By now we are all aware of how the radical Right loves to mischaracterize Democrats, liberals, progressives, etc. as the “radical Left”, and thereupon declare, “Leftists hate America.”
Demonizing the press and opposition as “enemies of the people” is their standard nationalistic rhetoric that has become a debate tactic. It is built into the foundation of their radical belief system. Along with racism and bigotry, demonization of dissent has always been at the core of radical Right ideology and fascism.
Tucker Carlson has denied the existence of white nationalism, but found it appropriate to attack Representative Ilhan Omar for "hating America". He added, "We have every right to preserve our nation, and our heritage, and our culture".
No wonder David Duke wanted him to be Trump's Vice President.
Omar was also one of the four women of color Trump accused of "Viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is supposed to be run". He then viciously tweeted, "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came".
Jonathan Chait observed in his article “Rush Limbaugh Taught Republicans to Love an Angry, Racist Bully”:
“Limbaugh oozed bile. He did not merely characterize his targets as misguided, or stupid, or even selfish. He rendered them for his audience as dehumanized targets of rage. He had special rage for feminist women, who were castrating harpies, and Black people, who were lazy, intellectually unqualified, and inherently criminal. The message he pounded home day after day was that minorities and women were seizing status and resources from white people and men, and that politics was a zero-sum struggle — and the victory would go to whichever side fought more viciously.”
Since racism isn’t racism to racists, the radical Right will refuse to acknowledge the racism from their favorite authoritarian leaders like Trump and Limbaugh.
I cited some of those racist remarks in a comment thread at our old conservative friend Darrell's blog.
They were all documented, from recordings, and from his own transcripts. Limbaugh acknowledged making these statements in a 1990 Newsday article. “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” and “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
But Darrell saw through my “deception”. He declared, “Your Limbaugh quotes are unsubstantiated, have questionable sources, or are not given full context”.
His sarcastic reaction was predictable.
“Dave Dubya does not hate America. The country is systemically racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and authoritarian (all according to Dave and the left) but Dave still loves his country. Thanks for the clarification.”
Did I ever say “The country is systemically racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and authoritarian”? Of course not.
This is how the radical Right responds whenever someone points to the fact that so many of them are racist, homophobic, trans-phobic, sexist, and authoritarian. In their minds they are “America”, and that makes them the “real victims”™.
What does that make the rest of us? Why, “America-hating Leftists”, naturally. Is there a reason why they conflate hating racism with hating America? It seems to touch a nerve.
We understand this distorted deflection sets the table for them to present their ubiquitous, radical Right, white identity “victim card”. Our conservative friend is an avid defender of Christopher Columbus as the hero who graciously brought “Western Civilization” to the Americas. Too bad about all that disease, slavery and genocide that came with it.
Darrell won’t admit it, but “Western Civilization” is the term substituted for “white nationalism” by white nationalists; not that I’m saying Darrell is a white nationalist.
The racist and radical Right insurrectionists called Proud Boys swear an oath when they join. “I am a Western Chauvinist and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”
“Western” is their word for “white” these days. “Modern world” means “White European/American world”. Taking credit for “creating the modern world” sends their message of white supremacy, even though all the Coup Klux Klan “created” is hate and racism.
Somewhat less subtle are Trump’s openly racist terms “China virus” and "Kung Flu”. Not only did the “Whitest President” and birther incite racist hate for Mexicans and Blacks, he added Asians during his last year in office. Tragically the current plague of racist attacks on Asian Americans comes as no surprise.
What else can the radical Right do but project their bigotry back towards Democrats, liberals, and the Left?
This familiar tactic was in the news again. This time it was invoked by Republicans at a House judiciary subcommittee hearing on anti-Asian violence. They were annoyed that addressing racist anti-Asian rhetoric was an attack on their “free speech” against the Chinese Communist Party. Yes, the poor white guys are the “real victims”™ again.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said, “If America was such a hate filled, discriminatory, racist society filled with animus against Asian Americans, how do you explain the remarkable success of Asian Americans in our country?” (File under, “If America elected Obama, how can there be a problem with racism?”) “Any racist sentiments, speech or act needs to be vigorously condemned, but to attack our society as systemically racist, a society that has produced the most prosperous and most harmonious racial society in human history, well that’s an insult and it’s flat out wrong.”
There it is again. Nobody "attacked our society as systemically racist”. In this case “our society” is exclusively conservative white people. And once again, only white conservatives may assume the authority to unilaterally define what is, or isn’t, racist. I mean, what do minorities know about racism?
Despite the arrogant pretensions of the radical white Right, they are not America. They are not “our society”. They are simply white Americans at their worst.
"This is how the radical Right responds whenever someone points to the fact that so many of them are racist, homophobic, trans-phobic, sexist, and authoritarian. In their minds they are “America”, and that makes them the “real victims”™." - Dave
This is a real interesting point. A group of people have convinced themselves that they ARE conservative and that they are the real Americans. When this is challenged by the fact that they are neither conservative nor the sole arbiter of what is American, we get this reaction. That makes so much sense if you spend any amount of time consuming any of the myriad of "conservative" media available to us (despite the constant gnashing of teeth about being censored). It's filled with insinuations and comparisons. When 'America doesn't want this', what's really being said is that 'You don't want this. I'm telling you, being the conservative voice that you want to take marching orders from, you don't want this. And you represent America. Those godless are doing something anti-America'
It's just interesting how much of a visceral, knee-jerk reaction it is. Like Darrell; Just going to the America Hating well. Step back and think for a second. Why would you talk, discuss and fight so often and so hard about policy and situational issues in America if you hated it? Same with Democratic Politicians. Barack Obama did this cause he hates America. Why the flying F' would someone run for elected office in a country they hate? To what end? What purpose? No.
I hate the New England Patriots (Not really, hate is such a strong word). So you know what I don't do? I don't go to their games. I don't go to their events. I don't go to their online forums and argue with people about New England Patriots.
"“I am a Western Chauvinist and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”"
Kind of points to the problem right there, huh? The absurdity of that statement. Refuse to apologize for creating the modern world? The arrogance in such a statement is exactly the stuff they project onto the mythical "leftist/liberal/democrat". It's like wearing one of those 'I won't apologize for being an asshole'
"Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said, “If America was such a hate filled, discriminatory, racist society filled with animus against Asian Americans, how do you explain the remarkable success of Asian Americans in our country?”"
... Despite it? I dislike this disingenuous line of reasoning, because the answer is not 'Oh, they succeeded so I guess it's not as bad as they say'. It's 'Imagine what they could accomplish if they weren't leaping over these racist roadblocks'
"“Any racist sentiments, speech or act needs to be vigorously condemned, but to attack our society as systemically racist, a society that has produced the most prosperous and most harmonious racial society in human history, well that’s an insult and it’s flat out wrong.” "
And this. Let me fix this for you Tom: "Any racist sentiments, speech or act needs to be vigorously condemned. American society can be amazing and has gone a long way addressing its complicated and difficult racial history. Is it perfect? Far from it, but it is better than it was yesterday and it will be better still in the future. With honest discussion and work, we will be a model for the rest of the world."
There, is that so hard? I find it hard to fathom something like this can be taken as some personal attack on Caucasistan. Love your country like an adult, not like it's a crystal vase. You put this country on a high shelf and it falls, I rather it bounce back bruised and heal rather than shatter in a million, billion pieces.
What is America? Who is America? Questions with to many diverse answers to be simple. One answer which is fair to use, is who Americans vote for. Of course, that answer is also confusing since both Democrats and Republicans cite the American vote is corrupt for differing reasons. Corrupt, or not the vote puts leaders in to office which guides the path of our country.
The conservative perception, or more accurately emotional response, amounts to little more than, "I love America. You disagree with me and my political beliefs, therefore you hate America."
Elections are tainted from corruption, purges, and barriers to registration and poll access, as well as by simple human error. Voters' minds are corrupted by economic, religious and white identity politics. They leverage their power, self-interests and greed through their nationalist, racial, religious and social/class bias.
That is part of who we are, unfortunately.
To persuade voters has never meant honestly.
Only Washington had a truly honest election. He had no opponent. The people cried for him to be president.
We were born a slave nation and we remain a bigoted nation because of that original sin. If whites were to disappear from America, America would still be a bigoted country. Blacks against Asians, Mexicans against blacks, Jews against Muslims, and on, and on, and on.
White supremacy has been our toxic original sin and lingering curse.
You're right that the human condition features bigotry in every racial, national, tribal, religious and social group. The authoritarian personalities among us perpetuate bigotry and thrive on division.
Authoritarian personalities once had an evolutionary purpose that helped assure the survival of vulnerable bands of early humans. Today they are holding us back from all progress.
Survival of our species now depends on cooperation more than competition.
Authoritarian personalities still have their place in law enforcement and the military, but can be very dangerous with unchecked power or when allowed to control governments.
Progress, cooperation, civil rights and democracy have never been their values.
We will either evolve past, or manage, our fearful primitive authoritarian fears and bigotry or slowly devolve into self extinction as a spectacular failed species.
I'd like to share the amusing remarks from Burr Deming, a mutual friend of Darrell and myself:
I have never met face-to-face my long time conservative friend Darrell Michaels. Through the years, this has not stopped him. He has offered words of reassurance and support through personal anxiety when the fate of our young Marine was in doubt. He was there during family illness and death.
Dave Dubya has been a supporter for nearly as long. His efforts on behalf of this site has been constant, taking the form of thoughtful commentary. He is a friend.
My two valued pals are at it again. Darrell falsely characterizes Dave’s posts as accusing our nation of being “systemically racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and authoritarian.” Yet Dave hypocritically declares himself a patriot.
Dave Dubya scans his past words and his own memory and finds no such accusations. So he neatly skewers my friend Darrell, leaving him in pieces on the floor.
Listen, fellows. I hope you take this to heart. I’m ashamed of you for ripping into each other like that.
And I’m ashamed of myself for enjoying every bruising, blood soaked moment, hoping every second to see a few more minutes of rhetorical mayhem.
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