Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What They've Wrought



As the incidents continue to pile up -- "sovereign citizens" taking up arms and killing people, Cliven Bundy "revolutionaries" killing cops, the politically aggrieved shooting up campuses -- you'd think at some point those in the right wing who lionize such criminals as Bundy and give air time to those who flock to his ranch, armed to the teeth to fight off the black helicopters (and by "those" I mean Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and most everyone else breathing our air and exhaling propaganda they call "news") would begin to have second thoughts. About whipping up paranoid fevers and hate-filled incoherence in those most susceptible to it. In the name of ratings. In the service of a party gone mad.

At some point, a rational person might think, even the most shameless grifters (and by "shameless grifters" I mean Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and most everyone else breathing our air and exhaling propaganda they call "news"), assuming they had an ounce of common sense and a grain of actual love of the country for which they claim exclusive love, might be given pause. Stop to wonder if maybe, in appealing to the worst of which humans are capable, they're causing harm. Connect dots big as softballs between their rhetoric, their trotting out of conspiracy theories and theorists, flooding the airwaves non-stop with rank hypocrisy and outright lies, and the ginning up of paranoia among the gun-toters, the crazed imaginings of wrongdom, to be righted not by adhering to the principles in our founding documents -- voting by educated citizens -- but by tumescent dreams of martyrdom in coffee shops and family restaurants and shopping malls across the land. And the occasional courthouse.

I doubt it. No sign of it.  Because such people are not such people.

I'm about as afraid of actual revolution as I am of black helicopters. I don't care how many guns these people are stockpiling against some imaginary invasion of UN tanks driven by Kenyan Muslims; they're no more capable of starting an effective uprising than they are of spelling "Morons." That's not the problem. What they are capable of is killing innocents and, increasingly, they're doing it. Cops. Bystanders. Easy targets. Maybe even a couple of redblooded rednecks, in the crossfire. Could happen, eventually. Think that'd get someone's attention? Or would they just claim some sort of false flag operation directed by the traitor in the White House? Because these minds, such as they are, are permanently closed.

There was a brief moment when some lost soul (probably now with a lost job) in the NRA actually spoke out against those Open Carry nutjobs flashing their penis analogues in public places; lasted about as long as it takes a kid to find his uncle's loaded gun and kill his brother. Because to the right wing, such people are heroes. Patriots. Americans as only they can be. So the sad fact is, the only people whose voices might actually cause reason to enter those crazed cranii and push out the voices therein are the very ones who implanted the paranoid fantasies in the first place. You know who I mean; I've parethesized them twice.

The chance of that happening, of those destructive egocentric charlatans wising up and cooling down their rhetoric? Less than zero. They've got too much of a good thing going, too many people who consider them their best source of news, making too much money whoring out their souls.

Thanks to those whose living depends on whipping up fear and loathing -- and that includes the idiots they elect, or hope to, when they do cast a ballot -- we're just screwed, is all there is to it.


Budget Goodness

My upcoming newspaper column: Reading their budget and health care solutions has changed my mind about Donald Trump and the people in c...