Who’s Afraid?

I used to be afraid of the big bad wolf; that was about 65 years ago. My Reality Bag was quite empty at that time, but it filled up rather nicely in the subsequent years. Today it’s busting at the seams! ‘…fear itself,’ as FDR put it. Or, Orwell: Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Earlier this month, the front page of USA Today led with this headline: Census tracks 20 years of sweeping change. The opening paragraph surely must have sent chills down the spines of the right-wingers in America.  It stated:

The USA is bigger, older, more Hispanic and Asian and less wedded to marriage and traditional families than it was in 1990. It also is less enamored of kids, more embracing of several generations living under one roof, more inclusive of same-sex couples, more cognizant of multiracial identities, more suburban, less rural and leaning more to the South and West.

Wow! That’s frightening if one is ‘wedded’ to far-right political and social values. The personal terror level of many must have risen to red that morning as they read the article. It smacks of [gulp!] tolerance and left-of-center ideology. Gosh, what’s a righty to do?? FEAR, that’s what.  And pull together in shared ignorance and intolerance.  Be afraid, be terribly afraid.

A few days later, readers of the New York Times may have read the Op Ed by Paul Krugman, Republicans Against Science. Krugman said, “The GOP is now aggressively anti-science, indeed, anti-knowledge, which should terrify us.” It would only ‘terrify us’ if we thought that the American Electorate would elect such a candidate as president. I have a bit more confidence than Krugman that Americans are not that stupid.

Back to the USA Today article on the changing demographics of America.  Isn’t it refreshing? We are becoming a more tolerant people, not less. Yet remarkably, all of the current GOP presidential candidates are running on the opposite platform. If your stomach can manage to contain its dinner, watch the GOP debate this evening with that idea in mind. What they will say will nearly be the opposite of the findings of the 2010 Census.  Of course the far right of the Republican Party [a huge, crowded bulge] doesn’t want to ‘believe’ any of the data laid out by USA Today. The morsels of raw, red meat will be flying across the stage this evening and the hungry audience will mindlessly, animalistically, devour as much as is fed them.

Yet, will it satisfy and allay their fears? Perhaps, if they never extend themselves beyond their clutch of bobbleheads. Ignorance is calming. The 24/7 professional propagandists on AM radio understand the ‘need’ for fear.  After all, fear is their common denominator, their Raison d’être. Fearful audiences absorb ‘the message’ much more quickly than those with a much broader vision. And it works. Just look at the rating numbers for right-wing radio as well as FoxNews. There are millions of Americans hooked each day by these professional propagandists who feed fear into the souls and psyche of those on the right. There is money to be made with such an audience, and the profits keep piling up.

This is what scares the hell out of those traditionalists on the right side.

This image.

Not only that, but interracial marriages.

Same-sex couples.

Is it any wonder that there is great anger, angst and bitterness in those who are stuck on the far-right side of the political spectrum? “Their America” is slipping away and they are not going gently into that good night. Not at all.  Rather, they are kicking and screaming that ‘their America’ has been taken from them. And ‘you know who’ is responsible for it all.

It is we, those to the left-of-center, who have allowed all of ‘this’ to happen. We are the agents of destruction of ‘their world.’ We, the more tolerant, the more wide-of-vision are the culprits. This fuels their anger and extends their fear because they know, in their heart of hearts, that America is not going back. ‘Those good old days’ will not return and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that they can do about it.

Who’s afraid. Not I. But there is an angry knot of intolerant, intractable people who cannot change, cannot let go of their fear. Do I have pity on them or do I disdain them? The jury is out.


11 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid?

  1. You can disdain and fear them Muddy. They merit both.

    I am most appalled (at the moment, subject to change) at those who promote right wing wacko revisionist history. Why is it that Texas is always the worst?
    Now THAT is a truly scary world, if they ever bring it about! I don’t want to go back to the 19th century; it was not a nice place.

    1. Another excellent link. Be sure to watch all of the video clips in the link. However, while watching the videos, think how a “right winger” would perceive the messages. You might give yourself a headache.

  2. First off, everybody should read Krugman’s article you linked in the post; excellent. Of course it’s me and there’s more questions.

    I like reading the Blade’s Editorial Page (like I like reading the Wingnut blogs) to see the “other” side. I really learn and occasionally have adjusted my opinion on subjects. Now the question part. I’ve read several letters there complimenting the Blade that they (the reader) have learned so much by reading the reader’s letters. I notice a lot that contain outright false information (intentional?) and The Blade never follows those with those Italicized comments they use. Last February there was a letter with something like “Global Warming, huh? Then how come it’s so cold out?” Of course my first thought was “it’s February in northern Ohio dummy”. I dreamed of seeing that letter reprinted in the Blade two weeks ago. Just for the record, a sign of Global Warning is violent weather; we are on a roll to set the most new weather records this year. And cooling of weather in North America could also be a sign of Global Warming (fresh water melting at the North Pole causing the North Atlantic to be less salty causing the warming Gulf Stream to dive much further south similar to what happened during the last Ice Age).

    And all this talk about evolution; it’s not a “questioned” theory. Whatever and what ever does it have to do with religion unless you literally follow the Bible (why can’t they ever notice it’s called “The King Jame’s Version?)? As I’ve stated before. I was taught evolution in Roman Catholic school by a nun. Her reasoning was “What difference does it make?” Seems the only difference is to the Fear Mongers.

    I have to chuckle every time I read about interracial marriages. I really thought it bothered me. Finally I realized I had many inter racially married friends; it just wasn’t an issue. If you think really hard, I bet you’ll come up with at least one marriage you never noticed that was interracial.

    And then there’s the one about same sex couples can always have legal documents drawn up to protect their rights. NOT EVEN CLOSE! Marriage is so much more government legal issues than any church laws. Mr. Mud, you’re slightly older than me so I’m sure you remember saying the Our Father in the morning at school. Then we stopped it because we realized the dangers of combining church and state. What happened to change that?

    Bottom line though, I still have misgivings about any censorship laws similar to ones in Europe and Canada. Like Joe Friday always said “Just the facts, ma’am”.

    1. (sorry, me again….I just couldn’t hold this one in.)

      ADDENDUM: The latest (this morning) falsehood being spread by the “scientists” over in Far-Past-Right-Ville is that “proven science(sic)” shows that global warming is not caused by man but by cosmic rays.

      I found that intriguing so I dug into their sources. Seems even their sources disagree with that. At least a decade ago using some old science, some guys in India said the rate of cosmic rays should be factored into global warming. Well some environmental guys did just that and found out their was little to no correlation. If fact, the recent level of cosmic rays would have had a cooling effect on the Earth.

  3. M_R writes: “Who’s afraid. Not I.”

    I know your not, my good friend….So when will you cut rope with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur?

    1. Because it’s the right action to take for a muckraker. She has presided over the period that the middle-class has been seriously weakened. I said that she looks upon Lucas County/Toledo as her fiefdom. Her purse is
      seemingly full of lobbyists money. We just can’t put the blame on one
      political party; Ds are as responsible as the GOP. I would go deeper, but
      tonight I have a couple of adult drinks in me and I’m tired from being with
      the local police until midnight. If I can pull it together tomorrow I will give a
      more detailed substantiated reason why Kaptur has to be replaced in the
      2012 Democratic Primary. She is a part of the problem…..

  4. Jeff- no need to apologize for posting comments here; we enjoy what you have to say and what you ‘discovered’

    One of the reasons that there is a great effort on the right to denigrate science is not only to be a cheerleader the corporate world but there is a religious element as well. If science can be made to ‘look’ incompetent, then the theory of evolution can easily be ‘questioned’ as well. And therefore the Bible can remain ‘true’ as the ‘word’ of god. The fundamentalists do not want their Bible to be questioned by scientists because if the theory of evolution is accepted then the Bible is fiction. It is a carefully thought out plan by the right-wing to ‘save’ their archaic beliefs.

    I have often written that the Taliban and American fundamentalists share many similarities including the ‘belief’ that ‘god’ is directing them. Further, each group ‘knows’ this because of the writings of some ‘holy book’ which each claims to be the one, true book.

    The discoveries in the scientific community over the last several decades have made many of the passages in the ‘holy book’ look like a comic book. That is what is behind the right-wing’s effort to denounce the findings of the science community. It literally is a war with science because, if these scientific discoveries are accepted, then the veracity of the Bible falls like a house of cards.

  5. I completely agree with your comment, M_R, that “One of the reasons that there is a great effort on the right to denigrate science is not only to be a cheerleader the corporate world but there is a religious element as well.”

    Indeed, the ‘religious element’, it seems to me is pervasive in the GOP. I’ve been working on a essay on how the GOP is more of a relligious organization than a political organization. It seems to me that all sorts of statements from the GOP emphasize that they are right, because they are righteous and have accepted the sovereignity of heaven. They are the beneficiaries of God’s
    saving grace. Therefore, their message is God’s and Jesus’ Word…..

    1. Well, you know how I procrastinate, but hope to get to it soonly. First things first, and that is responding to your query re Marcy Kaptur. It will be long and factual, so will look under a Post that doesn’t have many comments.

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