Peggy Noonan's article illustrated perfectly the definition of extremism:
It is astonishing and cannot go unremarked that Mississippi’s Gov. Frank “Boo” Burnham, the conservative who won a 2011 landslide, gave an interview Friday in which he demonstrated all that is wrong in American politics—all its division, its intolerance, its ignorance and sickness. Burnham damned and removed from the rolls of the respectable everyone in his state who is pro-choice, who is for some form of gun control, and who supports gay marriage. In a radio interview marked by a tone of smug indignation and self-righteousness, Burnham said “extreme liberals” who are “for abortion, who hate guns, who want homosexuals to marry—if that’s who they are they’re the extreme liberals, they have no place in the state of Mississippi because that’s not who Mississippians are.”
That type of rhetoric, whether it's coming from conservatives or leftists, is simply inexcusable. It's divisive. It isn't solutions-oriented. It's a mindless ideological diatribe that resembles a 2-year-old's temper tantrum.
The thing is, that hissy fit is fictional:
I suppose I should note here, especially for those who haven’t yet Googled Frank “Boo” Burnham and Mississippi, that there is no such person. I made him up to make a point.
The governor who threw the hissy fit is Andrew Cuomo, (D-NY). Here's what Gov. Cuomo actually said:
Which, in a radio interview with Susan Arbetter of WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom,” was this.
He was speaking about the state Republican Party, and of those of its members who do not support legislation they regard as liberal. “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
If George Will were to be asked for his take on Gov. Cuomo's diatribe, he might respond by saying "Well." It's worth noting that there are lots of devout Catholics in New York, many of whom are wealthy. There are tons of people living in upstate New York who actually believe that a) they have the constitutional right to protect their families and b) the right to life isn't something granted by politicians but is the most fundamental human right.
Gov. Cuomo's statements are shameful. They're beneath the office he holds. He sounds more like a punk than the governor of a once-great state. Imagine the New Yorkers who fit the description of the people Gov. Cuomo just vilified. Are they likely to help make New York a better place to live? Or are they more likely to start looking at moving to Florida, Texas, Georgia or North Carolina?
Gov. Cuomo's extremist diatribe won't hurt him politically but it will hurt New York economically. Most importantly, the state's population will continue shrinking.
That's how we'll know that Gov. Cuomo's diatribe negatively affected New York.