An interesting question arose from our previous comment thread.
Does the current American Right have an ideology?
I think, for most of them, it is an ideology that can't be defined.
The Right has three primary factions, ranging from capitalist/libertarian to conservative to radical Right.
They are the Wall Street corporate power players, conservative white Christians, and the Radical Right Trumpists.
There’s no binding philosophy among them. While there are some people who overlap all the factions, some have contradictory ideals, like evangelicals and libertarians. The three factions certainly don’t share the same moral and economic interests.
But they do share the Republican Party. And they share the same political opposition.
The three factions of the Right have been relatively balanced until the last few decades. The Right has shifted. The Republican Party lost control of its radical fringe, and has been transformed into the Radical Right Party of Trump.
Now the political opposition, including former Republicans, is viciously smeared and demonized. Journalists are threatened. Truth is destroyed. Insurrection has risen.
What ideology is represented now? Fascism, of course.
We know well enough how cults, fascists, and other authoritarian extremists believe their leaders without question.
Weknow the Radical Right Party of Trump is built on resentment, anger, fear, hate, racism, white nationalism, and lies.
It’s totally a fascist ideology. It isn’t new. It needed an authoritarian leader like Trump to bring it into dominance.
For several decades, the radical Right ideological foundation was built by propagandists from Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes’ FOX(R) to Limbaugh and hate radio. Theirs was a triumph of the will. Millions drank their koolade. Then came the toxic brew of social media.
The radical Right indoctrination reached critical mass. They manufactured a massive cult.
They are told stories of how good conservative patriots like themselves have been egregiously victimized by the others, often minorities. Resentment, fear, blame, anger and hate towards the others is justified. It is how they defend their safety, beliefs and freedom.
The domestic others are called liberals/leftists/commies/socialists/globalists/statists/Marxists/etc. Foreign others are darker skinned people or Muslims. And immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants are reviled dangerous others.
They are ideologically programmed by their leaders and propagandists to believe anyone who disagrees with them is a liberal/leftist/commie/socialist/globalist/statist/Marxist/etc.
It's easy. All terms apply and no distinction or definitions are required.
And it is essential that they believe all we liberal/commie/socialist/globalist/statist/Marxist/etc. type people hate America.
America, of course is best owned and run by Christian conservative white men. At least it should be. Otherwise, communism. Screeching white female idiots like Palin, Taylor-Greene, and Boebert are welcome, of course.
Reverence for wealth and the wealthy are important features of their ideology. They are told capitalism, with its so-called “free market” IS freedom. They are taught to accept corporate PR over journalism and science.
White nationalism is tolerated, and even embraced by radical Right groups like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, 3 percenters, Qanon, neo-Nazis, etc.
Finally they are indoctrinated in their Big Lies, from liberal media, to fake media, to enemy of the people.
And now it is the “stolen election”. “March to the Capitol, stop the steal, fight like hell, and take our country back!
Those radical Right groups answered the call from their leader. Thousands of Trumpists violently stormed the Capitol.
The long and lie-nurtured resentment, fear, blame, anger and hate exploded into a terrorist insurrection.
This isn’t ideology anymore. It’s more like an “Id”eology, based on lies, bigotry, white supremacy, emotional trigger words, and mob manipulation.
In a word, fascism. And the struggle against fascism never ends.
The Radical Party of Trump is about to lock itself into that designation with their not-guilty vote on the impeachment charge.
Trumpism is their baby. Trump is their master. Trump is their monster.
They fear the cult, but want their votes. Whatever will they do?
If the Republican Party is to survive, it’s up to McConnell’s gang of enablers to take it back.
If they can.
I just became aware of this 2015 film by Jen Senko.
It went from the “Powell Memo” to Murdoch and FOX(R), to Limbaugh, Alex Jones, ONN, Trump, Qanon, etc. These are examples of how America has been groomed by the Right’s propaganda machine for decades. Families and friendships have been torn apart by lies and misinformation. This documentary explores the history and effects of the Right’s brainwashing of America.
The Brainwashing of My Dad
The truth behind the right-wing media machine that changed a father—and divided the nation
Ms Senko’s groundbreaking film examines the rise of right-wing media through the lens of her father, whose immersion in its daily propaganda had radicalized him. His new fanaticism rocked the very foundation of their family. She discovered that this phenomenon was occurring with alarming frequency in living rooms across America. The film reveals the consequences that this radicalized media is having on people, families, America, and the world.
THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY, CULT-REPUBLICANS AND DONALD J. TRUMP: HOW THE HECK DID WE GET HERE?
As filmmaker, Jen Senko, tries to understand the transformation of her father from a non political, life-long Democrat to an angry, right-wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely: a plan by Roger Ailes under Nixon for a media takeover by the GOP, The Powell Memo urging business leaders to influence institutions of public opinion -especially the universities, the media and the courts, and under Reagan, the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine, and The Telecommunications 'Reform' Act signed by Bill Clinton.
As her journey continues, we discover that her father is part of a much broader demographic, and that the story is one that affects us all.
“Brainwashing” unravels the plan to shift the country to the Right over the last 30 years, largely through media manipulation. The result has led to fewer voices, less diversity of opinion, massive intentional misinformation and greater division of our country.
This documentary shines a light on how it happened (and is still happening) and leads to questions about who owns the airwaves, what rights we have as listeners/watchers and what responsibility does our government have to keep the airwaves truly fair, accurate and accountable to the truth.
To be fair, one should go back further in time to explain how the Republican and Democratic parties have come to their current states.
Back in the day, it was the Democrats who started the KKK and behind the killing of blacks. The Republicans wanted to end slavery. That's a 360 degree turnaround for both parties compared to what they stand for today. These kind of changes in the parties cannot just be ignored when trying to understand their philosophies today, or centuries ago.
The change of the two parties is natural for politics. Both parties took on the thinking of a part of Americans to help electoral success. The real game changer where the Republicans were pushed aside was FDR.
During FDR's 16 years as president the Democrats won a huge majority of State, local, and national elections. FDR taught politicians that what the people wanted was good for being elected. Biden is an FDR Democrat.
The history of the parties is much more complicated, but don't underestimate the ability of the parties to change completely.
There is an old saying: Democratic ideology taken to extreme is Socialism. Republican ideology taken to extreme is fascism.
There is another old saying: Every once in a while Socialism has to step in to save Capitalism.
I'd argue that you could leave out the Corporate Wall Street out of this argument. Wall Street doesn't care left, right, middle, center, up or down. Wall Street is as dynamic as necessary to perpetuate profits.
I'd still love for someone who self identifies as "conservative" to share their political ideology and how that aligns with the current Republican/Trump party. I used to think I knew what "conservatism" was, but after 4 years of Trump and the "right's" allegiance to the man's mercurial, emotional whims I just don't know. The 2020 Republican Platform really threw my perceptions for a loop.
Good points, Jerry.
Today both parties support capitalism. One understands the need for a socialized remedies for its flaws. The other party is far more authoritarian and embraces fascistic divisions like white nationalism and a fictitious "free market" god that is all-wise and just, over the needs of the working class and poor.
The common thread through it all is, no matter what party they belonged to, the economic elites and white conservatives have never been on the side of democracy and progress.
I discussed this in December:What Is Conservatism?
"fictitious "free market" god that is all-wise and just"
I'd argue that supporters of capitalism, which I agree with aspects of, would argue the 'Free Market' is all-wise and just. The Free Market is like a river, free flowing and going in the direction that natural consequences goes in. Just like a river, the marketplace works best for society when we put controls and limits on it (regulation).
UNFORTUNATELY, many of the people who advocate for unfettered capitalism and a truly free market, which we have never had, do not understand the end result of such policies. Consolidation of both political power and means of production is the natural result of industry self-regulating. Which would be detrimental to us little people. Monopolies, over-inflated prices, poor service result when industries aren't coerced through regulation and rules. Just like a river flooding without levies and dams. You need only look toward government-sanctioned monopolies of Electric Utilities to see how expensive things get for consumers and how terrible infrastructure deteriorates.
Any economic system (including Capitalism) that cannot meet the needs of a people, is a failure. Pure Capitalism (which we do not have) would have failed America a long time ago. Our current so called free market system is failing 10's of millions of Americans.
Does it seem odd that with the pandemic forcing the closure of millions of businesses and millions being unemployed, that the stock market is skyrocketing. Where is that strength coming from when our economy is stagnant?
Capitalists have a responsibility and obligation to the people and communities they do business in. To supply the needs of the people, to supply good paying jobs and to promote healthy society. That would result in their own companies being financially healthy. Ford (the Socialist) was correct.
Unions and better paying jobs created the greatest growth period this country has ever seen. One worker in a household could pay the bills, own a home, a car, or two, maybe even a summer cabin. It's all a matter of the numbers and where the Capitalist decide to put its cash. They are giving less to their employees and they certainly could afford to give their employees more. Just as all federal money is our money, so is all the money the corporations make, our money. All money in this society comes from the people either through taxes, or purchases.
That greatest growth period in our history also proved that raising taxes does not kill growth as the Republicans continue to falsely claim. Taxes back then were twice, almost three times what we pay now and corporations paid much more in taxes then and growth was astronomical. It's not the government that needs more Socialists tendencies, it's corporations that need more Socialists tendencies (sharing with its employees).
History shows unfettered capitalism and a truly free market are antithetical to democracy, public safety and the general welfare. This is why our Constitution allows for taxes, regulation of commerce and provision for the general welfare. Nobody called it socialism, but it is enshrined in our Constitution. This is why the enemies of democracy and equality must constantly undermine it by leveraging the flaws in our democracy, the Senate and Electoral College. Of course Citizens United and other judicially legalized avenues of corruption have made things worse.
Yes, corporations should be more socialized in their civic responsibilities, because they really do reap benefits from corporate welfare. Instead they work to undermine socialized labor and consumer rights for we the people.
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