Monday, August 20, 2012

Breaking The Outrage Barrier

Entering the blog after a long absence.....Turn on the lights!

Walking around the surface, then looking inside, checking old posts and examining the HTML....OK, that looks good. Let's get started!

Outrage Engine....Ignition!
Sarcasm Module...Online!
Information Conduits....Open and free-flowing!
Caffeine Injectors....Filled to capacity and ready!  
Positronic Natural Intelligence....Online, rising to 100% capability and holding steady!

Liftoff in 5....4....3....2....1....

OK, I hope you had as much fun with that intro as I did. I'm back, for better or worse. Reasons of health and other catastrophes kept me away from the blog for most of this year, but I'm back to sow some intelligence, direct some righteous anger, and hopefully provide a unique perspective on our world. 

What's attracted my attention and stoked my legitimate anger are the ignorant comments of Republican Congressman and Missouri candidate for the U.S. Senate Todd Akin, and the general issue of the Republican "war on women," I say that in quotes because I believe it's not just a war on women, but on the whole of the 20th Century.

Now, Todd Akin himself is toast. There's no way that he can salvage his political career now that he's said, in public and on recorded video, the ignorant superstitions that he and his ilk believe. Typical of wingnuts like himself, Akin didn't realize that the unscientific and reactionary beliefs he and his fellow travelers hold are not equally believed by the rest of the populace. Living in the Fox News bubble as they do, these rightwingers don't realize that the majority of the country, those of us who don't rely on Fox as our primary source of information, actually believe and act on facts, proven by scientific investigation, and observable by anyone with a functioning brain.

I don't need to repeat Akin's ignorant and reprehensible remarks about rape. I'm sure that if you're reading my blog, you're aware of them. I will note, however, that Akin's published response to the furor did not include an actual apology; Akin merely stated that he, as so many of his comrades have said before, "misspoke." I don't know exactly when the word "misspoke" became a synonym for "fuck you, I still mean what I said," but I've been away for awhile. Todd Akin has no intention of joining the rest of us in the 21st Century, and he doesn't see why he should. Neither the condemnation of his fellow Republicans, the withdrawal of funds by both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Karl Rove's Crossroads America super-PAC, the calls for him to drop out of the race coming from all quarters, nor the absolute refutation of his ignorant, misogynist beliefs by credible physicians and medical experts, has so far moved him to withdraw. He's determined to see this through to Election Day, and frankly, I couldn't be happier.

But what this has brought to light is the general conservative rejection of science, reason, and modern civilization. In the Huffington Post, Soraya Chemaly writes:

What Todd Akin said and believes doesn't just play into a media-catchy, election year "war on women" narrative. It's part of a reactionary, fundamentalist backlash to modernity. It's a war on science. It's a war on facts. It's a war on critical thinking. But, really, consider it a war on democracy. Statements like Akin's reflect the degree to which some men, steeped in all sorts of dangerous denialism, will go to protect their power and how they undermine equality and democracy to do it. Mitt Romney's smart, he gets how Akin made this obvious, which is why he's distancing himself so fast and furiously from this incident. But, Romney deep down inside agrees with the ideas that reside under the surface of such an obvious mistake. That's why he will not renounce his rights-stripping-for-women-personhood-for-fetuses happy running mate Paul Ryan, who shares the ideas expressed by Akin, even if he expresses himself less offensively.

This is what's really happening. As the GOP has now been completely conquered by the conservative movement, insane beliefs like Akin's will find their way into the public awareness with increasing frequency. The wingnut echo chamber grows louder and louder, while the self-deluding occupants forget that they're all alone in there. Consequently, more and more of their anti-modernity agenda will find its way into the public consciousness, where it will be soundly rejected. Like exposing an infected wound to sunlight, this publicity will hopefully end this rebellion against everything that's happened since the Enlightment, which is a good thing. Democracy cannot flourish in a general atmosphere of such ignorance and hatred.

Thomas Jefferson said, "if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."  The conservative movement has flourished in part because of its acceptance and acquiescence to the forces of ignorance, hatred, and division. Let's hope we're seeing the beginning of the end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicely said - and great to have you back!