I was going to write this essay earlier this month, probably after a GOP debate. But, life intervened, and I set it aside.
I certainly wasn’t expecting the Paris attacks. But I should have expected the reaction among most everyone on the Right.
While Parisians are crowding outdoor cafes and continuing with their lives as a raised fist against the fear which Daesh wants them to live under, conservatives in this country are running around flinging fearful fecal matter in every direction, warning that Daesh is under your bed, or that the orphaned refugee could be a sleeper agent ready to detonate a bomb at your nearest NFL stadium.
However, I’m not going to say that this is against American tradition. The fact is that the United States has always had a very vibrant Party of Fear.
The Right’s favorite Democrat, Kim Davis, was released from her contempt of court sentence on the understanding that she won’t interfere with her clerks doing their jobs.
This may be a short-lived reprieve, as her lawyer has said that he doesn’t see how Ms. Davis will be able to, in good conscience, allow her clerks to do their jobs and marry those heathen, damned to hell icky gay people. So, she may be back in the “Real Orange is the New Black” soon.
But, that’s neither here nor there. I have a more pressing question to investigate
It wasn’t so long ago that the Very Serious People were saying that Donald John Trump was a flash in the pan. He wasn’t serious. He’d fade away in a week. Huffington Post even famously averred that it would cover The Donald’s sham of a campaign only on its entertainment section. Because politics is a serious business, and has no time for the shenanigans of a one-time reality show star and serial abuser of bankruptcy laws.
He didn’t go away, however. He impugned Sen. John McCain’s heroism, saying he preferred heroes who didn’t get captured. Horror! Fie on you, sir! Mexican immigrants are fair game; St. John of McCain, however, is an entirely other matter. Surely this would sink the Donald, and the establishment candidates could go back to fellating the Koch Brothers in turn to gain the vaunted signet ring.
Funny thing; Mr. Trump’s lead increased after his intemperate words about Sen. McCain. They increased after he trolled Lindsey Graham by disclosing his mobile number at a speech. He just keeps getting YOOOOOOOOOOOOGE.
From CNET: A bulletproof blanket seeks to shield kids during school shootings
Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.
– Arnold Toynbee
Let’s review a few news items from the past few days/months:
— A scofflaw rancher attracts a motley assortment of militia defenders threatening to shoot federal agents.
— A “sovereign citizen” in Georgia dies in a shootout with deputies while trying to take over a courthouse.
— Right wing extremists walk up to two Las Vegas police officers and shoot them, declaring the beginning of a revolution.
— A POW is released, and a sizable portion of the nation, instead of celebrating, rains down opprobrium upon the POW, his family, and President Obama.
And those are just off the top of my head. I could also include Senator Rand Paul tweeting that next time Pres. Obama does a prisoner swap, he should send five Democrats instead.
Things which were once beyond the pale have become commonplace, even excused. This isn’t something endemic solely to the Age of Obama. Oklahoma City happened on the watch of the previous Democratic president, who shares the trait of being demonized with Pres. Obama.
The pass in which we find ourselves has been long in gestation. It’s just been brought to gruesome birth upon the election and re-election of the nation’s first black President.
For close on two decades, the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and their cohorts on right wing hate radio and Fox News hate television have been providing a steady diet of outrage and conspiracy. But outrage and conspiracy are like heroin: each successive hit has to be more potent, has to up the high, as their acolytes seek to keep the outrage up, seek meaning for all the travails besetting them. Thus you get people like Alex Jones, who is more than willing to feed the addicts with ever more insane junk, upping the potency, wasting what’s left of their minds.
The above is an actual quote by Heritage Foundation president and Teabagger extraordinaire Jim DeMint, formerly of the Senate until he found a way to make more money off the rubes principled conservatives.
Yes, the slaves were eventually freed because, according to DeMint’s conflation of history, it was in the Constitution that “all men are created equal and have inalienable rights”. They were also freed due to the efforts of William Wilberforce, noted English anti-slavery campaigner, who just happened to die in 1833, thirty years before the Emancipation Proclamation and the `13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Government had no role in the freeing of the slaves. It was all people power!
But, wait, why did we need amendments to the Constitution if the freedom of slaves was in it from the start? Because, of course, nothing of the kind was in the Constitution. Slavery was allowed to continue, and the slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of the census. I’m sure they were very glad to know that not only were they not full human beings under the Constitution, but that even that diminution of their humanity allowed slave states to have an outsized influence in Congress, since those slaves counted towards apportionment of House seats.
The fact is that history doesn’t look too kindly on the successors to those slave holders. They are, rather correctly, excoriated.
Just because Jan Brewer vetoed the gay-hate bill in Arizona yesterday doesn’t make her a hero. She’s still an odious politician who shepherded the “papers please” legislation.
The only reason she vetoed the bill is because her paymasters told her in no uncertain terms that such blatant discrimination was bad for business. Moral, ethical, and human concerns did not enter into her veto decision. It was purely a matter of business not able to abide by such blatant and targeted bigotry. Gay money is as green as straight money, and hoovering it all up is the prime reason businesses exist.
So, a small cheer for Gov. Brewer doing, at last, the only logical thing. But, if she had truly been opposed to the law, she would have signaled while it was still in committee that it was dead on arrival to her desk. The fact that she milked the decision more than LeBron James did his indicates that she had no philosophical difficulty with banning gays from lunch counters. She just wanted to make sure that the Chamber of Commerce and its allies would back her politically. Without that backing, Arizona would be well on its way to an economic boycott not seen since the days of not commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
However, the meltdown in the hothouse corners of the Right makes this travesty almost worth all the angst it caused.