Thursday, March 10, 2016

Who, Us?

This is one of the best pieces on the Trump phenomenon that I've read lately; it's mainly about Republican attempts to shift blame, pure, they are, as the driven snow.
...The same people who have long scoffed, often with reason, at the “root causes” theory of terrorism or crime or whatever—emphasizing, instead, individual responsibility for whatever it is we choose to do— have now become full-fledged rootsers. It isn’t Trump or his followers who are really to blame for his rise; it’s the circumstances that produced them and the guys, chiefly liberals, who they think created those circumstances. Or else it’s said that there is a “systematic rot” in American politics, of which Trump is merely a symptom. But in this case there is not a systematic rot. There is a specific rot. The rot was in a party and movement that never actually took the trouble to seal itself off from its own extremists. Yes, of course, there are nuts on all sides, but 9/11 “truthers” play exactly zero role in liberal electoral politics; “birthers” played such a central role in the right that the biggest and most rancid birther of them all is now the leading Presidential candidate of the Republican Party...
That last emphasis is mine because it's a point I've made repeatedly, and also in reference to liberal love of "alternative" medicine in comparison to "conservative" climate change denial. They're all an embarrassment to humanity; but the liberal lacunae are at the periphery, whereas for today's Republican party, birtherism and climate change denial are right there at the center of it all.

[Image source]


Dr Strangelove said...

Thanks for pointing to that column. From another paragraph that hits home:

"Fascism may have appealed to the economically insecure, but it did not appeal by giving them an economic answer. It appealed by giving them an enemy. As in France, or throughout Europe now, the extreme right flourishes not because there is insecurity but because they have an answer for insecurity: blame the Muslims (they’ve also blamed the Jews, though they’re quieter about that right now). Or: blame the Muslims and the Mexicans."

The Republican party overtly courted racists and extremists: the poster boy enemy that the Republican party created in 2009 was President Obama. He is their villain. "He's so divisive" is their clarion call to them: "It's Obama, stupid. He's the reason for what ails you and us." They confirmed Obama's illegitimacy with their obstructionism, demonstrating their support for them. The party has no excuse for what is happening.

Sidney Schwab said...

Perfectl well said, Doc.

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