Thursday, August 26, 2010

The right-wing, blinded by its own hysteria

(A big Brain welcome to Crooks and Liars readers. Thanks, Mike - G)

Good op-ed on the Park51 right-wing spew by Eugene Robinson.

When did the loudmouths of the American right become such a bunch of fraidy-cats and professional victims? Or is it all just an act?

It's an act at the top, The Word handed down from On High at the bottom and bleated loudly as an act of faith.

Message to anyone who will listen: You're a victim. Be very afraid.

The sky is falling! Brown people are coming to get you in your beds!

In the process, this anti-mosque pitchfork brigade is surely recruiting terrorists left and right. As Ahmad Moussalli, a professor at the American University of Beirut, told the Los Angeles Times: "Rejecting this has become like rejecting Islam itself." All the Islamophobic rhetoric tends to reinforce the jihadists' main argument, which is that the United States and the West seek to destroy the faith held dear by more than 1 billion souls.

The thing is, though, that the manufactured brouhaha over the Park51 project is part of a larger pattern in which the far right embraces victimhood and stokes fear. The faction that likes to portray itself as a bunch of John Waynes and "mama grizzlies," it turns out, spends an awful lot of time cowering in the corner and complaining about how beastly everyone else is being.

And look at the hysteria over illegal immigration. Facts don't matter -- for example, that the flow of undocumented migrants has decreased, or that border enforcement under President Obama is much tougher than under George W. Bush, or that illegal immigrants are not responsible for any kind of crime wave. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), has gone so far as to sound the alarm about alleged "terror babies." The idea is that undocumented pregnant women would cross the border so that their children could have U.S. citizenship, then take the babies away to be raised as terrorists -- who would be able to come back in 20 years or so, with legitimate U.S. passports, and presumably wreak untold havoc. No, I did not make that up.

Is the far right really afraid of its own shadow? Do these people really have so little faith in our nation's strength, resilience and values? I hope this is all just cynical political calculation, because there are genuine threats and challenges out there. We'll be better off meeting them with a spine, not a whine.

The far right's top echelon knows good and damn well that there's nothing to fear. They also know they've got nothing constructive to offer that will help anyone besides themselves and have to stir up fear and panic amongst the Dead End Quarter to regain power so they can line their pockets and wreck the joint once and for all in the process.

No comments: