Friday, June 08, 2007

I can’t decide what upsets me the most.

Hard-core Republicans, Conservatives, Evangelical Christians, and loud-mouthed television, radio and print “pundits” all seem to exhibit, during some point in their public lives, a very annoying set of traits. I can’t believe they can actually act the way they do and keep a straight face.

- Opinions count more than actual facts. When facts get in the way, then they can be dismissed, ignored or ridiculed as required.
- Shouting the loudest counts more than reasoned discourse. Interrupting someone else trying to make a point is not only acceptable; it is required, lest their opponent actually gets to make a point that makes sense.
- Lying or making up “facts” in order to advance their point or to try to undercut their opponent is also required.
- Hard-core Republicans, Conservatives, Evangelical Christians, and loud-mouthed television, radio and print “pundits” can do no wrong. If they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, then excuses must be made or, even better, everyone pretends the event never happened. A Republican breaking the law is by its very nature a non-sequitor.
- Attributing all the bad traits that they seem to accept as normal behavior on their part to Democrats and liberals.

I think this last one annoys me the most. Republican shills get to shriek about how “angry” and “toxic” the liberal blogs are. They conveniently ignore the fact that people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin and Bill O’Reilly have made a living, and a very good one, demonizing all that they have determined to be “the Others”. I have heard some outlandish things, especially on talk radio. They didn’t even seem to be talking about fellow human beings. They have routinely called everyone on the left “traitors”, “Godless”, “harpy”, “shrill”, “hateful”… I once heard someone on late night talk radio, I am not sure since I didn’t stay around to find out but I think it was Michael Medved, say something like “Liberals are disgusting. If you turn over a rock, you will find a slimy liberal.” Now, that is how you talk about a bug or worm, something completely disgusting and beneath any sort of human feelings. It is not how you refer to fellow human beings. The Nazis had this figured out. In order to actually do something about the “Jewish problem”, first the entire non-Jewish population must be convinced that Jews were non-human. Vilification and attribution of non-human characteristics made it all the easier to accept the mass exile and deportation of Jews, and ultimately, mass murder.

I am not saying that the people on the right are actually advocating that, but they are well on their way to dehumanizing their “enemy”.

Yet, the mainstream media continually repeats the right wing noise machine’s message about how uncivilized, uncouth and angry the left is. Well, yeah. We are angry. Quite pissed off, actually. Being on the receiving end of such treatment for going on 20 years is enough to get anyone upset.

Actions such as these go beyond mere hypocrisy. It borders on the pathological. And it is amazing to see that such behavior is not only tolerated, it is now fully ingrained in the mainstream consciousness of this country. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are routinely invited on primetime network news and talk shows.

As I said before, I just do not understand how these people can actually say some of the things that they do with a straight face. If you took some homeless person off the street who was acting this irrationally and exhibiting all the traits that we routinely see from right wing politicians, pundits and religious figures, we might want to get them confined for a psychiatric evaluation.

I certainly hope this country starts coming to its collective senses soon. We really cannot stand more of this insanity. I am also very concerned about how the ordinary run-of-the-mill citizens of this country who have been spoon-fed this hatred and disregard for social conventions for years will react to the fact that the Democrats will, most likely, capture the Presidency and both houses of Congress in ’08. I have seen several people predict social violence if that occurs.

From a purely social and eventually historical perspective, the next ten years will certainly be interested. Living through them may not be that pleasant, however.

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