Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do you think there is a connection?

Do you think Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and others telling their audience on a daily basis that Nazis have seized control of America - and that the first act of these Nazis will be to attempt to pass some form of health insurance reform - has anything to do with this:

At a contentious town hall meeting last week, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) shot back at the protesters who were disrupting his event by accusing them of “hijack[ing]” the gathering. Now, Scott’s district office in Smyrna, GA, has been vandalized with a four-foot swastika painted onto his door.

I happen to think it does.

As I type, I've paused here for a moment, really lacking for words at this moment. I mean, just look at that image. It so perfectly captures the hysterical insanity that is being promoted and encouraged by leading voices of "conservatism," by many Republican members of Congress, and by a Republican propaganda organ disguised as a news network.

There is a great post up today at Atheist Ethicist about the town hall vandalism currently going on representing the bankrupt intellectual culture of the Republian party. The culture that the Republican party does have - and one that is being fueled on a daily basis by Fox News, AM radio, and the rest of that ilk - is one of extremism (including, but not limited to, the extremist tendency to emulate the perceived characteristics of their designated enemy.)

I noted a while back in the comments that despite Glenn Beck's protestations that when he talks about America being on the edge of a new revolutionary/civil war he isn't encouraging violence have a sort of having his cake and eating it too feel to them.

I doubt anyone in the mainstream press even knows that Beck's call for non-violent revolutionary/civil war recycled from the proto-fascists of the extreme "right." Of course, I find Beck's statement's denouncing violence to be a bit of having his cake and eating it too. If you watch that Tea Party edition of his program where he has the old guy dressed as Paine ranting for 3 minutes or so, it sure as heck comes off like he's trying to rally the troops for battle.

Check out this one from "Paine", which makes a quasi-fascist appeal to unify the nation against foreigners, multiculturalism, people that are in favor of Social Security/healthcare, secularists/atheists and what not ... whom he calls "traitors." Then he says that unless "Americans" i.e. persons who share his political views take back the country by making elected officials do what they want then blood on the streets will happen again. It's kind of an ultimatum, either they when an election and get what they want or it's time to storm the Bastille (stimulus spending is compared to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, "will of the people" is equated with Beck, Bizarro Paine and their followers.)
Which is why it doesn't surprise me to hear that the town hall/tea party protests are providing a melting pot for extremists and mainstream movement conservatives to merge their interests. Nor does it surprise me to hear that a protester outside of President Obama's town hall said that immigrants should be sent home with a bullet in their head and then issued this threat: "Read what Jefferson said about the Tree of Liberty -- it’s coming baby."

1 comment:

hanshiro said...

Doomed to repeat history?

Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role during the April-July 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

According to recent commentators the news media played a crucial role in the genocide: local print and radio media fueled the killings, while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground. The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators anti-Tutsi hate speech “became so systemic as to seem the norm.”

Due to high rates of illiteracy at the time of the genocide, radio was an important way for the government to deliver messages to the public. Two radio stations key to inciting violence before and during the genocide were Radio Rwanda and Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM).