Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

"There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution."

-- Matt Taibbi

Despite the risk of violating Godwin's Law, Taibbi goes on to say that at least Hitler actually hated the Jews -- as opposed to the Republican lawmakers, Fox News Channels and right-wing talk radio blowhards of the world who are simply exploiting a brewing animosity toward minorities to further their own careers. That said, there has to be an anger there for them to foment and exploit in the first place -- and that hatred is, unfortunately, very, very real right now. We're in no danger of becoming Nazi Germany if for no other reason than the fact that America is so large and fragmented that it's damn-near impossible to get everyone to rally around one cultural touchstone, even if that touchstone is fear of anti-American infestation.

But make no mistake: When things are as bad as they are right now economically -- when there's unemployment and depression and there doesn't seem to be anything anyone can do about it -- people tend to look for someone to blame besides themselves and their own idealistic vision of what their country should be. And if there isn't an obvious scapegoat handy, they'll listen to and rally around anyone who points them in the right direction.


Amy said...

This is seriously scary stuff. And people that I never thought WOULD are buying into it.

My sister actually went out, and bought a gun because Glenn Beck told her to "get ready for the revolution". Now, my sister isn't actually SMART, but that STILL scares the shit out of me. AND she thinks I'm naive for NOT believing it.

That is the attitude these assholes are fostering.

Philds said...

Here in Europe the same thing seems to be happening.
People in general tend to be more polarized more when it comes to contentious subjects. The "other" be he an immigrant, or in my country, someone who speaks the other official language, is seen as a threat to ones own way of living.

An interesting difference between the flyover states in the US and Western Europe is that over here that secularism and tolerance of gays is seen as core western values, something that differentiates us from our Arab newcomers.

The Christian Right in the US dislikes Muslims because they believe in a false prophet, if not a false God, while over here it's just the fact that they are religious that makes them scary.

SteveR said...

Large numbers of unemployed young men are bad news anywhere, anytime.

idiosynchronic said...

" . . they'll listen to and rally around anyone who points them in the right direction."

WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Just as Reiner & Sorkin asserted, they'll listen to any one who leads them in any direction. "People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference."

Chez said...

By "right" I didn't necessarily mean "correct." Maybe "in the direction of one" would've been more appropriate.

howdidIgethere said...

Though, in that context, "right" (vs. "left) could be a pun.

SteveR said...

Not just any direction, but one that makes sense to them?