The American Right Shows its true colors
As we all know, spelling color with a u in it is un-American, so I felt it best to start today’s blog post on the right track, with the appropriate spelling. For those of you who don’t know this, the American Right are being unusually vociferous and, lets be honest, insane right now. From Tea Baggers to Birtherism they’re screaming some pretty unintelligible stuff, showing views they managed to play down during the Bush years.
Tea Baggers, by the way, are those joining the Tea Bag protests, which claim to connect with the spirit of the Boston Tea party, a sad reminder that, whilst some did genuinely want freedom to decide their own taxes, many involved in that movement weren’t seeking independence from oppression, but rather the independence with which to oppress. This includes the National Taxpayers March that recently brought 75,000 to the streets of DC to oppose Obama’s healthcare reforms.
Birtherism, on the other hand, is the movement to demand Obama be removed from office because he (apparently) wasn’t born in America. A friend suggests I misspell that, too, as Blitherism, a contraction of Blithering-Idiotism! One of these people has just attempted to cast herself in the light of Nelson Mandela, believing it her duty to go to jail for assisting US soldiers who are refusing to return to the battlefield because no rightfully elected president has sent them. No one tried that during the Bush era!
I have problems with just about all areas of the Right. The economically obsessed Capitalist Right I take issue with because it tries to rationalise profit before people. The Christian Right I make protestations about because it mis-represents my faith so utterly, and because I feel it has all the values and concepts of Christianity upside down.
But the American Right, the sort of purified variant, is something very different. We’ve moved so far along the spectrum that gone are the references to the economy, unless it suits them, and gone are the references to God, unless it suits them, and instead, its all about America. And its not even about the American economy, the Christian values America is supposed to be inspired by, the American people, or anything else. But America.
This purified concept has little bearing on reality. What might be good for a group of people within America has no baring on it. Yes, often these are people who will loose out if taxes go up, but not always. These are people who believe that America must be held up high, but what they hold up isn’t a land, an ideal, or anything else, and pales in comparison to the thing after which it is named.
Not only have they mangled the meaning of their own country, so that anything bad is something that attacks America, even if it will benefit millions, they have mangled every single term out there. They say Socialism when they mean anything from Totalitarianism to Social Anarchism, for instance. They particularly use the term Socialism for any government spending they dislike, and yet sanction the spending of billions on war, because war defends America, even if it multiplies the enemies of the actual, existing United States of America. And as I said earlier, they don’t actually care if the economy grows of shrinks, as long as no one does anything to it that they disagree with.
And their Christianity ranges from non-existent to self-fulfilling. For many, its not a living faith (after all, their faith is in America) but a sort of extraction from Deism that assumes that the God described in the bible is the God watching over the interests of the concept of America. To take this off on a theological tangent, I think its fair to say that this movement actual breaks the first three commandments fairly and squarely. It worships another god, makes an idol of America (and one that bares no representation to reality, thus being harmful). And when they finally get around to mentioning God, it all seems pretty hollow and contrived.
Part of the lack of care for things going wrong is more of a need for self-validation; these are people who must always be under attack. They cannot survive as functional humans without someone attacking them. They’re like the person who leaves school, discovers a world where bullying is much reduced and they don’t have to spend time in a playground full of bullies every day, and find they have nothing to prove, to succeed at, no purpose and no framework for life outside of that environment, so they construct a new circle of things to be under siege from.
In a sense, they start attacking things that aren’t there, striking at invisible attackers. This isn’t something to laugh at, this is something to give people serious help with overcoming. It breaks much of the logic of what a well adjusted life might appear like. As such, the fun we can have mocking them can easily forget that what we’re watching isn’t so much folly as a widespread mental issue. I’m not sure laughing is such a brilliant response, though it must be said to be tempting!