The Scoundrel Hero

September 23rd, 2009

Promccarthyism01When Ann Coulter expressed admiration for Joe McCarthy a little while back, I was taken aback, but only for as long as it took me to remember that I was listening to Ann Coulter.

What has surprised me, however, is that more and more right-wingers seem to be adopting Tail Gunner Joe as their new iconic hero. I seem to be hearing his name more often nowadays, and seeing it referenced as you can see on the t-shirt of the tea-bagger at right.

You know, I used to think that these people simply didn’t understand what they were talking about, that maybe they though McCarthy was a true-blooded American patriot who was unjustly smeared.

But more and more I am getting the impression that these people know exactly what McCartyism was all about and that is why they approve of the man. And that is just plain, downright scary.

So much of what the right wing has come to stand by recently smacks so much of what McCarthy did, I can see these people admiring all of his worst qualities. The baseless accusations as a means of political bullying, the destroying of the lives of people whose politics they disagree with, the outright fabrication of evidence and smears, the fearmongering and appeal to the worst instincts of the people–all of these are the new β€œin” techniques which so many on the right wing today have adopted as their own.

It may not be a new era of McCarthyism yet, but there is a growing number on the right who clearly long for those days to return.

  1. Troy
    September 25th, 2009 at 08:52 | #1

    If you’re a right-wing dumb-ass, you think any direction away from free-market chips-fall-where-they-may got-mine-go-away capitalism is a loss of liberty and a step on the road to godless personality-cult big-government.

    They’re not really moored to any sort of reality I share, so what can you do??? In my world, free-market capitalism failed big-time in 1792, 1796, 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1884, 1893, 1907, and of course 1929, then later in Japan and the US in the 1980s bubble speculations, and the current economic mess. Capitalism alone is simply, demonstrably, not self-regulating. It is centrifugal; it works for a while then flies apart as greed and speculation take it over.

    There’s a ~real~ fine line between capitalism and organized crime; capitalism is most profitable when run by criminals like Enron’s Lay. I am currently reading the letters of William Penn and I am struck by his attempt to unify morality and capitalism in his personal fief of Pennsylvania. If we were all Quakers we could probably get by with the minarchist utopia.

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