While America-hating radical Liberal Barry Goldwater looks on.
For all the general bebitching and bemoaning about the horrible state of public discourse in this country (now that Progressives have started to counterpunch) we Lefties are always faced with three, glaringly obvious facts:
1. The Right started this fucking firestorm. The evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible. They did it to court the extreme, rightwing theocrats and racists that now have taken over their Party, and without whom it would be impossible for them to ever win another election. They did it coldly and with deliberate calculation.So with the Press stiff and cold and the Right gone mad, who are we talking to anymore?
2. Efforts to laugh off or “meet them halfway” have been a failure. Efforts at appeasement of the Mussolini-hearted men who rule the GOP have yielded nothing on the Left but the failed triangulation policy that keeps DLC consultants in big cake and hairplugs…and nothing from the Right except howls of laughter. In the absolutist conservative lexicon, Compromise = Capitulation, and therefore view compromise as spineless and cowardly. So at any effort to find genuine compromise and simply they redouble their “Liberals are vacillating Frenchmen who believe in nothing” narrative. Converselym any effort at standing pat on principle and they redouble their “Liberals are obstructionist” hooligans narrative.
To the Modern Conservative, democracy is a zero-sum-game and Liberals are not the opposition, but the Enemy. To be wiped out as expeditiously as possible.
3. The Persistent Vegetative Press have long since been beaten and starved to the point of abject capitulation, so no joy there. They steadfastly and conspicuously refuse to report on one of the biggest stories of the last 40 years: that Republican Party has been taken over by Stalinists. Instead they have positively sprinted in the opposite direction: burying any story that is critical of the GOP qua GOP, and forever fishing around in the margins for ways in which they can cast the Left as somehow equally and oppositely bad as the Right.
This “Fallacy of False Bisection” is the Conservative Propaganda Firewall; the press’ protective delusion that the “Center” is the Absolute Good wherever is happens to be located today. So that all a Conservative needs to do to radically shift the debate in his direction is to keep charging deeper into the twilight Tyranny/Fascism territory. And, no matter how far he goes, because the Lapdog Press has no fixed principle except “balance”, they will dutifully pace off half the distance between Ann Coulter and the Democrat Du Jure and arbitrarily declare that THIS is where the Reasonable Middle should be.
Ignoring, of course, the fact that tomorrow the "Center" will be 100 miles to the Right, and since Theocrat Conservative starting playing this game, “the Right” has been dragged so many million parsecs to the Right, the beliefs of a New Reasonable Middle Man would make Richard Nixon look like a Socialist.
In the short term, I have always believed we are talking to the actual middle.
People who many have signed up with the Conservatives because they bought Rush’s despicable lies, because it gave them someone to blame and there was no one to tell them otherwise.
People who should be Democrats, but watched the Democrats roll over and try to play nice-nice with the GOP as it was infested and seized by the scum of the Earth, instead of whipping the crap out of them.
People who have been conned into believing they are forced to choose between “strong, vicious and stupid” and “weak, cowardly and smart”. Who have been brainwashed (with the assistance of Vichy Democrats) into thinking that those are their only options. Who hate those choices and long for others, but also know, in a dangerous world, stronger is a better bet.
People respond to strength, which is why when Dems fight -- really and persistently fight -- Dems eventually win.
Because our ideas really are better (and among them, yes, we will be raising taxes. Fucking-A. We’ll be rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, Day One, 8:00, you mooching, thieving pricks.)
Our theologies are better – all of ‘em!
Our sense of humanity and compassion is not only vastly superior, but something we are actually proud of.
We love our Constitution and not just our Flag.
We don’t think the end of the world is either inevitable or desirable: We pray for peace and a million more years of sunrises, and not for fucking Armageddon.
We respect the lessons on past, but passionately believe in the future; we fight for it and not some delusional, idealized, Disneyfied, Conservative Times of Yore that never existed.
We love our Nation Ideals and not just our zip code.
Our women are sexier and smarter and stronger that you can possibly comprehend. And instead of finding that threatening and terrifying, we find it...magnificent.
Our culture is healthier.
And although we love our beer, our Liberal Chardonnay kicks ass.
That’s in the short term.
In the longer term we are all addressing the Future. The generations yet unborn who will look back at America and wonder just what in the fuck happened to make us lose our natural minds!
Well, consider what would happen if we still lived in a society where “proof” actually meant something. Where clapping your hands over your ears and whirling away dervish-like screaming “La-La-La-I-Cannot-Hear-You” when confronted with facts would get you mocked and laughed at, and not appointed to head the local Republican Party.
Consider, say, the case of Albert Einstein and general relativity (In the end how do you know you're a geek? When all your little parables seem to feature a little physics)…
… of all the thousands of eclipses studied by scientists, the most important one was the eclipse of 1919, which was able to provide the clinching evidence in favour of one of the most revolutionary ideas in the history of physics, namely Einstein’s theory of general relativity.Light bends, so general relativity is true (well, relatively.)
Although general relativity was a radically new formulation of gravity, its predictions were largely consistent with Newton’s highly successful theory of gravity. However, Einstein’s theory did make one or two predictions which distinguished it from Newton’s theory, and, if true, these predictions would show that Einstein’s model was closer to reality. For example, Einstein predicted that a gravitational field should bend rays of light much more than was expected by Newton’s theory of gravity. Although the effect was too small to be observed in the laboratory, Einstein calculated that the immense gravity of the massive sun would deflect a ray of light by 1.75 seconds of arc – less that one thousandth of a degree, but twice as large as the deflection according to Newton, and significant enough to be measured.
Einstein pictured a scenario whereby the straight line of sight between a star and an observer on earth would be just blocked by the edge of the sun. Einstein believed that the star would still be visible because gravity would bend the rays of light around the sun and towards the earth. The sighting of a star that should have been blocked by the sun would prove Einstein right, but it is generally to impossible to see starlight that passes close to the sun, because it is swamped by the brilliance of the sun itself. However, during an eclipse, the sun is blacked out by the moon, and under such conditions a gravitationally distorted star should be visible.
The Sun does not travel around the Earth, and a look through any telescope proves it.
It doesn’t matter that “germs” ain’t mentioned in the Bible: Cough on a slide, look at it under a microscope, and tell me what you see.
Now take a look at this video
(originally found at Crooks and Liars) and see the evidence for our current plight just as unambiguous and quantifiable as orbital mechanics or the speed of light.
If you have the time, watch the whole thing, and to read the book, and realize that John Dean is, at heart, a lifelong and loyal old-school Conservative.
That his idol and friend was Barry Goldwater: Father of the Conservative Movement and a man who absolutely reviled the maggoty thing is had mutated into at the hands of the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
That what he is saying strongly parallels some of what founding Conservative Bill Buckley has already said.
And what Kevin Phillips (former Republican strategist and author of "The Emerging Republican Majority") said in his most recent treatise, “'American Theocracy”.
Conservatives all, each practically screaming in their own way that Conservativism is dead, gone, hollowed out and is being worn as sheep's clothing by despicable men who hate and oppose everything the Original Conservatives ever stood for.
So not only do Modern Conservative have contempt for the Founders of our country, they have moved so far into the abyss that they actually dismiss, ignore and revile the Founders of their own ideology.
Consider the numbers Dean is citing: That 23% of the American population are “pure, rightwing Authoritarian followers”. That a tiny fraction – perhaps 1% -- are Liberal, but the rest, the overwhelming majority, identify as Conservatives.
So right there you can kiss any precious pet theory of “balance” goodbye.
Then consider the shameful fact that only about half of the eligible public actually votes during Presidential elections anyway, and quite a bit less at the midterms. And given that it’s a pretty good bet that the 23% who are aggressive, dogmatic followers of a Dear Leader will be much more likely to find their way to the polls, they will be far more represented in the voting half of Americans than in the non-voting half.
So, being conservative (pun intended), lets say 40% of the actually voting public are those “pure, rightwing Authoritarian followers”
And then consider that the numerical split between Dems and Republicans is about 50/50, and the “pure, rightwing Authoritarian followers” tend to overwhelmingly be Conservatives, you end up with damned near 70-80% of Republican voters fitting this profile.
Then, just for good measure, figure out from your own experience how many voters of any Party are actually agenda-driving “activists” -- the ones who pound the pavement, evangelize and make and enforce policy and discipline -- and what kind of Leaders, Policy Makers and Disciplinarians you are likely to grow in this Brownshirt Hothouse, and you begin to see what Liberals have seen and tried to warn this nation about for decades.
That the Grand Old Party has been taken over by monsters.
That based on their perverse theology and enraged-sheep psychological makeup, they have very deliberately driven the traditional democratic model of leadership out of their Party in favor of an aggressively Authoritarian paradigm that is clear in its direction, ideology and intent.
That the GOP has a fascist soul.
Which is why we have to fight like hell. For our values. For our nation. And for that 10% in the middle.
Because appeasing people like this never works; just ask your fathers and grandfathers.
And because, specific programs, policies and timetables aside, in America when one Party openly runs on a single-planked platform of “FEAR” under the “Jebusland Uber Alles” banner, that should damned well be a good enough reason to vote for the other guys.