The right wing as an American Taliban
The American right wing has collectively lost any credibility with thinking people, and having driven away its more intelligent allies, has degenerated into a sort of American Taliban, composed of those too ignorant or fearful to embrace the modern world and led by those who profit from this ignorance and fear.
Both the American and Afghani Taliban are prisoners of their tribal world-views and they share a longing for regression to a mythical golden age. The Eastern Taliban consists of Muslim fundamentalists seeking to turn back the cultural clock to the time of the Prophet, when life was simpler and more in line with their worldview. The American variety consists primarily of Christian fundamentalists who believe that we’ve gone far astray and need to return to the time when America was a great power and cultural and religious conservatism was dominant. Many of the American Taliban identify as patriots because they see themselves as guardians of our nation’s founding principles. They believe that policies like universal health care, income tax, and climate change legislation are forbidden by our constitution and that theose who support these policies are traitors.
The right’s primary tool is fear
The western Taliban’s fear of progress and modernity makes them easy marks for right wing propagandists. The GOP and similar groups play on this fear, representing themselves as the way back to the golden age of American power and culture. Propagandists of the right align themselves with the Taliban, fellow sufferers with their way of life under attack. All that remains is to point out the attackers and encourage the “patriots” to action. Only the grossly ignorant can be so easily controlled, but the anti-intellectualism and religious extremism endemic to America means there are legions here willing to do the bidding of the right.
The right wing exists for itself and its benefactors
As the last several years’ scandals have shown, the partisans of the right have no personal integrity. Their much vaunted principles are infinitely malleable, changing as needed to best perpetuate the right’s wealth and power. The right is funded largely by corporate and social parasites who in turn rely on the right to maintain their own wealth and power, with the common man firmly under their feet. During the Bush/Cheney years, we saw this unholy alliance destroy America’s international reputation and seriously damage our economic foundation. Now that the GOP has lost most of their official power, they and their benefactors have loosed their army of false patriots on the nation, backed up by a large scale advertising campaign intended to spread fear and confusion, to block all attempts (e.g. health care reform) to loosen their grip on our collective throats.
The GOP’s army of ignorant and frightened white people
As a result of inflicting their regressive policies on this nation, the right wing has lost the support of all but their so-called base, the ignorant white religious and political extremists who live in perpetual fear that blacks, Hispanics, and liberals will rob them of their jobs and their way of life.
As we have all seen in the media and I have experienced many times firsthand, the people who make up the right wing’s base are largely incapable of rational thought. They witness the same world events and see the same changes coming as the rest of us, but they see them through the lens of FOX News and the other propaganda tools of the right. They fill their otherwise empty minds with the small thoughts given them by the right, and are thus kept in a state of frenzied anxiety. They can’t understand that this fear originates from their ignorance, so they externalize it, finding targets for it in the enemies painted for them by the right’s propaganda. From fear comes hatred, and because they have externalized this fear and have ready targets for their hatred, they are instinctively eager to act. All that is needed to keep them ready to do the right’s bidding, is to carefully feed them stories about their “enemies” and then tell them how to fight those enemies. The GOP has no rational arguments against the Democrats, so it’s using it’s base to spread fear and violence in hopes of derailing health care reform and anything else they see as a threat to their power.
Regressives destroy, progressives create
Creation seems to be mostly the realm of the progressive. Regressives seem to have little or no talent for it. When Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Rush Limbaugh are your creative base, you know you’re in trouble. Because they are so very bad at thinking, writing, and other creative activities, it’s no wonder the regressives occasionally turn their energies toward destruction, which is always within their reach and requires far less thinking and skill.
Smart people on the right need to take back conservatism from the ignorant and crazy
In the short term, let’s hope these backwards people expend all their energy talking and don’t turn to violence. In the longer term, let’s hope the right wing grows more intelligent conservatives like William Buckley, Colin Powell, and David Frum, and that these people take conservatism back from the ignorant and crazy, so the regressives have someone other than Limbaugh and Beck to listen to, and can start channeling their energy more appropriately.