Above is Peter Ustinov portraying one the the great nutcases of history, the Emperor Nero...or the great
Both political parties have them. Religions have them. The human race has them. These are the extremists. Jeff Foxworthy could do a whole routine entitled "You might be an extremist if..." Comedians make their living taking the odd to the extreme. The problem is the extremists have reached the levels where the Comedians really have no place to take them.
And what is more...they seem to be in control in a few places.
The extreme have always been with us be they political, secular, or philosophical. What has changed is that they are instantly visible and some are even capable of writing a cogent sentence on Facebook. They are the reason we see the rise of reality TV. Well that and the fact that Reality TV is cheaper to do than true entertainment which occasionally involves real talent. Reality TV, which has virtually nothing to do with reality, has at least two or three of these bizarre human train-wrecks that get us to watch and occasionally one of them wins. It is the one talent-less singer that is constantly pushed through on one of the many 'talent shows' just so us normal folks will have something to be outraged about. "I don't care how cute the twelve year old kid is; he has zero talent." Really...you don't think we see these extreme versions sell? Explain to me Honey Boo Boo or Hoarders or Dog the Bounty Hunter or ... Would anyone watch a show called "Dancing with the Has Beens"?
You might be an extremist if you have to put a political ad out that states you are not a witch.
It would be funny if we could point at these folks like monkeys in a zoo as we watch them sling their poo, but the problem is that in a few places they seem to be in charge. In Kansas a birther complains that Obama is not a citizen and the Republican ran elections commission actually take time consider the idea despite the fact that the long form birth certificate has been on public display. A recent poll shows 36% of Ohio Republicans believe the birthers.
When asked who should get credit for the killing of Bin Laden, Obama or Romney, in one poll of Republicans in Ohio, 15% thought that Mitt Romney should get credit for killing Bin Laden and 47% were unsure. And this is not the only state that this happened in. How on earth any one could think that Romney had anything to do with the killing of Bin Laden shows how far the wack-a-doodles have come. Report after report has discussed how much of the parties now seem to be controlled by these extremists.
I also looked for someone who might be politically considered an extremist on the left. Someone who had accused so and so of not being an American or of having met with the Marxists or Communists. I mean we have certainly had our fair share of strange accusations such as a certain congresswoman who thinks the Whitehouse is ran by Muslim extremists. Well ...paranoia seldom jogs..it usually gallops. Just ask Joe McCarthy.
There are some serious extremists...Rush Limbaugh, Bin Laden, the Grand Wizard, Snooki...
I suppose you can look through any persons eyes and see someone as extreme. I had a great uncle from the South who thought Martin Luther King Jr. was an extremist. Malcolm X to Franklin Roosevelt have all been thought of extremists by some and heroes by others. What we need to realize here is there are extremists and then there are extremists. One are the wack-a-doodles who believe stupid things or behave in truly odd ways. Sadly they don't get that they are being ridiculed. These are the ones we need to remind a few of our leaders that they should not be in charge no matter how loud they are or how many they think they represent. Truth be known, they represent a very few. If the true leaders don't get a handle on their wack-a-doodles, they will ultimately destroy their political party or special system of beliefs. Those folks in that extreme are in it for other reasons like fame or to feed their tiny little egos.
We must remember that some like Rush Limbaugh are a RADIO and TV PERSONALITIES. Like Howard Stern, Rush's job is to stir things up. If he doesn't...he loses his job. They don't really give a hoot if they are right only that they can convince a slew of the uninformed that they are being mislead to the right or to the left. Honestly, advice on science or running a country from a guy whose famous for being on the radio?
You might be an extremist if you have a congregation of twelve but your threat to burn a few books puts hundreds of lives at stake, and you don't get it.
The other is the ones are the ones who are so obsessed by their twisted point of views that they cause riots and death. They may even be proud of the fact. Some may even seem to operate with no moral center. No compass that shows them that they are way south of normal. These are the ones who think that an automatic weapon is something they need to protect themselves from the coming onslaught of evil. They are not the guys in aluminum foil hats. They are paranoid and seldom think of the inflammatory nature of their words, visuals, or actions and they certainly don't take responsibility for their actions. They don't care if they put lives in danger as long as they fulfill their need for power and ten minutes of fame. These extremists often feed the other extremists who are on the opposite side of the fence. Neither Christ nor Mohammed advocated violence, in fact they advocated quite the reverse. It is the religious nut cases that don't seem to even understand the religion they advocate. True political and religious leaders believe. Extremists will never be Reverend King, Gandhi, the Dali Lama, or Mother Teresa because these people didn't seek titles or power. They sopught to make the world better than the way they found it. Extremists have lost the ability to see what they once may have believed in. They have twisted, folded and bent it in to shapes that no longer resemble what they once held as truth. They have lost their way.
It is through the eyes of these madmen that the world becomes a truly dangerous place, and we must be careful not to look through those eyes as well.