Immigration Debate Prompts Update of Sutherland Essay on Right-Wing Extremism

For Immediate Release: Apr. 14, 2011
Contact: David Buer
Director of Communications

SALT LAKE CITY (APR. 14, 2011)—Sutherland Institute released today an updated essay, “The Poison of Extremism,” in light of recent experiences during the immigration debate. Originally delivered seven years ago during a session of Sutherland’s award-winning Transcend Series, the essay defines 11 characteristics of right-wing extremism in Utah.

“Right-wing political extremism is alive and well in Utah and we are committed to fighting such extremism,” Mero said. “We are also committed to using Institute resources in crafting public policies designed to mitigate extremism’s harmful influence on the practices of responsible citizenship and the process of representative government.”

The three new characteristics emerging from the passionate and, oftentimes, vitriolic immigration debate are:

1. The ends justify the means
2. A failure to realize that ideas have consequences
3. A conceptual framework fueled by baseless and irrational fears

“Extremism leads people to cut off their nose to spite their face,” Mero said. “To base any political opposition to anyone who endorsed HB 116 on the premise that they are not substantively and philosophically conservative is beyond reason.”

Sutherland Institute is a conservative, state-based, independent public policy organization located in Salt Lake City. Its mission: protecting the cause of freedom, constructively influencing Utah’s decision makers, and promoting responsible citizenship. Sutherland Institute is recognized as the leading conservative think tank in the state of Utah.