SSN Commentary

The Tyranny of False Equivalencies

Policy field

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Adelphi University

Originally published as "The Tyranny of False Equivalencies," LI Herald, April 22, 2021.

My March 4-10 column, “Voting is an act of choice and an expression of voice,” prompted a note from someone who wanted to talk about threats to democracy. He leads a group of citizens who support candidates, without regard to party affiliation, as long as they support the principles of democratic government. He also said the group avoids candidates on the extreme right and left. When I asked for examples of positions taken by the extreme left, he referred to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other female members of the House of Representatives.

These four popularly elected officials, however, do not advocate revolution or communism and are not anti-capitalism. Indeed, they advocate policies that the majority of Americans support. These include President Biden’s pandemic rescue plan, an infrastructure bill to repair roads and bridges and expand broadband, background checks for gun purchases, renewable energy with tax credits and increased taxes on large corporations that currently pay low or no taxes. They advocate policies to address income inequality, climate change and international cooperation. They do not deny the protections of the Constitution. If these are far-left policies, then the majority of Americans are far left.