A post on Facebook regarding a NY Times Op-ed article (Building a Nation of Know-Nothings http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/building-a-nation-of-know-nothings/) inspired me to comment… that comment became involved and I thought I would share.
I currently reside in one of the heaviest liberal areas of the US, within this area I live in a small mountain village of poets, anarchists, and libertarians. People who either were escaping the confines of organized society or just could not fit in. The people of this enclave cultivate an atmosphere of abrasiveness toward outsiders and authority which has allowed them a great deal of autonomy.
Upon reading the above editorial and seeing the comments
“When is America gonna wake up and stop believing the people that are trying to control us with lies and misdirection!”
“It will never happen. The right wing nut jobs will always believe their own over the truth.”
I started to contrast the power of the conservative movement in the states against the seemingly ineffective efforts of the liberal initiatives.
9/11 has allowed savvy political players, to bring together groups once distant. Examples include, tax abolitionists, survivalist militias, and the “Moral Majority” a vocal minority movement once responsible for condemning music lyrics and publicly shaming people who wear revealing clothing or imbibe alcohol.
The difference between the left wing nut job movement and the right wing nut job movement in the USA is… “Organization”…
- A cohesive and consistent message in the form of a nationally entrenched broadcast network FOX news with gifted talking heads (they are gifted… as other international leaders were gifted in inciting the masses with generally bad information)
- The white washing of “sins” or disingenuous motives in the form of religious support, (there is a reason the for fathers fought so hard to separate Church and State)
- The illusion of credibility in the form of support of a major political body,
- The illusion of Patriotism in the form of jingoistic language.
- and maybe…Access to guns
The tools of the right wing political machine are:
- God, Motherhood, and Country
- Anger, incredulity, victim-hood/fear and martyrdom
- Misdirection (ex. http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/08/26/bunch.beck.history/index.html) and a disassociation of/with responsibility (the never apologize credo)
- Distill complicated and difficult issues as black/white moral sound bytes
- Use of the media, direct aggression to unsympathetic reporting and money and support to those that do
The tools of the left are:
- Planet Earth, Environment, and personal expression
- Passive aggressive responses toward aggression
- Signature and petition campaigns
- Disillusion with all things corporate and or military
- Balanced and intellectual responses
- Satirical Humor (In my opinion the most effective voice of the “left” is John Stewart and the “Daily Show” an fake news program on the comedy channel)
The scary thing about the conservative movement has been the ability to get members to act against personal morals and convictions for the party cause… and even more so… to instill the belief that their elite members are not accountable to behaviors against their own moral codes because A, they are acting for the good of the nation, B. they can attribute any of their own faults to those of their “enemy” or C. they were chosen by a higher power.
Is it a conspiracy?… if you call architects, planners and managers conspirators the answer is “yes” but there is nothing hidden about the agenda and tactics.
Unfortunately, the whole system leaves such a bad taste in concept that the natural reaction is to turn off such drivel, and walk away. But how can a sentient being walk away from this disturbing momentum. The only opposition (Democrats- once the party of disorganized humanist/socialist/environmentalist idealists) has been given support in reaction to the ridiculous campaigns but, (even by adopting some reprehensible tools of the neo-con movement) has appeared amateurish and ineffectual.
I have been called a “Stupid American” by a “Stupid European”, who only saw me sitting on a train, but in my global travels I have never felt more shame and less power in my ability to defend my country’s honor since this movement began to rise… In my travels my opinion is that the majority of the world is actually hoping for a strong America, they have hope for Obama, they hope he will restore our status and global leadership.
We have been the nation of “Hope”, of personal sacrifice leading to personal/family elevation; it would be a shame if we had to relinquish this crown and actually became the nation of “Know-Nothings” who “Did Nothing”.