The Demonization of America

by W.D. Noble

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Lessons Learned from Oklahoma City, the Tea Party, and the Religious Right

I had something hit me the other day when I heard former president Clinton speak about the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings – with all the force of a diesel-and-nitrate truck bomb, I realized the Great Truth of current American politics:

The Right – comprising a good deal of the Republican party, the conservative Christian church, and the oft-quoted Wingnut Fringe – hates America.

Ronald Reagan, with his support for gay rights and the First Amendment, probably couldn’t get elected today. Eisenhower? His well-founded fear of the military-industrial complex would get him branded a RINO. Barry Goldwater? He was in favor of ending discrimination against gays in the military – no chance for him, either.

I’m doubting Richard Nixon, who was in favor of universal health care as far back as 1968, would have a prayer in hell (pardon the pun). He was a Quaker – and not extreme enough for the extremist fundamentalists who now all but run the show in the Republican party.

There’s a lot of talk in the Tea Party movement about ‘taking our country back’. From what? According to them, it’s from a ‘fascist/socialist/tax-and-spend government’. It’s from a president who’s not really a citizen.

My question is, I believe, more telling: You want to take your country back.  To what?

The ‘from’ and ‘to’ sides of the question are very different. With every moron who can carry a misspelled placard now converted as if by some magic alchemy into a Constitutional ‘expert’, the ‘from’ side of the equation is now done-to-death. We need to throw out the health care bill. We need to dissolve the Federal Reserve. We need to throw out president Obama, because he’s not a citizen.

While we’re at it, we need to do away with civil rights legislation dating back to 1964; all of those Great Society entitlements (Medicare and Medicaid, among others) need to go away. Hate crimes legislation is keeping preachers from denouncing ‘sin’. The Second Amendment is under ‘attack’ by gun-control advocates.

In these statements, we have our answer.

To what? To the very distant past – to a Colonial America, before there was a Constitution.

The people advocating these things are really seeking a return to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where ‘freedom of religion’ meant that a resident was free to leave if they didn’t accept a very narrow religious worldview.

Just think – it was an America without an army – people took arms to shoot Indians and other ‘bad people’ when the need arose.

In truth, these people paid very little in taxes – the Crown taxed goods imported to the Colonies, which was a sore point for over a hundred years, and which finally resulted in one of the flashpoints of the Revolution, but taxation was a minor issue in the Colonies apart from that.

There was no safety-net, apart from the good graces of the local church, which like as not would chastise the unfortunate for his or her ‘sin’, while offering a bowl of soup. The notion of unemployment insurance wouldn’t have gone over too well.

Education? It was for the wealthy. Jefferson’s notion of a universally-educated populace wouldn’t arise for another hundred years, along with the Enlightenment. In Colonial America, if you had money, you could get an education. If you didn’t, there wasn’t much chance of you becoming anything other than an unpaid and occasionally-beaten apprentice.

The very roads were private – in fact, that’s where we get the word ‘turnpike’ – a large timber was put on a pivot (pike), which was placed as an obstacle on a private road – the gate was manned by the owner or one of his employees; they’d collect a fee before the road could be used.

Care for the elderly? Nonexistent. You worked; then you died. Life was simple.

This is the ‘America’ which the Tea Partiers and other extremists want.

Hating on America

Read a right-wing website lately, and take your pick – in their view, America is in trouble, and they’re getting more vocal about it.

Recently, I was apprised of a new right-wing symbol – a 13-star American flag with the Roman numeral “II” in the center of the blue-field; the flag of the Second American Revolution.

Just how is this ‘revolution’ going to take place? A quick look at the Tea Party placards will give you a good idea.

“I’m Teabagging For Jesus”, read one in Florida, carried by an elderly woman who likely had no idea what the term “Teabagging” really means. “Descent is Patriotic!”, and “Make English America’s Ofecal Language” , along with “Thank You Fox News For Keeping Us Infromed!” were all on prominent display recently. (Note: The flagrant misspellings on most of these signs have given rise to a new faux-language; ‘Teabonics’).

Some are more sinister. “The American Taxpayers Are The Jews For Obama’s Ovens”, read one. “Speak For Yourself, Obama – America Is A Christian Nation”, read another. Religion, you see, isn’t very far from the core tenets of the Second Revolution, and in their warped worldview, is inextricably intertwined with the socioeconomic and political fabric of the nation.

These people have made it clear, both through the public display of their lack of education and the lack of civic knowledge that the America in which they live today is not a place where they want to live tomorrow.

Alternate Governments

Today, a group called the “We The People Foundation” are presenting something they call the ‘Articles of Freedom’ in every state capitol in the country. Founded in 2008, this foundation called a convention which met in South Carolina in October of 2009, holding (in their words) a ‘Constitutionally correct election’, during which ‘delegates’ were elected to attend a ‘Continental Congress’ in Illinois later in November.

They claim that this ‘Congress’ represented the people of the United States.

Lest we make the wrongheaded assumption that these people have little support among the broader public, they have support from the Constitution Party and over 30 other organizations, both large and small.

So, who are these ‘delegates’?

The names read like a birther’s convention, rather than a ‘Congress’. Even though her name is misspelled on their website, one of the ‘California Delegates’ is none other than Orly Taitz (you’ll remember her as the dentist-turned-attorney from California who made public the infamous fake “Kenyan Birth Certificate” last summer).

Fringe Organizations

Many of the people who support the Tea Party and the ‘new Continental Congress’ are also members of other fringe groups. The ‘We The People Foundation’ states in their ‘Articles of Freedom’ that “We have an absence of well-regulated state militias, and we have federal gun control laws, all in violation of the Second Amendment….”

What do they mean by an ‘absence of well-regulated state militias’? We can take their desire to return to ‘happier times’ in the 18th century as a clue.

Organizations like “Oathkeepers”, “Guardians of the Free Republic” and “Restore the Constitution” are promoting an increasingly antigovernment message – that it’s all right for members of the military, as well as police and firefighters, to refuse orders from the elected government; that it’s not a threat, after all, for hundreds of armed people to gather in a public park to listen to incendiary speeches about the excesses of the current administration, and that it’s all right to send a letter to all 50 governors to ‘stand down or be removed’.

I’m certain that ‘take our country back’ will be a major part of these rallies today, also.

Summing it Up

The steps necessary to accomplish their goals are brutal. What amazes me is that they’ve already achieved several of them:

1. A sense of overwhelming crisis, unsolvable by normal means.
2. The belief that the Right is being systematically victimized, justifying any and all subsequent actions, whether legal, moral – or not.
3. Fear of the decline of the group’s influence (such as what happened in the aftermath of Obama’s election).
4. The need for a ‘purer’ community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
5. The need for authority – which results in the rise of a leader.
6. The use, and even reverence for, violence as a means to the end.
7. The right of the “chosen” to dominate the rest, that right being ‘natural’ or ‘divine’, and hence beyond question.

I’ll hasten to state that while none of these seven items are necessarily a ‘given’ – I’ll also point out that when Sean Hannity runs a multiple-choice poll asking which avenue we should take to bring about change – military coup; secession; or armed rebellion – and armed rebellion is the winning choice – we have a clear indication that the national conversation has taken a serious shift.

This, plus the demonization and objectification of their ‘enemies’ indicates that the extremists have moved from the talking stage to the planning stage. (This, by the way, is why Janet Napolitano raised the alarm about right-wing extremist groups last year, and why both private-watch groups and government agencies alike keep an eye on these people).

Next, the retreat from reality has taken a turn for the surreal. Alice was given an opportunity, at least, to wake up in her own bed rather than having to see how far down the rabbit-hole went. The right isn’t according us this opportunity.

Obama is a Kenyan. His presidency is illegal. He’s going to outlaw preachers in their pulpits, guns from our homes, and our right to private healthcare (instead, according to an article by a right-wing politico, we should go back to bartering chickens for medical care). He’s a Communist/Socialist/Fascist. Never mind that those definitions aren’t true, and don’t even belong together – the fantasy, in each case, is better than the truth.

Secessionist talk has gone from parlor-room conversation to serious business. That a group would convene a ‘Continental Congress’ purporting to represent the U.S., then present ‘Articles of Freedom’ in all 50 state capitols on the anniversary of the first battles of the Revolution should have anyone with the capacity for reason and logic more than alarmed. Successive shocks lose their effect, and we’re now used to the rhetoric – the inmates have taken over the asylum; the extremists are now center-stage in the Conservative tent.

The insular society created by these people is now ready to act. Millions of pissed-off people, creating their own stories of paranoia, armed to the teeth and answering to a ‘higher law’ have all the makings for a first rate showdown. While these movements usually lose steam, this one shows no signs of slowing down. Militia groups have doubled in the past year, and right-wing sites with ‘enemies lists’ have increased significantly (to the point where many are calling for the elimination of these ‘enemies’ by any means necessary).

It’s equally-dismissive for the progressive/liberal press to call for a ‘return to civility’ – as if giving these people a time-out and a swat on the backside is going to magically bring them back to the table to talk sense. We dismiss these people at our own peril – and perhaps at the peril of the nation.

_______________________________

America is now in the unenviable position of proving to the world that Jefferson and the Enlightenment are still in vogue. The decisions we make between now and the next twelve to twenty-four months will determine in large measure whether or not we make the leap toward a social democracy, or back to the 18th century.

That process, by the way, will likely involve some very unpleasant things.

The right – with the religious arm of their movement leading the way – has created an insular society. Born and bred of the homeschool movement, an entire generation is now poised to make decisions based on a very narrow worldview; one which has more in common with 18th-century America than 21st.

That generation has decided, with the help of its parents and older siblings, to create a new America within the current structure, complete with all of the trappings needed to make it a reality.

These people hate the America which would feed the homeless; give a leg-up to the unemployed, and care for the least in society.

They would replace it with a proto-feudalism which existed in the 18th century – where big business and armies were not only respected, but revered, and where ‘root, hog, and die’ were the watchwords of society.

They would use the protections of the Constitution to spread their message – and then remove those protections in favor of their own view, both political and religious.

They chose April 19th, 2010 because it is the 235th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. I don’t need to remind you of the symbolism.

You may feel compelled to disagree with me.

But please don’t say you weren’t warned.

Additional Reading:

Articles of Freedom” (works of the ‘Continental Congress’ – 2009-2010)

Oklahoma Republicans Conspire With Tea Parties To Form Anti-Federal Government Militia” (ThinkProgress – 2010)

“We The People” (Portal to givemeliberty.org and the Continental Congress – 2010)

OathKeepers” (Website; 2010)

Restore The Constitution” (Website of political-action group – 2010)

Sean Hannity Website Poll” (through DailyKos – 2010)

Prayer Warriors and Palin Organizing Spiritual Warfare To Take Over America” (Truthout.Org – 2010)

Guardians of the Free Republic Warns Governors, ‘Step Down or Be Removed’” (Liberty Guardian website; 2010)

Governor Rick Perry: Texas Could Secede; Leave Union” (Huffington Post – April; 2009)

“Bring a Chicken To The Doctor” (Washington Monthly – April; 2010)

The Second Wave” (Southern Poverty Law Center – August; 2009)

What Is Past Is Prologue – American Migration and the Current Political Climate” (W.D. Noble – Subversify Magazine – October; 2009)

The Eliminationists – How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right” (David Neiwart; Polipoint Press – 2009)

On Anniversary of Oklahoma City Bombing, Armed Right-Wing Activists Accuse Obama of Tyranny” (ThinkProgress – April; 2010)

(Listen to this article here, on Subversify Radio)

About astranavigo

Astra is one of the clever monkeys occupying space on the Third Planet From The Sun. While it was an early wish of Astra's to be one of the first to go to Proxima Centauri, he knows this is not to be; instead, you can find him here (some of the time) using simple tools to create communication. Holding up a mirror and saying 'Looky! Mistofer Emperor! Y'ain't wearin' no clothes!" is but one of the services he provides here. Others are subverting prevailing wisdom, peeing in people's Cheerios, trashing on their Imaginary Friends (he does this a lot,) and shifting paradigms without benefit of a clutch. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes he'll never have to learn the true meaning of some of his dystopian fiction.

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38 Comments on “The Demonization of America”

  1. Yipes. Early on I thought the author was taking some liberties: surely this information was wrong. Or an exaggeration. But…as I read on, my jaw slowly dropped. And hung there. Wow. I’m a little freaked out. Religion is very scary to me, personally, and people basing anything more than their own, quiet, introspective beliefs upon their “faith” just frightens me.

  2. outstanding writing !! We have been warned, the notion of who exactly “we” are is interesting … I hope this is just a blip on the historical screen, but I am afraid that is not so. I pity and find amazing how anyone can have confidence in our future, I wouldn’t want to be born today and face the reality of the next 100 years …. thanks for writing this and sharing it here. (BTW, Sean Hannity and Rupert Murdock want blood to run in the streets … Fox News is a real test of Constitutional rights, this organization should be shut down, but then, “we” would be them, it is a paradox !)

  3. I know that this kind of thing is frightening to many people, but I feel the need to put these events in perspective – the fact of the matter is that the common man (right-wing, left-wing or otherwise) has become increasingly disenfranchised of his own sovereignty over the last century: personal income taxes eat up large portions of his paychecks (and contrary to popular belief, very little of that money goes to benefit people like himself), his employment opportunities have been restricted by large corporations (not much room for the small business anymore), the government has taken the power to determine what he can or can’t put in his own body (“war on drugs”) as well as what weapons he can or can’t own (which actually *does* infringe on the 2nd amendment – it also gives government a power monopoly for special interests to exploit) – it’s no wonder that people are pissed off at the present establishment!

    Many of those people – predominantly from the conservative side – react to this disenfranchisement by “returning” (in their minds) to a half-remembered, half-romanticized past in which everything ran the way it was “supposed to.” While I find their ignorance of history and calls for theocracy disturbing (personally, I suggest that sovereign individuals interested in protecting themselves form their own militias to act against both these nutters *and* the establishment), remember that these people are just a symptom of the social disease known as anomie that is spreading through our society: the only way out of this predicament is to go straight through it and dealing with ignoramuses like the “tea party” and company is just part of that process of social decay.

  4. We don’t “hate America,” we hate YOUR view of America which is collectivist and oppressive. We are, in fact, two very different America’s inhabiting the same borders.

    This is a clash of worldviews which history tells us will not be settled except by violence. There is a quote I have posted on my website Sipsey Street Irregulars from a hard-core libertarian/minarchist, “Mama Liberty,” who writes of Janet Napolitano’s expressed fear of “civil disturbances: “If they don’t want a ‘civil disturbance’ why don’t they quit disturbing us?”

    If you don’t want a civil war, then I suggest you quit disturbing us. Your Brave New World initiatives like “health care” and the upcoming amnesty bill which includes a mandate for biometric ID brings your tyranny right to our doorsteps where we can no longer ignore it.

    My Michigan farmer grandfather once told me, when I asked him why he didn’t further argue a point of honor with my grandmother: “Son, you don’t poke a wolverine with a sharp stick unless you want your balls ripped off.”

    Good advice.

    Leave us the hell alone with your nanny state tyranny wrapped in alleged “good intentions.”

    Or, to use another popular phrase, “Don’t start nuthin’. won’t be nuthin’.”

    And as for Christopher’s comment: “. . . the only way out of this predicament is to go straight through it and dealing with ignoramuses like the ‘tea party’ and company.”

    Uh, huh. Anytime you want to “deal” with us, anytime you feel froggy, just bring it on down to our doors. It may start there, but it won’t end until your nanny state tyranny lies dying in the dust with its balls ripped off. This is as the Founders intended it.

    Stay on your side of the Constitutional fence and you can keep your governmental testicles.

    Have a nice day.

    Mike Vanderboegh
    GeorgeMason1776@aol.com
    The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters (“As seen on TeeVee being denounced by the serial perjurer and rapist, Billy Jeff Clinton!”)

  5. Folks, up above us here is the reason why every one of us – regardless of our leanings – should be quaking-in-our-boots fearful and angry, all of a patch.

    Mr. Mason has already gone through steps 1 through 7. He’s demonized the future America – the America which would catch up with the rest of the world – he’s objectified his ‘enemies’.

    Once objectified, it’s easy to do what you want. A couple of quotes here are going to be ample proof of intent:

    “We don’t “hate America,” we hate YOUR view of America which is collectivist and oppressive.”

    The word ‘hate’, then the application of labels are the first bases for demonization and objectification. Note there is no explanation of the labels; they are accepted as truth.

    “This is a clash of worldviews which history tells us will not be settled except by violence.”

    A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, this statement both justifies (by the invocation of ‘history’) violence, as well as urges it by default.

    Demonization; objectification; action – the three steps necessary to both start a revolution, and finish it – with oceans of blood and an extremist nation as the outcome.

    “If you don’t want a civil war, then I suggest you quit disturbing us. Your Brave New World initiatives…brings your tyranny right to our doorsteps where we can no longer ignore it.”

    Prior to conflict, the extremists begin issuing ultimatums which they know will never be considered. This is a means not of correcting a problem – it’s a means of justifying the violence which they have already planned.

    “Perhaps you should buy firearms and form a militia. You’re going to need them.

    Not only does this invite the reasoned part of America to sink to the extremists’ level, it’s an invitation to join them in violence. In this, the commenter is correct – the only way to deal with these people, unfortunately, is to meet them with the violence they are promoting.

    Germany did not do so. When they failed internally, the free nations of the world failed to do so – the result was the Third Reich, and misery for the entire world.

    I suppose, in the end, I should thank this fellow for his commentary. He has proven my point to an extent I could not have done, no matter the research.

    We have, in this statement, a Mein Kampf in microcosm; an executive summary for a Final Solution for America.

    Ron Rosenbaum, in his Slate article “<a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2251669/” >"The Tea Party's Toxic Take On History", states “Most people with a basic grounding in history find Tea Party ignorance something to laugh about, certainly not something to take seriously. But I would argue that history demonstrates that historical ignorance is dangerous and that it can have tragic consequences, however laughable it may initially seem. And thus the media, liberals, and others are misguided in laughing it off.”

    He goes on to say that “…ignorance of this sort isn’t inconsequential. Historical fraudulence is like a disease, a contagious psychosis which can lead to mob hysteria and worse. Consider the role that fraudulent history played in Weimar Germany, where the “stab in the back” myth that the German Army had been cheated of victory in World War I by Jews and Socialists on the home front was used by the Nazis to justify their hatreds.”

    If you’re not sufficiently fearful of these people now to take action, I don’t know what will awaken the sleeper in you. I will say it plainly – these people are dangerous, and you ignore them at your peril. The commenter, above, has also made this very plain.

    I’m afraid.

    You should be, too.

    — W.D. Noble

  6. As you know, Will, I am a firm believer in common sense, which, if it were as common (meaning “ubiquitous”, not “ordinary”) as some claim, it would give rise to a more moderate conversation about everything. Because, truth be told, there IS no right or wrong here, no black or white. There is enough on both sides, AND in the middle, to completely muddy the waters, and take the power (which is really what this is all about) from ANY side. It’s always got to be about moderation in opinions, Will, and a recognition of the fact that the truth, the “right” answer, is ALWAYS in the details between and among ideas, NEVER in the extremes of opinions!

    Sorry…that’s my opinion. I don’t accept any argument that purports to be true if it uses as the basis for its truth the absolute wrongness of the side it is opposed to. Bullshit! That’s why there’s so much damned trouble in the world – we’re too busy trying to prove WE’RE right and the rest are not just wrong but DAMNED wrong, and crazy to boot! Makes me wonder how much of anything ever gets done anywhere!

    In fact, there is much to be said AGAINST the US by the rest of the world, and against the US government by its rabid opposition – we’d all be a bunch of liars if we said any different! – and there’s a lot to be said FOR them! The trouble is, too many Americans (I’ll duck and run when I’m done here!) think the US is a law unto itself, and above even that! Too many think anything it does, any idea it promulgates, is certainly, if not above question, at least above question by any nation or people it considers inferior to itself – and from where I sit, that’s an awful lot of them!

    The day we all learn to stop acting like we hold the key to the answers for our world and our time – and I mean we as individuals, as much as I mean the US – will be the day things begin to change. Problem is, I don’t see that day EVER coming!

    Okay…now that I’ve totally pissed off the right, left, and center, my work is done, so I’m outta here! *waves over my head as I leave*

  7. Oh, and on the subject of religion, I’ll just say this. Just because some people don’t give it that title doesn’t mean they are not as ‘religiously zealous” in their beliefs as the ones who call themselves “Christian”. Which doesn’t make “Christians” any more dangerous than they are.

    Just sayin’… We must always be careful to demonize equally, ya know? In the interests of fairness, and so as not to cause folk to wonder why we do protest so much!

    Gawn again…

  8. Sorry, but one more thing occurred to me, Will, as I read Mike V’s tirade. There is a whole lot of anger out there, on BOTH sides of the political arena in America, that is fueled by the same kind of intolerance that fueled the Civil Rights riots and murders. It’s the same kind that fuels the small town, and big city, militias, and that gets called everything from “redneck” to “racist”.

    And if the state of the “union” were not already laughably divided, despite the ridiculously optimistic phrasing, this kind of behavior, and this polemic would prove to anyone paying even the smallest amount of attention exactly HOW divided the UNITED States of America really are. Only a fool thinks that anything unites this country other than a political structure, which might explain all the trouble currently rocking the national boat, both in its own waters and in international ones.

  9. @Mike Vanderboegh

    Sir, I believe what you’ve written as a reply constitutes a threat. I’m going to be blunt here. It’s YOUR side making all the threats and it’s YOUR side of which people should be fearful. You’ve manufactured oppression in your mind which does not, in reality, exist. Your side is itching for an excuse to pull the trigger and kill somebody. Grow the hell up! Your side lost. We survived Bush, you’ll survive Obama.

  10. [quote=Mike Vanderboegh]And as for Christopher’s comment: “. . . the only way out of this predicament is to go straight through it and dealing with ignoramuses like the ‘tea party’ and company.”

    Uh, huh. Anytime you want to “deal” with us, anytime you feel froggy, just bring it on down to our doors. It may start there, but it won’t end until your nanny state tyranny lies dying in the dust with its balls ripped off. This is as the Founders intended it.

    Stay on your side of the Constitutional fence and you can keep your governmental testicles.[/quote]

    A few things you should be aware of…

    1. I have no desire to personally start a fight with you – when I said that the only way out of anomie was to go straight through, I was implying that dealing with would-be revolutionaries that have no sense of historical context would be only one of *many* obstacles that would have to be dealt with as a social order rots and decays (like the one we have now is rotting away). I wasn’t suggesting picking a fight, merely preparing oneself for the possibility of one: as the old Roman proverb says: sic vis pacem, para bellum.

    2. I’m no friend of the nanny state (or even the state in general, for that matter) – my own personal views are more closely reflected by anarchist thought (particularly influential to me are authors like Proudhon, Stirnir, Bakunin and Nietzsche – hardly big government advocates) than socialism. If you read any of my past commentaries, you would know this: the fact that your reply was so hasty to lump me in with an ideology you vehemently oppose without understanding the facts shows that you are the one who’s looking for a fight.

    3. If you read my comment in its entirety, you would know that I understand where you are coming from – and even identify with your sense of disenfranchisement. What I have against people like the “tea party” and company isn’t the fact that they are angry (hell, I’m angry at the established order myself), but rather the fact that they look back to a past that doesn’t exist and try to make our society conform en total to that half-imagined idea of the past: instead of finding practical solutions to the problems of an overbearing society, they seek solace in something that’s not real – in an imaginary, oversimplified America that’s completely divorced from historical reality – and try to enforce that concept of “America” on everybody else.

    In many ways, your kind has become just like the thing you hate – you despise overbearing authority, but at the same time try to exercise authority over those who don’t share your views. Hence a considerable part of the need for people like myself to form militias of our own: not just to undermine the existing social order, but to prevent other authoritarian orders (like those of the “tea party and co.) from coming into being.

  11. Teri – While I understand your desire to play ‘devil’s advocate’ and all, we’re quite beyond that as a nation where such parlor-games are even advisable, let alone valuable. I’m genuinely sorry that you view the nation’s divide as ‘laughable’. It’s not.

    What’s going on here in America is a precursor to blood-sport – and the stakes are so high that I’m afraid I can’t accept your attempt at rationalizing this away into a debate.

    As to religion, yes – religion is an inextricable component of the process; it’s the only way these people can justify their extreme behavior. Again; we can argue the nuance of who is and who isn’t a ‘real Christian’, or the term upon which we can agree (‘hijacking religion’, etc.) – but in the end, it’s not going to matter. Religion is a tool – a key tool, arguably, but just a tool – in order to achieve their goals.

    As a black woman from Jamaica, you have to be more than a bit concerned about the things you’re reading and hearing from these people. To be stone-cold-blunt, they’d be only too happy to pack you up and ship you back home – because you’re just as much a threat to them as I am.

    “I don’t accept any argument that purports to be true if it uses as the basis for its truth the absolute wrongness of the side it is opposed to.”

    I haven’t done this. I did, however, make an assumption – that anyone living here voluntarily believes that (1) the U.S. has a Constitution, which, among other things, has provided for the valid creation and sustenance of a government, and that (2) the government has continued in an unbroken line of validity-through-elections ever since the ratification of that document.

    It follows that anyone who is advocating things like the overthrow of that government or some of the other things which I’ve outlined in my article above is acting against that government and its validity.

    I do not believe that is an invalid assumption, nor is it an argument solely supported by a negative stance. Your statement (above) would rule out any stand against wrong or evil. Unfortunately, we haven’t time for that parlor-game, either.

    Today, we’ve learned some things – and for that, I’m glad that Mr. V. decided to weigh-in; we learned that violence is the means by which he and his will achieve their objectives (“…it won’t end until your nanny state tyranny lies dying in the dust with its balls ripped off. This is as the Founders intended it.”); we also learned that they will justify this with a twin-belief in ‘God and the Founders’; misguided patriotism and perverted religion – the two most-powerful forces in politics, against which there is no counter by way of reason.

    I and everyone like me were invited to ‘stay on our side of the Constitutional fence, and we could keep our testicles.’ We were also told that what I’ve said before is true – there are actually two groups of people living in America – one which believes in social progress, and another which would cheerfully ‘take us back’ – to the 18th century.

    Teri, regardless of what you might want to believe here, it’s time to pick a side. I hate that statement; it begs the failure of reason and compromise, but we’re there, and there’s no sense in arguing that we’re not.

    These people have made it clear that they’re armed (‘Perhaps you should buy firearms and form a militia. You’re going to need them.’), and they’re willing to use those weapons to achieve a goal – and that goal will be a very, very dark America indeed for anyone who believes in light.

    And yes – I’m afraid of these people. You should be, too.

    –W.D. Noble

  12. Quite frankly, Will, I’m afraid of ALL sides. And to be shipped back home holds no terror for me – it is where I was raised, where I grew up, and where my strength was forged. It might not be such a bad thing, except for my daughters, who were born here, and whose lives are of no value to any side but mine. Fortunately, at least one of them is of an age to understand some of what is going on here, or at least to ask the questions which might be her salvation.

    The USA was ENGENDERED in violence, Will, so it really isn’t surprising that Mr. V and his ilk resort to it to protect what they see as the “right” way. As an “alien”, albeit one with a piece of paper that supposedly protects my rights as an adoptee, people like him frighten me deeply. I guess I have come to the realization that no matter how many “reasonable” folk take up arms of a different sort, we are NONE of us safe from those who would strip us of our lives. Which, let me tell you, is a FAR MORE FRIGHTENING thought, Will!

    Honestly, Will, I think what’s happening in America has always been inevitable, because there is too much arrogance here, and too strong of a belief in the valuelessness of everyone but Americans. And in the midst of all that, Americans have themselves become each other’s targets, with the rest of us caught in the crossfire. Greed is an ugly beast, Will. Perhaps the lawful government will move to protect its citizenry from those who would destroy them – it is also armed, is it not? Wait…the much-touted Constitution may inhibit the government from doing what less “civilized” societies do to protect their own! A conundrum, Will, wouldn’t you say?

  13. [quote=W.D. Noble]While I understand your desire to play ‘devil’s advocate’ and all, we’re quite beyond that as a nation where such parlor-games are even advisable, let alone valuable. I’m genuinely sorry that you view the nation’s divide as ‘laughable’. It’s not.[/quote]

    Actually, in a way it is – supposedly this nation is one people (e pluribus unum), but the reality is that the seeds of balkanization were planted from the very start of this less-than-perfect union. What we are seeing today is but the end result of over a century of individual disenfranchisement coupled with mass ignorance of nation’s own history: mass hysteria being channeled by cynical politicals and special interests for the purpose of “restoring” the nation to a state of being it never possessed in the first place.

    If you don’t have much in the way of firepower right now, I suggest you get some – this situation is about to get ugly as the social anomie afflicting the nation runs through its final phases before total meltdown.

    [quote=W.D. Noble]I did, however, make an assumption – that anyone living here voluntarily believes that (1) the U.S. has a Constitution, which, among other things, has provided for the valid creation and sustenance of a government, and that (2) the government has continued in an unbroken line of validity-through-elections ever since the ratification of that document.[/quote]

    As to your points, I would like to think that the government was at some point based on the constitution – however, this is no longer case: any sovereignty that the federal government may have once possessed has long since been sold out to the special interests – big business, organized religion, so-called “citizen’s groups” (really just extremely vocal minority groups) and even foreign nations have bought up the controlling influence for national policy-making. And the political class just sat back and let it happen so long as they got enough “campaign contributions” (read: bribes) to ensure their own elections.

    For that reason I can certainly see why overthrow of the government is a necessity – however, I don’t see the “tea party” and company doing that: I see them merely taking the reigns of power and recreating the same system of government that exists now – but with a slightly more religious stance. This “tea party” government would likely be just as corrupt and diseased as the one we have now, it would just have a cloak of self-righteousness to hide that corruption behind…

  14. The tea partiers are receiving way too much media attention to be anything but another manipulative device to tighten controls over the American populace. They use the common denominator of alarm for the loss of Constitutional freedoms to rally gun lobbyists, free speech advocates, anti- mandatory personal laws and religious segments alike, while the fuel for their funding comes from the same corporate/political machinery. The tea party advocates are no more revolutionary than an overweight eighteenth century duchess whose main concern is a box of chocolates.

    One other thing occurs to me. If the tea partiers are against nanny society, than why in the world is Sarah one of their main speakers? Oh, that’s right. She’s not a nanny; she’s mommy!

  15. [quote=karlsie]The tea partiers are receiving way too much media attention to be anything but another manipulative device to tighten controls over the American populace. They use the common denominator of alarm for the loss of Constitutional freedoms to rally gun lobbyists, free speech advocates, anti- mandatory personal laws and religious segments alike, while the fuel for their funding comes from the same corporate/political machinery. The tea party advocates are no more revolutionary than an overweight eighteenth century duchess whose main concern is a box of chocolates. [/quote]

    Well said – even though many members of the “tea party” and company have revolutionary sentiments, they are channeled into outlets that serve the interests of the existing social order: which effectively nullifies any revolutionary potential that they have. However, they are unstable and do have the potential to be dangerous to the sovereign individual should they ever take up power (as is usually the case when extreme passions and ignorance take hold in the minds of a large portion of the population) – so I wouldn’t ignore them completely.

    As I said before, the “tea party” and company is just a symptom of anomie – the real disease lies in the corruption that permeates all levels of the established social order: until this is sick and rotting order finally dies we should expect movements like these to keep popping up – there’s little point in addressing each movement individually because they are all products of the same decay.

  16. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    I guess those type add, “So we can shoot them.”

  17. [quote=W.D. Noble]Folks, what I have a hard time believing is the universally-dismissive attitude among people who ought to know better.[/quote]

    Who’s being dismissive? All commentators acknowledge that the “tea party” crowd does constitute a threat – we just view that threat from a different perspective than you do: you see them as *the* threat in and of themselves, whilst people like myself take a step back, look at the bigger picture and realize that they are indeed a threat but the *real* threat is the decay of society itself – even if the “tea party” kooks were dealt with another psuedo-revolutionary movement preying on the collective anger and ignorance of the masses would rise up to take its place. Rather than run around putting out the proverbial brush fires of this overgrown forest that is American society, I opt to simply let the fires burn and clear out the dead wood that is suffocating the life out of everything it touches – in the long run this is the only way to deal with social disease.

  18. “Who’s being dismissive? All commentators acknowledge that the “tea party” crowd does constitute a threat – we just view that threat from a different perspective than you do: you see them as *the* threat in and of themselves….”

    Chris, by this time I’m wondering if you read the article.

    In it, I mentioned the Tea Party as only a component of the issue – the three major groups I mentioned as hating America were (1) a good deal of the Republican party (of which, we should assume, the Tea Party is a vocal part); (2) the conservative Christian church, and (3) the wingnut-fringe.

    Of the subgroups, the Tea Party got precisely six and a half lines out of 2,200 words. I mentioned five other groups, plus the general militia movement.

    My overall point being that you have to take all of this together.

    Now, one commenter seems to agree with you – “The USA was ENGENDERED in violence…(this) has always been inevitable, because there is too much arrogance here….”

    Personally? I’d like to believe that what really unites America isn’t just an artificial political-construct, but the belief that we can actually make things better for ourselves and our fellow Americans.

    That’s a long way from “…let the fires burn and clear out the dead wood….” — because when you do that, a lot of good people are going to die with them. This has happened a lot throughout history, and absent a reasoned approach, you won’t have to wait long for it to happen here, too.

    Gosh, Chris — I guess I’m more alone than I thought; I really believed we had a chance here. If not, then Mr. “V” is right – we’d all better just buy weapons and get ready to start shooting each other.

    (Meantime, I’d like just one person to really read the article I posted above, rather than just running through it to glean buzzwords; read the links provided and then think about a comment – because it appears that everyone took this piece to be about the Tea Party – which it’s not – and has already reached the conclusion that we’re screwed.

    We’ve got about a year, if I’m right – but I continue to be optimistic. I’ll admit that I’m probably wrong – then again, throwing in the towel before the game is over is even more wrong.)

    -W

  19. [quote=W.D. Noble]Chris, by this time I’m wondering if you read the article.

    In it, I mentioned the Tea Party as only a component of the issue – the three major groups I mentioned as hating America were (1) a good deal of the Republican party (of which, we should assume, the Tea Party is a vocal part); (2) the conservative Christian church, and (3) the wingnut-fringe.[/quote]

    Yes, I got all that – I just used the words “tea party” and company as a sort of catch-all for the people groups you described. Why? Because, at their core, they all reflect the same basic mentality: that this nation should “return” to some fictionalized version of the past. They are all just different manifestations of the anomie that afflicts a dying nation known as the United States (something of a misnomer, really…).

    [quote=W.D. Noble]Personally? I’d like to believe that what really unites America isn’t just an artificial political-construct, but the belief that we can actually make things better for ourselves and our fellow Americans.[/quote]

    That may have been the driving force of the nation at one time, but not today – at present this entity called “America” is not considerably different from what the Roman empire had turned into by the 3rd. and 4th. centuries: a social establishment that seeks to manipulate the masses into compliance with the will of a handful of oligarchs in a cynical plot to loot the wealth of their nation and leave the common man holding the bag as barbarians come crashing through the gates.

    In short, this nation is fucked – it is now a mockery of what the founders attempted to create. The only way out of this situation is to allow this corrupt establishment to die: the sooner it dies, the sooner sovereign individuals get a chance to rebuild.

    [quote=W.D. Noble]That’s a long way from “…let the fires burn and clear out the dead wood….” — because when you do that, a lot of good people are going to die with them.[/quote]

    Everyone dies sometime – the fact of the matter is that we only have two choices before us: accept the will of this corrupted social order, play its little games at the ballot boxes (as though elections have any real meaning anymore…) and suffer a slow descent into the grave as pawns of the system or quit the game entirely, get to work on the start of a new society to replace the diseased one and prepare for the fall of an empire (I personally see it coming within the next 2-3 decades – around the time-frame in which the state’s little “bread and circuses” programs go bankrupt).

    Is this “fair” to people who invested their whole lives into making society a “better place” (according to their own understanding of the concept anyway…)? No. But then again causality doesn’t care about human concepts like “fairness” – rather it tends to favor those who are able to adapt to new conditions (ex. social anomie) over those that are not.

    [quote=W.D. Noble]Gosh, Chris — I guess I’m more alone than I thought; I really believed we had a chance here. If not, then Mr. “V” is right – we’d all better just buy weapons and get ready to start shooting each other.[/quote]

    Mr. “V” may very well be a deluded ignoramus with no sense of historical perspective, but he does smell the rot (even if he can’t clearly see the source due to his delusions) and certainly does have a point there – the storm is coming and it’s best to be prepared to go right through it. As much as I’d love to think that everything’s going to be ok and this predicament this nation is currently bogged down in will be overcome my knowledge of history tells me otherwise: that these movements you express so much fear of are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg – the obvious threat that masks a truly insidious one.

  20. Demonization occurs on both sides of the argument. W.D. Noble, you’re as guilty of this as the “wing-nut” groups you profess to worry about. This isn’t the first time a moral panic has been fired by the media. (A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order) It’s very unlikely to be the last. When the economy recovers the anxiety will drop and the issue will no longer be the topic of conversation on everyones blog…

  21. [quote=Patrick]When the economy recovers the anxiety will drop and the issue will no longer be the topic of conversation on everyones blog…[/quote]

    You are an optimist – I don’t see any significant level of economic recovery in the near future, just more exploitation of the common person on this financial rollercoaster until the national credit limit finally overextends itself (resulting in an inability on the part of the establishment to even pay the interest on the already-enormous national debt). I expect to see society slowly deteriorate over the next 2-3 decades until the established order finally dies of the cancer that afflicts it.

  22. [quote=Christopher] In short, this nation is fucked – it is now a mockery of what the founders attempted to create. The only way out of this situation is to allow this corrupt establishment to die: the sooner it dies, the sooner sovereign individuals get a chance to rebuild.[/quote]

    By the “founders” you mean the slaveholding, land and other property owning hypocrites, what they attempt was to create a new North American landed aristocracy, an exclusive white men’s club. They recorded their bigoted lies for prospect prosperity “…all men are created equal…”

    [quote=Christopher]Everyone dies sometime – the fact of the matter is that we only have two choices before us: accept the will of this corrupted social order, play its little games at the ballot boxes (as though elections have any real meaning anymore…) and suffer a slow descent into the grave as pawns of the system or quit the game entirely, get to work on the start of a new society to replace the diseased one and prepare for the fall of an empire (I personally see it coming within the next 2-3 decades – around the time-frame in which the state’s little “bread and circuses” programs go bankrupt). [/quote]

    “Everyone dies sometime” – except those for ordained by your exclusive club, a fate you and or your estate, “sovereign individuals” get a chance to create by birthright.

  23. “When the economy recovers the anxiety will drop and the issue will no longer be the topic of conversation on everyone’s blog.”

    “The tea party advocates are no more revolutionary than an overweight eighteenth century duchess whose main concern is a box of chocolates.”

    “This is a clash of worldviews which history tells us will not be settled except by violence….If you don’t want a civil war, then I suggest you quit disturbing us.”

    At this point, I’m sorry I even posted this piece here.

    Connecting the dots doesn’t seem to be in vogue; recognizing the threat is ‘alarmist moral panic’, and an analysis of the past isn’t necessary to examine the present.

    Some feel that this is ‘nothing to worry about’; that it’ll ‘all blow over’. Others are dismissive; yet others are actually looking forward to a day when the ‘dead wood’ are ‘burned out of America’ in a violent ‘cleansing’.

    Now, personally, I’d like to know in what universe these things don’t matter – because I’d like to go there. The truth and the facts are far different; life is not like a box of chocolates; we do know what we’re going to get – and it’s coming damn soon.

    Burning out the ‘dead wood’, as I’ve pointed out before, will take untold innocent lives with them – and among them, ironically, are likely to be the people who dismissed all of this in the first place.

    In another ironic twist, Mr. Vanderboegh laid all this out for us in his comment, above, in a manner I couldn’t possibly have done – the incredible thing is the number of people who appear to reject his blueprint – his Mein Kampf for America – in such a cavalier and dismissive manner.

    Burn that last quote in this comment, above, into your minds – I’ve a feeling you’ll be remembering it soon.

    Again, you can feel free to disagree.

    But don’t say you weren’t warned.

    (“The Tea Party’s Toxic Take on History” – (Ron Rosenbaum – Slate; 2010)

  24. Will, i think you might misunderstand a little what some people are saying; basically that the tea party club doesn’t fool them, and they won’t join. What would be accomplished by a general panic? It’s a recipe for violence and an invitation for a coup. The tea partiers are arriving as a political force and we have two choices as to what to do about it. We can either form an intelligent, oppositional party with a strong statement of what we feel should be the progress of the nation, or we can go out and blow up whoever is in disagreement with our beliefs. I do see a lot of danger in the shift to neo-conservatism, but i prefer not to shoot until i see the whites of their eyes.

  25. {quote=Darryl White]By the “founders” you mean the slaveholding, land and other property owning hypocrites, what they attempt was to create a new North American landed aristocracy, an exclusive white men’s club. They recorded their bigoted lies for prospect prosperity “…all men are created equal…” [/quote]

    That’s one interpretation of history and you’re entitled to that view, I see things in a different light – I see people attempting to create a society for the sovereign individual, but ultimately failed in their attempt due to their inability to let go of the institutions of the past (slavery being one of them).

    [quote=Darryl White]“Everyone dies sometime” – except those for ordained by your exclusive club, a fate you and or your estate, “sovereign individuals” get a chance to create by birthright.[/quote]

    1. There is no “exclusive club” here – just people who have the power and the will to shrug off the chains of the established order and those that can’t. Those that have the necessary will to power shall rise up when the anomie passes and rebuild, whilst those that don’t will simply be swept away in the coming chaos.

    2. The whole idea of the “birthright” is obsolete – instead of the “birthright” to recreate the world, I see that ability as something that is taken by the individual’s own force of will. Why? Because no one will just give that power to you: you have to seize that power for yourself.

    And to W.D. Noble…

    What makes you think that I’m “actually looking forward to a day when the ‘dead wood’ are ‘burned out of America’ in a violent ‘cleansing’.” – you make it sound like I find the prospect of anomie enjoyable.

    The truth is that I don’t “look forward” to the death of Western civilization as we know it any more than a stage IV cancer patient “looks forward” to dying – rather I’ve just come to accept that this nation is going to die and prepare accordingly.

    But in you I some one who’s in a state of denial about the condition his nation is in, akin to a lung cancer patient who thinks that he just has a really bad cough that needs a stronger treatment than normal. You focus on the right-wing nutters (which are the proverbial cough) as though they are the problem but you ignore the conditions that allow the wingnuts to prosper in the first place (the cancer that produces the cough) – then you get upset at anyone who points out that your focus is backwards, probably because you *want* to believe that the only problem is the proverbial “cough” and not a terminal problem like “cancer.”

  26. Wow, is all I can say.. While I do not know your background or upbringing, your attacks on religion and conservatism in America are right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. While you have a right to say and do pretty much what you wish to in this country, you certainly seem to want to take that right away from anyone who disagrees with your ideologies. Typical liberal….If you do not know the real History of America I suggest you learn before making things up….

  27. “Typical liberal….If you do not know the real History of America I suggest you learn before making things up…”

    This is probably the most interesting comment I’ve seen on this piece.

    I have an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology, and a master’s in history. American history was one of my foci.

    (Alinsky studied archaeology, if I’m remembering correctly — and I don’t see anything in what I’ve stated which comes from anyone’s ‘playbook’; especially Alinsky’s. He was a community organizer, who gave the poor a voice in politics. I write, mainly about America’s political condition. Alinksy was unabashedly Jewish, where I’m an atheist who doesn’t believe in Imaginary Friends of any sort. Alinsky and I have little to nothing in common).

    As to taking away the rights of others — I really don’t have a problem with what other people believe — I get very alarmed when people suggest making their religion law – and that’s going on here, more and more, every day. You’ll find that the common thread with most of what I write about the American political condition revolves around the hatred of the Right for anything genuinely American, and the serious danger of dismissing the religious Right as they proceed with their efforts to turn America into a theocracy. We have a First Amendment to prevent that, but it’s ignored more and more as the religious Right gets stronger — and if my defense of the Constitution is an ‘attack’ on religion (particularly ultraconservative Christianity), then I’ll accept that definition.

    You’re welcome to your Neoconservatism, your religion, and your attitude. Don’t try to make them mine, as I want no part of them.

    As to my knowledge of American history, it’s sound. By your comments, I’m gathering you’re another Neocon revisionist. Don’t expect to get away with that one, either.

  28. The Supreme Court successfuly upheld the 2nd admendment. The only thing concerning about this case was that it ended up with a 5-4 majority.

  29. Nice post…But URGENT NOTE In Seminole County, FL? Don’t like the autocratic school board? IMPORTANT to VOTE for Ackerman and Erwin IN THE PRIMARY!

  30. The churches have been stealing from Gay people long enough.Gays, who pay taxes, are denied basic civil rights, The church, who is tax exempt, affect public policy on Gay people.I would send the church to hell, if there were such a place. For now, letsleave them in the middle ages with their folklore and superstition.Whatever good there is in religion, can be had without religion.It is trickery, superstition, and shame.People who want to “save marriage” have their work cut out for them.Start with the incredibly high divorce rate.

  31. Interesting… the cancer analogy… it doesn’t quite fit… unless when told you have cancer… you simply say… “oh well… I’m going to die anyway… might as well prepare to die rather than prepare to live without cancer… since death is going to be the end result, no matter”.

    Kinda reminds me of the lyrics to the song.. “THE ROSE”.

    I’m certainly with Will on this issue… and I’m not simply going to stand back and watch as America burns and imagine I’m being part of the solution rather than being part of the problem itself, in doing so. There is only one thing in life that is inevitable… and that is CHANGE. Change without direction creates chaos. Proper direction requires RESPONSIBLE steering toward an intended result or resolution. Anyone that would simply sit back and watch a fire burn isn’t responsible and doesn’t deserve to then be part of any rebuilding effort, as far as I’m concerned. The law of karma will ensure it not happen… cosmicly speaking.

    PS… When Congresswoman Giffords comes back to full awareness… I’m pretty certain she would agree with Will as well on this issue. It isn’t our problems which are the larger issue here… it is the SOLUTION that some have determined to engage in order to bring about the kind of CHANGE they have in mind. This is not a solution that others have dreamed up to use against this adversarial mindset, as some propaganda tool. This is a solution that this seeming adversary has well established as the weapon they choose to use against US. US being defined as ANYONE that does not agree with their mindset and their definition of A CURE for their ills. Dare I say it… knowing how much the truth hurts… but in truth… far too many of those who share this mindset of Revolution rather than EVOLUTION… are as mentally ill as Mr. Laughner. If you think things are rough now… just wait till the Heath Care Bill has been deformed into another Corporate gift horse, leaving an un-imaginably high number of these folk without access to even inadequate health care. How is it that people can’t see how they create their own hells in which to live?

  32. Very good. And entirely in keeping with what I see from the perspective of behavioral psychology.

    It has long been known that those who adopt political conservatism or prefer socially conservative laws and values also show a very strong correlation for behaviours we would call “authoritarian”. In fact on questionairres meant to measure such traits, conservativism and authgoritarianism have a strong correlation quotient (r = 0.73). Psychologists have conducted mountains of studies trying to determine what lies at the core of conservatism, while one can very, very few seeking the motivation of those on the left. Why? One one understands that atitudes toward sharing are the largest determonant of where one falls on the left-right political axis, the desire to share wealth and power equally is consistent with the way wealth and power has been aportioned throughout most mankinds evolution and so in keeping with our brains development and how it reacts to social stimuli.

    Not so, the desire to control, dominate, and use for ones own selfish needs. These behaviours are far more consistent with our distant animal ancestors. So it is not at all surprising to find recent MRI scans of the brains of both conservatives and liberals finds the amygdula (or “reptilian brain”), a very ancient area of the brain responsible for such primary (primitive) emotions like fear, rage, are enlarged in conservatives vs the rest of the population. While the forebrain, a much more recently evolved region, is enlarged in libarea is thought responsible for inhibiting or governing the “fight or flight” impulse by interjecting reason and complex assessments of the social implications of attacking or fleeing those who present us with difficulty re: resource aquisition.

  33. Research on the matter can be found here at Dr. Altemeyer’s (widely cited, leading authority on the subject of auhoritarianism) website where recent developments have so concerned him that he has put an easily read summary of his 30+ yrs. doing studies of conservatism (with rare polling of sitting US and Canadian legislators) among the general population. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    An essay on the Tea Party as seen through a psychological perspective is there for those unintersted in reading the much longer “The Authoritarians” free ebook mentioned above. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/drbob/Comment%20on%20the%20Tea%20Party.pdf

    Back in the USA, there’s this from a couple of social scientists tapped by DHS to form a panel that will gauge from which sector of soceity is one most likely to se terrorism arise. The answer should come as no surprise. http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~hannahk/Political_Conservatism.html

  34. My years studying political psychology can be simmered down to one basic difference in perspective between the liberal and conservative.

    The liberal tends to see other people in society as fellow travellers looking to build a better, more civilized world than the cruel, Darwinian “survival of the fittest” world our distant ancestors contended with. By working together mankind invents agriculture, writing, technology, and mutual or cooperative defence…which for such a poorly-equipped animal as man, having no talons, sabre-like teeth, speed or power with wich to defend against attacks from othe species, leaves our ability to coordinate our actions in a manner that predicts where and what other animals will likly do, about the only advantage we have over them.

    Conservatives otoh, see life as neccesarily cruel and people as untrustworthy. Life is a constant “dog eat dog” contest in which they intend to do the eating. “Dominate or be dominated” is the rule in business, international relations, in climbing the social ladder, and so on.

    What they fail to see is that the people they point to as justification for their own attitude are in fact others just like them only wearing a different uniform, flying a diffeent flag, praying to a different god, but right-wing and conservative nonetheless. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and even Hitler, with his elevation of an economic elite (right-wing)and his vision of a Third Reich to capture the glory of Germany *as it was* is classic conservatism. (save the “Nazism is leftwing” BS for the gullible. NO reference text ANYWHERE agrees with that view, despite the word “Socialist” appearing in NSDAP. Not everything is as advertised (GDR, DRC, “Progressive” Conservative Party[Canada]) Unless of course you *want* to be taken in, as millions of Germans certainly were).

    I see Mr V. above saying that all they want is to be left alone. Fine. But then you must return all those things that are a product of men cooperating in an industrial society where they developed rules of the road meant to keep as working, living and loving together rather than preying on each other in the “dog-eat-dog” manner of our animal ancestors.
    Give us back your guns and cars since you wont be driving on OUR roads anyhow. OUR tax dollars built them and keep them repaired. Give up the PC you’re using as the internet too is a worldwide social tool born of cooperation between people with nothing in common but our desire to see more than what we are capable of achieving on our own.
    If you ont care for venison 24/7, deer-hide clothing, home-made wine for drinking, and that “lil’ filly over yon hill” isn’t your idea of the perfect mate, well….too bad. Those of us in the more concentrated population (read “social”) areas know why we live in a cooperative sytem where we must give a little up if we hope to take back out of the system for ourselves. You don’t, so….

    Anf btw. Your wages were negotiated on the understanding that X amount went out as taxes. So until you agree to take a 30% (or whatever)reduction in pay, don’t whine about giving YOUR money to the tax-man. You only have it in the first place due the efforts and negotiations between labour unions and industry leaders. Your getting paid anything at all due the efforts of past social reformers, the very people you so love to hate.

    If you had any idea how parasitic your version of “self-sufficiency” really is, you would be ashamed. But you don’t..through the cherry-picked epistomology that appears to hard-wired into the RWA (authoritarian) cognitive development, likly due the incomplete maturation of our social-intellectual phase of development, one that should take place around puberty but leaves those who fail this stage with the same hierarchical worldview(authoritarian) we have as dependent toddlers, hence the tendency to be highly deferential (unquestioning) of power (clerics, police, military superiors, politicians ) and un-critical of whatever in-group authority figures (conservative TV-radio personalities, business owners)say.

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