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Jumping at Shadows, Oblivious to the Oncoming Freight Train

February 11th, 2011

Right-wingers are angry about how taxes are so high, despite the fact that taxes are pretty much as low as they have been for a very long time. They’re also agitated about inflation, despite the fact that inflation is as low as it has been for a long time, and shows no signs of increasing. They’re fearful of Muslims and Sharia Law taking over America, when there’s pretty much zero chance of that happening. They are perennially up in arms about a “War on Christmas” which just isn’t there. They fear a New Black Panther Party which is nothing more than a phantom. They fear that gays getting married will destroy the institution of marriage itself. They fear Death Panels. They fear a communist president born in Kenya who is robbing us of our freedoms and will confiscate all our guns as he imposes a fascist dictatorship.

Exaggerated fears are one thing. But right-wingers today seem fearful of things that mostly just don’t even exist.

But don’t try to tell them that global climate change is anything to worry about. There’s simply no conclusive evidence for that. I mean, really, folks, let’s not get carried away.

  1. Troy
    February 11th, 2011 at 15:36 | #1

    pretty much zero chance

    “pretty much”? LOL. How about “absolutely f—ing zero”?

    Although to be fair I guess their underlying concern is sharia getting a beachhead in communities here, and that’s a valid thing to object to given how religion is often de-facto coercive in practice.

    Though this is very tricky legal ground since this is notionally a free country, and people should have a right to arrange their personal and familial affairs as they see fit, or at least with great latitude.

    The Mormons ran into this buzz saw 150 years ago now I guess, they had to go off and found their own state to secure their rights.

    The problem with the current Republican party is that they’ve ideologically boxed themselves into a corner. This is very easy to see with the PPACA, being a harmless rehash of the 1993 Chafee bill (co-sponsored by Hatch, Dole, etc), the Heritage Foundation’s own thinking, and Romney’s MA plan.

    But now that it’s law, they’ve got to shit all over it for tactical reasons.

    But this is smart, since that’s the only way to retain any relevancy in a system that has moved — ie “triangulated” — to the center-right on them already.

    The key thing is whether the US people continue to buy what the GOP is selling. Carrying 22% of the electorate last year wasn’t quite the groundswell the party’s salespeople are painting it as.

  2. Tim Kane
    February 12th, 2011 at 01:14 | #2

    Well the real problem is, is that a Republican isn’t running things in the White House. Nevermind that the Obama Administration is farther right than Eisenhower, Nixon or Ford, is equivalent to Reagan (to which Obama has mentioned aspirations of) and has pretty much continued all of the material policies of George Bush including Iraq, Afghanistan, Patriot Act, Tax cuts, Gitmo and Kindness to Business and Bankers.

    There isn’t a substantial policy difference between Obama and most Republicans and there is none between Obama and all prior Republicans on the left-right scale… Obama is either farther right or equivalent to all prior Republican administrations, in the aggregate on material policy.

    Since there is no policy difference, then that means there is only party difference.

    And here’s the thing. My “be kind to John Byrch Society members” mother let out that she thinks that deep down in side the Democrats have only one goal and that’s socialism.

    Basically, some one got to her and brained washed her at an early age. Democrats are pragmatist. A dash of socialism here, a dash of capitalism there, a pinch of morality there and pinch of libertarianism there.

    The power is in the ideological framing. Convince people of ideology framing and you’ve captured their minds. “How one thought shall live provide the other’s die, for I have riches more than these…” Once you can cram people into ideological framing then it becomes all one way or all the next. Her formative years begin in 1945, that means socialism is Soviet style Stalinism communism. The fact is, lots of Socialist, some with links to the Communist party were in the Democratic party and that’s what Joe McCarthy exploited. That taint has never gone away. The fact is, if you are a communist your American politics are going to be in the Democratic party, just like if you are a racist fascist Nazi, like, say Rush Limbaugh, your politics are going to be in the Republican party. But I think the real sin, is framing things ideologically.

    This is a country based upon English Common Law which is pragmatism with a bias towards Justice/fairness (first), and liberty (second), but uber alles, pragmatism (which is hypocrisy for ideologues). Our only governing principal is Free Contract, which is all about bargaining power. Our founders based our institutions upon that. Wealthy Republicans use ideological framing to gain control of minds of ordinary people, like my mother, to get them to vote against their own interest. And for over 50 years it has worked quite well, despite it turning the country into a hell hole trash dump, from the shining city on a hill that Democrats from Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson had given us.

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