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Gotterdammerung: The Right-Wing Politics of Paranoia and Persecution

"Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution" - William Butler Yeats Republicans see America as a monument underpinned by grand principles - the Constitution, the Bible, religious freedom, patriotism, family values, liberty and the like. To the GOP, these must be ...

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Originalism Is a Fancy Word for Bigotry.

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think” ― Thomas A. Edison Justice Antonin Scalia is a fan of 'constitutional originalism'. He is qualified - in his own estimation - to divine, as a modern ...

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Grammar: A Few Modernisms I Accept. And a Few I Am Not Yet Ready For.

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest  favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” ― Dorothy Parker To insist that people use ...

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Evangelicals Should Celebrate Marriage Equality. It's a Return to the '50s.

“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” ― Mark Twain. Evangelicals have come out hard against gay marriage. The obvious, and stated, reasons are that it is unbiblical. And an insult to tradition, mothers, and the American way. But don't ...

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English Pronunciation Is an Echo of the Bible's Tower of Babel Story.

“Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination” ― Mark Twain. George Bernard Shaw suggested, perhaps apocryphally, that the word 'ghoti' should be pronounced 'fish'. How so? How can "ghoti" and "fish" sound the same? GBS explained it like this: the gh = f as in ...

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“Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution” – William Butler Yeats

Republicans see America as a monument underpinned by grand principles – the Constitution, the Bible, religious freedom, patriotism, family values, liberty and the like. To the GOP, these must be defended at all costs. Everything is a war – on Christians, capitalism, Easter, families, heterosexuals, profit. Enemies are everywhere – minorities, immigrants, gays, atheists, the ACLU, socialists, terrorists, feminazis, appeasers, radical environmentalists, et al.

It is all Gotterdammerung & Grand Guignol.

It isn’t that the Democrats do not tilt at windmills. And they certainly are not without their errors and misrepresentations. But the difference between the right-wing and left-wing, is that the right-wing hates whole rafts of people.

Sure the Left thinks the Tea Party is nuts, insane and swaddled in folly. And the Left does have an antipathy to plutocrats and conservative politicians. But they mostly view the foot soldiers of the Right as clueless morons – but they don’t doubt the Tea Party loves America.

The Right, on the other hand, thinks that the Left hates America. That the Left are shameless grifters, mewling and puking at that government’s teat. That they are cabalists who would splay Columbia over a table, defenseless against the depredations of Communists and Islamofascists.

Look at the language that conservative politicians and pundits use about the underprivileged. The “47 percent”. The “makers” vs. the “takers”. “Welfare queens”. “Moochers”. Blacks are “thugs”. Islam is a religion of violence. Gays have an “agenda”.

A corollary to this litany of loathing is a paranoid sense of persecution. Gun control is a gun grab. Gay marriage is an assault on religious freedom. The safety net is picking the pocket of hard working Americans. It’s a zero sum game. If someone gets something, then they must have stolen it from someone else.

Take evangelicals and gay marriage. Somehow, in this celebration of love, the message the religious right take away is that they are being persecuted for their ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’.  You would think that the Supreme Court had made gay marriage – not just legal – but mandatory.

The right-wing has a media arm devoted to fanning the flames of this persecution and paranoia. And conservative politicians know they can use it to whip voters to the polls.

Roger Ailes had the genius to see that there was money to be made. The Fox News network has consistently had the highest ratings of cable news shows. Pioneer CNN played it straight and lost their audience. Fox News was so good with propaganda that many Americans now believe that CNN is biased – instead of just boring.

Fox has never had a high regard for facts. Nuance is not a tool. If it doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker – then it is too complex a thought.

Liberal media, on the other hand, has no deep liberal core of hate and fear to exploit. Some liberals may have wrong ideas on vaccinations and gluten. But there isn’t a liberal media nor a left-wing political bloc suggesting there is some right-wing scheme afoot.

Both sides have their nuts. But only conservatives have adopted fear and loathing as an official plank in their platform.

suspicion

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Originalism Is a Fancy Word for Bigotry.

July 3, 2015



“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think” ― Thomas A. Edison Justice Antonin Scalia is a fan of ‘constitutional originalism’. He is qualified – in his own estimation – to divine, as a modern day haruspex, what the […]

Read the full article →

Grammar: A Few Modernisms I Accept. And a Few I Am Not Yet Ready For.

July 1, 2015



“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest  favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” ― Dorothy Parker To insist that people use may instead of can when […]

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Evangelicals Should Celebrate Marriage Equality. It’s a Return to the ’50s.

June 30, 2015



“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” ― Mark Twain. Evangelicals have come out hard against gay marriage. The obvious, and stated, reasons are that it is unbiblical. And an insult to tradition, mothers, and the American way. But don’t they have it backward? […]

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English Pronunciation Is an Echo of the Bible’s Tower of Babel Story.

June 29, 2015



“Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination” ― Mark Twain. George Bernard Shaw suggested, perhaps apocryphally, that the word ‘ghoti’ should be pronounced ‘fish’. How so? How can “ghoti” and “fish” sound the same? GBS explained it like this: the gh = f as in rouGH the o […]

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Although It Harms No One, Marriage Equality Is Hard for Some to Accept.

June 28, 2015



“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile” ― Kurt Vonnegut. No GOP candidate for President has come out in support of the Supreme Court’s decision extending the civil right of marriage equality to all adults. Reactions have been from the resigned […]

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Conservative Phobias. (It’s Still the Politics of Paranoia)

June 26, 2015



“Paranoia is just another word for ignorance.” – Hunter S. Thompson Terrorists Terrorists are like sharks. Attacked by either, and the damage can be ugly and fatal. But your chances of being the victim of either are next to none. ISIS may be a horrible bunch. But where is their airforce? Where is their navy? Yes, […]

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Mike Huckabee Claims God Solves Racism. History Be Damned.

June 23, 2015



“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach” ― Aldous Huxley In reaction to the Charleston massacre, Mike Huckabee advised that there be fewer conversations and more conversions. Go to God he says because, in Huckabee’s philosophy, God solves racism. […]

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Really? – Election 2016 – Some GOPers Dump a Flag; Rafael Cruz’s Religious Hypocrisy; Racist Money Oils Republican Politics.

June 22, 2015



“I’d have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone” ― William Faulkner In the aftermath of the Charleston massacre, the Confederate battle flag hoist outside the South […]

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