“If you agree with me eighty percent of the time then you are an ally, not a 20 percent traitor.”

These days, some might call him a RINO for that, but whatever.

Small l libertarians are used to not caring about such things.