Sunday, June 15, 2003
What does "right wing" mean?
Jean V. Hardisty, Ph.D.
Director, Political Research Associates
At PRA, we are often asked how we define the right wing. In the U.S., there is an identifiable right-wing agenda. Its roots lie in the lynchings of Blacks in the South by the Ku Klux Klan, the ideological principles of the John Birch Society, and the McCarthy hearings of the 1950's.
Central to the agenda is white supremacism, preservation of individual wealth in a setting of free market capitalism, preservation of rigidly traditional religious and family structures, and defense of US military hegemony.
There is virtually universal agreement that para-military white supremacists or neo-Nazis are right wing. More subtle distinctions are required when right-wing groups operate within mainstream US culture.