Friday, August 31, 2007

First rule of propaganda: dehumanize your enemy.

Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels knew that. They convinced everyday Germans that Jews were non-human monsters, so people wouldn’t have as many hang-ups about sending the Jews off to ghettos or, eventually, death camps. Unfortunately, this is the lesson from that monstrous time in the 20th century that has been learned by the modern Republican party. Via whiskeyfire, here is what Kevin McCullough, a well known conservative columnist and radio personality, says about liberals.

When liberals are given the choice between acting decently or choosing the riches of perversion - liberals prefer perversion. And if protecting the honor, privacy, and even nakedness of vulnerable women and children is juxtaposed to say the slightest possibility that someone's right to practice perversion might be curbed - liberals will come running to the aid of the pervert. In fact liberals will go so far to protect perversion that they will actually enlist the use of potential victims to make the case, consequences to the unsuspecting females be damned!

Liberals at their core have no sense of true north. They can't determine right from wrong, good from evil, and in this case even help from hurt. Worse yet - they don't care. The hardness of their hearts towards the victim is not only apparent in their actions, but the mockery of their words adds insult to injury.

Liberals will profit mightily by giving aid to perverts, pandering to peeping toms, and giving sanctuary to 31 count indictees of child rape/executioners. They will do this as opposed to protecting the privacy of their own girlfriend, fiancé, wife, mother, or daughters. And when necessary they will even brainwash women to make the case for them.

I can’t help but notice that Mr. McCullough ascribes all sorts of motives and beliefs to liberals, as well as character judgments. You know, I wasn’t aware, until now, that I, personally, “prefer perversion” and can’t determine “right from wrong, good from evil”, and, furthermore, that I didn’t even care that I can’t make that determination. Or that I apparently would rather protect the rights of rapists than protected my own wife and daughter.

This is a great example of why there is that rabid 30% of Americans out there that still think George Bush is a great president. It’s not because he really is a great president. No, it’s because Democrats and liberals hate him. And anything that a liberal thinks is obviously wrong, if not outright evil. Ergo, George Bush must be a great president. They would rather ignore the fact that George Bush and his cronies have systematically and methodically shredded the Constitution of the United States and sent this country to war just because a few people wanted a war, just because they have come to be so brainwashed that they believe that “liberals” are some sub-human species that can’t ever be believed about anything. This is where “liberals WANT the terrorists to win!” meme comes from. Conservatives would rather believe that outlandish proposition than actually acknowledge that liberals might have a point.

Maha, at her blog (Mahablog, naturally), has a very good post about mythos and conservatives. It’s rather long and I can’t really find a short, succinct paragraph to capture what it is about. I would strongly recommend that you go check it out, though. It’s very good. In this post, she goes about defining the “mythos” of the Republican party, which is the lens that everything else is viewed through. If someone believe that Democrats and liberals are “weak on national defense”, then everything else that happens is colored by that preconceived belief. If someone says something, maybe Hillary Clinton in one of her stump speeches, that contradicts that pre-formed belief, then that person is automatically a liar. See? It’s a guilt-free and thought-free process. It costs nothing of the listener and everything that happens, everything that is said, just confirms everything that person already knew.

I think Maha is being a bit generous and perhaps a bit too academic when she uses the word “mythos”. My preferred terminology is “brainwashed” or “indoctrinated”.

Here’s a bit of a personal example. My oldest brother is very conservative. He received his life’s lessons in the Army during the Vietnam days. He is married to a lady from Oklahoma, who is also ultra-conservative. Listening to her, it’s obvious that, in her eyes, Democrats are the source of all evil. When I visit them (which I don’t really do these days, and this is a large reason why), I have to just shut up and take whatever it is they have to say. A number of years ago when I visited, her son, who was maybe 9 or 10 at the time, told me a pretty nasty joke about Democrats. I said something like, “You know, you really ought to be careful about who you tell that joke to. I’m a Democrat.” He looked at me with this look… “Startled” or “surprised” doesn’t do it justice. “Appalled” might be more apropos. He react just as if I had announced that I had murdered twelve people in the last two weeks, and intended to murder him in his sleep that night. He just could not believe, due to his mythos, his indoctrination, that a Democrat could also be a real person. I haven’t seen this person since that time, but I bet, as an adult, his concept of a Democrat hasn’t changed much from his views that he got from his mother when he was a child.

If things continue like this, if we continue to allow these insane people like Kevin McCullough, like Mike Savage, like Bill O’Reilly, like Ann Coulter, to have a national stage in which to preach their dehumanizing BS about people they don’t like, this country will never see a true outreach from either side. Republicans and conservatives all across the country are so convinced that Democrats and liberals are the epitome of evil that they would sooner invite Satan to dinner than consider any point that their sworn non-human enemies might have. Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, are getting really pissed off after being called every single derogatory name in the English language over the last twenty years. This is definitely not a formula for “working together for the common good”.

I, for one, am very insulted and angry that just people can ascribe such misguided and wrong headed notions about what drives me and other like minded people. I admit, I have been calling these people “lunatics” and “insane” for some time. Am I guilty of the same thing I am accusing them of? I can’t decide. I don’t ascribe all sorts of notions of evil to their actions, other than their obvious hatred of anyone who doesn’t look, act and think like them. I also like to believe that I, along with most other liberals, are quite willing to work with people who don’t believe the same things that we believe, as long as everyone does it in a very honest way with each other. It’s just that getting slammed and vilified for every single wrong that occurs in this country (as well as some imagined ones that never occurred and probably won’t) gets old and we get to the point of “Enough is enough!” It’s hard to continually turn the other cheek when you are getting consistently pummeled. Eventually, even Ralphie stands up to the schoolyard bully.

I don’t know how this cycle of mistrust growing toward outright hatred of “the other side” is going to be broken. There was a chance, there, right after September 11, 2001, that this could happen. Unfortunately for everyone else, that’s when George Bush and Karl Rove interjected their “Politics Uber Alles!” credo into every single facet of government and American life. Any chance that this cycle would be broken any time soon was very quickly flushed down the toilet.

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