Why Not Be an Extremist?

“Up With Extremism,” by Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times. Published on January 6, 2016.

Thomas L. Friedman’s latest article, “Up with Extremism,” suggests that our society should phase out political parties and introduce extremism — combining both radical left and radical right ideas. Friedman expresses his “extreme” views through the featuring of nine bullet points that highlight problems and provide solutions derived from radicalist ideas. Friedman’s purpose is to point out that political parties impede on the progress of true issues in order to bring to light the idea of extremism.

Friedman begins his article with a brief explanation of Donald Trump’s campaign, which will hopefully spark a thought of Trump’s iconic attack on people via Twitter. The reader should be well aware that Trump has much more moderate views in comparison to the other Republican candidates. Friedman uses Trump’s “innovative” ideas as an example of his own. However, instead of being an independent, Friedman introduces himself as an extremist. Throughout the reader’s mind, the word “extremist” will bring negative thoughts like right-winged and left-winged politics that cause politicians to never agree. After this brief introduction, Friedman uses a style that mimics a strategic plan for an establishment. Friedman uses “Extremist” examples that include the total abolishment of guns, selective immigration, and untraditional tax reforms; issues that are polar to each other’s parties. I think that Friedman does need to clarify how he using the word “extremism,” as it is important for him to state that his definition is being used as a method of satisfaction for both parties by putting into place laws that one party will disagree with.


Comment to Mr. Friedman:

Mr. Friedman,

Your idea of extremism does sound intriguing. There is just one problem (there could be many others), how will you convince the members of both polar political parties to join in this idea. It may not have a well response at first, so this philosophy may need to be clarified for it to appeal to the polar ends of politics.

Harrison F.


2 thoughts on “Why Not Be an Extremist?

  1. Harrison,

    I definitely think that “extremist” might be a bit of a misleading term. With a negative connotation, it leads readers to initially believe that he’s not looking for compromise, but actually quite the opposite. I do, however, agree that the political party system does create more strife than is beneficial to America, but how would we be able combine extremist views? If the American government uses extremist ideas to create laws, the idea of representing the American population as a whole goes out the window. What kind of political system do you think would best represent the people?



  2. Harrison,
    I’m a bit confused by this extremist idea because by gathering ideas from the extreme right and left, wouldn’t those beliefs be conflicting? Would this party be picking ideas but create a happy medium between the opposing positions and stances?


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