The Contrarian pointed me at this. One article led to another, and boy will you be shocked to realize that people (intelligent political pundits) were talking about the craziness of the Right way back in the 60’s.
This post may become a weekly thing that just alerts you to stuff I think you may find enlightening or interesting, beyond the usual outrage at idiots that we read about seemingly every day.
So peruse the list and see if anything interests you.
First on the list is a two-parter from the Salon and Kim Messick. Part one is entitled, The Tea Party Paranoid Aesthetic and explores the psychological underpinnings of the movement. If you get headachy every time you try to discern some logic to their madness, then this may help you understand. Warning: one must delve in the mad mad world of Glenn Beck to understand these folks.
While you are at it, you’ll want to slip back to read Richard Hofstadter’s perhaps most brilliant piece, The Paranoid Style of American Politics. This was written in 1963 and is now available in PDF format. Does this sound familiar to you?
The central image is that of a vast and sinister conspiracy, a gigantic and yet subtle machinery of influence set in motion to undermine and destroy a way of life. One may object that there are
conspiratorial acts in history, and there is nothing paranoid about taking note of them. This is true… The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a ‘vast’ or ‘gigantic’ conspiracy as the motive force in historical events. History is a conspiracy, set in motion by demonic forces of almost transcendent power, and what is felt to be needed to defeat it is… an all-out crusade. The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of this conspiracy in apocalyptic terms— he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values.
Freaky isn’t it? Messick applies this theme to the Tea Party rather effectively. See if you don’t agree.
The second part of Messick’s essay involves how the Tea Party came to gain control of what had heretofore been a responsible political party of multiple factions and interests, one that understood the necessity of compromise. It is entitled The Conservative Crackup: How the Republican Party Lost It’s Mind.
To my mind at least, this explains the political battlefield we now inhabit better than anything else I’ve read. I suggest you will learn a very good deal about the Republican Party should you dive into these articles.
If you are still wandering in the desert when it comes to understanding the economics of “free markets” and the mantra of the Far Right, which is burn baby burn, all the “social welfare” institutions to the ground (SNAP is just a start), then there is no better place to go than our very own Larry over at Woodgate’s View. He has a great post up called The Croupiers of Libertarian Free Markets that is anything but dull and surely will educate you on what’s what. Larry has a unique ability to research well, and write well. In combination, well, just go at take a look at it.
There is a piece called Homelands over at Aeon that is a bit heavy for our normal fodder, but actually speaks to a subject not alluded to in its writing. The rather absurd (to my mind at least) idea of nationalistic boundaries is explored. How they come about is simply a matter of historical fact, why we continue with them is fraught with political intrigue. But what happens, (as it so often does) when old lines, or new ones for that matter, make little sense given the ethnic composition of the inhabitants?
I’d suggest much bad happens. What is not alluded to is how the (largely) British muddling in the Middle East has resulted in a hodgepodge of “states” most of them making little or no sense. And guess what? No where is there more upheaval than here, and much of that upheaval is due to unnatural boundaries, controlled by minority ethnic dictators.
No answers of course, but the first step is understanding the problem is it not?
And now, just because I love ya, something to tickle the funny bone. Linked from Salon who picked it up from AlterNet, this essay lists the 10 Weirdest Right-Wing Christian Conspiracy theories. I am, as you know, in a love/hate relationship with fundamentalist Christians. I want to tear my hear out at their breathtaking stupidity and lock them away from any voting booth, while at the same time, I see them as little children muddling along in an adult world as cute little simplistic munchkins who need to be petting on the head often.
Anyway, these are a hoot.