Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Insanity Is Spreading

You'll remember that Department of Homeland Security report back in April, that predicted a rise in rightwing extremism. Remember how the wingnuts went berserk, crying how the report slandered good, honest folks like themselves? They forced DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to apologize not once, but twice! Well, it looks like they were right, and damn all the wingnut howling that happened at the time.

Yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum seems to be a textbook example of exactly what the report warned against. The shooter, James Von Brunn, has a well-documented affiliation with far-right groups; his own website is testament to his sick, irrational mind. Sounds just like what DHS was talking about, right? Wrong!--according to FatAss Limbaugh, Randall Terry, and similar ilk. "He's a leftist!" they're all proclaiming today.

I have to say: "what the fuck?" How in hell do they figure that a nutcase whose sig line is "Heil Hitler!" is a leftist, or influenced by liberal ideology? Easy: shame and denial. Rabblerousing assholes like Limbaugh ,O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter have been cozying up to the American Taliban for years, and now they're ashamed of what their pandering has wrought, and earnestly want the blame to be put elsewhere. What else can they say, that they really like guys like Roeder and Von Brunn, that they themselves believe the same as the nutters believe, that Obama is a secret Muslim-Jewish conspirator/tool, that the federal government is secretly in league with the Illuminati and the Jews to control the world? Not in public--or ever!--will they say that. Not where a camera can capture their true feelings, or where they can be arrested. So they put the blame on someone else. It's easier than taking some of the responsibility for tragedies like yesterday's.

We've seen over and over again how the true feelings of racist, sexist white men are revealed under feelings of disenfranchisement and stress. From the whining and lies told about Judge Sotomayor to the insane rantings of Glen Beck, from wingnut "birthers" doubting the veracity of President Obama's birth certificate to Ann Coulter wanting to convert all Muslims to Christianity at the point of a sword, to the extreme hatred of assassins like Scott Roeder and James Von Brunn--it's everywhere lately, and it all stems from the same line of reasoning, best described as:"The coloreds and bitches are taking what's mine, and I'm keeping my sense of privilege come hell or high water!" Even if they don't have anything, if they lack material or spiritual success in the world. Especially if they don't have anything. But God forbid that anyone other than a white male should aspire to anything that doesn't involve a shovel or a cooking pot. Those positions belong to them by right of birth!

With the election of Barack Obama and the solidification of the Democratic party's hold on political power, they're feeling threatened. They see a multicultural/multigendered tide threatening to overwhelm the fantasy America they hold dear in their fevered minds. They feel that the country is "slipping away" from them, a point made several times nightly on Fox, on Limbaugh's radio show, on a whole host of far-right, christian Taliban media outlets. They blame "those others" for the disappointments in their lives, ignoring the fact that they were born white, male and Christian in America; so if anything's wrong in their lives, as my father used to say, then it's their own damn fault. Instead they blame "the others," and mourn for a country that never existed, where free white men did as they pleased and made America great (excepting, of course, all the African-American, Chinese, Native American, Irish, Italian, Latino, and Jewish men and women just standing around in the background like scenery). It's a delusion, a sickness, and they almost should be pitied--but I have none for them.

Make no mistake, the wingnut pundits and their followers with their fevered longings for a past that never was, and the crazed shooters killing innocents, are fellow travellers on the same path to hell. Stoking the sense of lost privilege, encouraging feelings of betrayal and false entitlement, the extreme-right talking heads like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, and others daily deny objective reality and reassure and embolden the lunatic fringe in their audience. The madmen like Roeder and Von Brunn listen, and it spurs them into taking action for their lunatic "cause." Does that make these yammering wingnuts any different from the gunmen, and any less culpable for their deeds? I say no. The sentiments are the same, it's just that a lone wolf assassin like Roeder or Von Brunn is more advanced in his sickness than others like Limbaugh and O'Reilly, and has less to lose. Limbaugh has a $400 million contract, Von Brunn was reportedly having severe financial difficulties. Still, you don't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, and you don't encourage nuts to take a shot at someone because their lives didn't work out as they'd planned.

Spreading divisiveness and fear for the sake of ratings and financial success is contemptible. Encouraging and tacitly supporting the racism, sexism, and hatred of your most rabid followers is despicable. Doing so, and then denying that you have any responsibility for the actions of your crazed listeners is simply cowardly. And celebrating evil is just that--evil itself.

Stormfront, Operation Rescue, and other rightwing fringe organizations have been having paroxysms of joy the last week or so on their websites, after the recent events in Wichita and D.C.. The Rude Pundit is right when he says "Somewhere in southern Idaho, they're already building a statue to that motherfucker." For the rest of us, might I suggest lighting a candle, and shining some more light into the darkness.

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