Saturday, April 04, 2009

The danger of the right, and the Canadian solution

Start by understanding that the American right is overwhelmingly driven by white men who see their gender and pigment privileges disappearing. Then remember that violence is as American as apple pie.

Add in 20+ years of economic regression for white men without a college education. Then add loss of home value, collapse of retirement funds, decreasing access to health care, increasing unemployment ...

Now see why we need to be genuinely concerned ...
Pitchforks and Pistols - Charles Blow - NYTimes.com

... At first, it was entertaining — just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech. But what did I expect, fair and balanced? It was like walking through an ideological house of mirrors. The distortions can be mildly amusing at first, but if I stay too long it makes me sick.

But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution.

Some simply lace their unscrupulous screeds with loaded language about the fall of the Republic. We have to “rise up” and “take back our country.” Others have been much more explicit.

For example, Chuck Norris, the preeminent black belt and prospective Red Shirt, wrote earlier this month on the conservative blog WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”...
We need a way to divert or reduce the violent potential of the American right. We should examine the record of aggrieved tribes in other settings. It's easy to come up with example of things going very badly (talk radio was very big there), but are there examples of the alternative?

I'd suggest a close look at Canada.

Whenever Canada has a rage problem, the government appoints a Royal Commission of worthies to tour the nation. They don't wear powdered wigs any more, but they might as well. They're all trained to speak in boring drones, and they can speak and sit endlessly. After months of wandering about, by which time even the most deranged can't keep their eyes open, the Commission drops off a thirty pound document which nobody will ever read. (In fact it's always the same document, but no-one's noticed.)

We need a Commission on the tribal rage of the American right. Let the droning begin.

Update: Other ideas? Rupert Murdoch probably doesn't favor widespread violence. Will he ask his newspapers (including Limbaugh's Wall Street Journal) to provide factcheck.org style refutation of right wing rumors?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"We need a way to divert or reduce the violent potential of the American right"

Then shrink the federal government, stop trying to subvert the Constitution, decrease taxes, stop expanding non-effective social programs, stop the out of control national debt and you won't have anything to worry about.

Push forward with big government and socialistic practices and any violence you bring on will be your own fault.

John Gordon said...

If we don't do what you say, you will hurt us.

That's pretty honest.