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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:02 PM
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Words Matter – Eliminationism in the United States
I tell people don’t kill all the liberals – Leave enough so that we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so that we will never forget what these people stood forRush Limbaugh


With the ratcheting up hate rhetoric by assorted right wing fanatics in recent months and years, Americans should take very seriously the threat that this poses. David Neiwert calls this phenomenon “eliminationism”, which he discusses thoroughly in his book, “The Eliminationists – How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right”. In the introduction to his book he describes the phenomenon:

What motivates this kind of talk and behavior is called eliminationism: a politics and a culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through suppression, exile and ejection, or extermination.

Rhetorically, eliminationism… depicts its opposition as beyond the pale, the embodiment of evil itself, unfit for participating in their vision of society, and thus worthy of elimination. It often further depicts its designated Enemy as vermin (especially rats and cockroaches) or diseases, and disease-like cancers on the body politic. A close corollary is the claim that opponents are traitors or criminals and that they pose a threat to our national security… Eliminationism is often voiced as crude “jokes”… predicated on venomous hatred.

Neiwart makes a parallel to a well known type of historical movement. Speaking of the tendency of eliminationist rhetoric to be translated into action, he says:

This is where the specter of fascism raises its head on American soil. Eliminationism has always been a signature trait of fascism… As we shall see, it has a long history in America… it almost always raises the red flag of incipient fascism.

Yet it is almost always couched in more benign terms by its practitioners:

The proponents of Indian genocide in the old West couched their violent intentions in words like “protecting civilization”. The advocates of lynching and Klan terror always cloaked their vicious murderousness in the guise of “the defense of traditional values”… For the Nazis, the Holocaust was ostensibly all about the “racial health” of the body politic…

Ominously, eliminationism has the potential to spread throughout society:

It is by small steps of incremental meanness and viciousness that we lose our humanity. We have the historical example of 20th century fascism as a reminder. The Nazis… didn’t get that way overnight. Eliminationism is an acute warning sign: it has historically played the role of creating permission for people to act out their violent impulses… And we dare not ignore the warning.


A brief history of eliminationism in the United States

Those who don’t believe that eliminationism lacks the potential to pose a major threat of violence in the United States should consider our history.

The slaughter of Native Americans
It is estimated that when Columbus came to America in 1492, the native population of North America was about 20 million. Within one or two centuries, that number was reduced by about 95%. Neiwert discusses their treatment by the United States of America:

In 1832, Indian removal began to be carried out in earnest. The result, as removal critics warned, was the effective extinction of numerous tribes, as well as hundreds and even thousands of deaths in every relocation effort. The culmination of these efforts was the notorious Trail of Tears in 1838, in which the Cherokee Nation – some 17,000 people – was forcibly relocated… Something between 2,000 and 8,000 people died on the Trail of Tears.

And always these spasms of eliminationist violence were preceded by eliminationist rhetoric. Before there was action, there was talk. And the talk not only rationalized the violence that proceeded, but actually had the function of creating permission for it.

The treatment of our former slaves
During our long history of slavery, American rhetoric concerning black slaves dehumanized them in order to justify their harsh treatment for the economic benefit of their owners. During this period of time, however, there was little if any talk of elimination, since they provided a valuable service. Neiwert describes the change that occurred following their emancipation:

Once emancipated, they came to be seen as a real threat to whites, and particularly to whites’ dominant economic and cultural status. Their change of perception became immediately manifest, during Reconstruction, when black freedmen were subjected to a litany of attacks at the hands of their former owners, attacks that went wholly unpunished… In 1866, the violence became discernibly more organized with the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan… and spread like wildfire throughout the South… culminating in a steady stream of Klan lynchings between 1868 and 1871… At least one study puts the number at 20,000 blacks killed by the Klan in that period. In the ensuing years, the violence increased, despite the Klan’s official banishment.

Past imperialist wars
President McKinley, convinced by American businessmen to attempt to colonize the Philippines, attempted to justify that occupation prior to his invasion of the Philippines in 1899:

We could not leave them to themselves – they were unfit for self-government – and they would soon have anarchy and misrule… there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them… blah blah blah.

Some might think that this statement doesn’t sound so ominous. But the point is that by publicly making the arrogant and baseless assumption that the Filipinos were “unfit for self-government”, our President set the stage for a series of American atrocities there.

A vicious guerilla war ensued, lasting three and a half years, from February 1899 until the middle of 1902. It was characterized by widespread torture, rape, pillage, and the frequent refusal of the American military to make a distinction between civilians and the Filipino military. By the time that the U.S. had “pacified” the Philippines, the dead included 4,374 American soldiers, 16 thousand Filipino guerillas, and 20 thousand Filipino civilians.

A report in the Philadelphia Ledger in 1901 gave the American people their first glimpse of the atrocities committed during the American-Philippine War:

Our men have been relentless; have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people, from lads of ten and up, an idea prevailing that the Filipino, as such, was little better than a dog… Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to “make them talk,” have taken prisoner people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later… shot them down one by one…

The Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War is the most well known atrocity of that war, though it was only the tip of the iceberg. Here is a brief summary of it:

When Charlie Company entered Mai Lai they encountered no resistance from Viet Cong Soldiers, yet three hours later there were over 500 civilian Vietnamese, men, women and children, dead. Lieutenant William Calley, for whatever reason, ordered his men to kill, burn and destroy everything in the village….

The Iraq War and occupation
Lest Americans think that our history of genocidal racism is all in the past, they should consider, among many other things, the testimony of Iraqi veterans about that war. As described by Marjorie Cohn and Kathleen Gilberd in their book, “Rules of Disengagement”:

Veterans spoke about shootings and beatings of children and other innocent civilians as well as the torture of prisoners…. Ian J. Lavalle reported, “We dehumanized people. The way we spoke about them, the way we destroyed their livelihoods, their families, doing raids, manhandling them, throwing the men on the ground while their family was crying…”

An article in The Nation, titled “Winter Soldiers Speak”, written by Laila Al-Arian, was written from statements by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) at the March 2008 Winter Soldier summit in Silver Spring, Maryland:

Pfc. Clifton Hicks was given an order. Abu Ghraib had become a "free-fire zone," Hicks was told, and no "friendlies" or civilians remained in the area. "Game on. All weapons free," his captain said. Upon that command, Hicks's unit opened a furious fusillade, firing at people scurrying for cover, at anything that moved. Sent in to survey the damage, Hicks found the area littered with human corpses, including women and children, but he saw no military gear or weapons of any kind near the bodies. In the aftermath of the massacre, Hicks was told that his unit had killed 700-800 "enemy combatants." But he knew the dead were not terrorists or insurgents; they were innocent Iraqis. "I will agree to swear to that till the day I die," he said. "I didn't see one enemy on that operation."

Soldiers and marines at Winter Soldier described the frustration of routinely raiding the wrong homes and arresting the wrong people… "This is not an isolated incident," the testifiers uttered over and over… insisting that the atrocities they committed or witnessed were common….

While the Winter Soldiers offered a searing critique of the military's treatment of civilians, which they described as alternately inhumane and sadistic, they also empathized with fellow soldiers thrust into a chaotic urban theater where the lines between combatants and civilians are blurred. "It's criminal to put such patriotic Americans...in a situation where their morals are at odds with their survival instincts"…


Current eliminationist threat in the United States

Many Americans considered the evidence of Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Presidency as evidence that our country had entered a so-called “post-racial” era. In some respects that is true. It certainly showed that many tens of millions of Americans had gotten beyond the crude racism of our earlier history.

But on the other hand, that election stirred up intense violent feelings in a sizable minority of our population. President Obama receives about 30 death threats a day, a large proportion of them overtly racially tinged, representing a 400% increase over death threats received by his predecessor, and a higher rate than for any previous U.S. president. Worse yet, there is evidence of increasing racially motivated violence against African-Americans in our country. And shortly before Election Day 2008, law enforcement officers uncovered and stopped a plot to kill Obama, in addition to 102 additional black people in our country.

Ominously, it is even beginning to become acceptable in some circles to publicly advocate murder:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office… Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

It seems to me that these people are coming perilously close to stepping over the line of their First Amendment protections of free speech. I don’t recall our First Amendment being legally used as an excuse to advocate murder – and of a U.S. President yet!

Anger over immigration has resulted in eliminationist rhetoric and actions against Hispanic immigrants. Neiwert describes this phenomenon:

We’ve been seeing an increase in hate crimes against Latino immigrants… many of which go unreported because the victims fear deportation if they go to the police. Again we see the nature of the eliminationist beast: it begins with rhetoric, then becomes endorsed by officialdom, a combination that gives permission for action. When right-wing pundits bandy this kind of talk, they’re giving their tacit approval to violence, and voice to the darkest side of the American psyche.

Among other incidents, the shooting deaths of two members of the Universalist/Unitarian Church, in the church, indicate that liberals have also become a target of right wing eliminationist rhetoric, rage and action. Jim Atkisson would have killed dozens more had he not been stopped by some courageous church members. The letter that he wrote to justify his murders demonstrates his eliminationist intentions:

Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them.... Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House… I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people.


The roots of eliminationist rhetoric and behavior

Ascertaining the causes of this phenomenon is not a simple matter. After reading dozens of books about Hitler and his Holocaust, I could never figure out whether he was motivated primarily by political opportunism or by actual hatred of his victims. More likely it was a combination of the two. Probably his ravenous desire for power was the major factor. But then, he had to find a way to justify his evil actions. So he convinced himself that his victims were subhuman and deserved their fate. A similar combination of motivations probably explains the actions of most of the monstrous tyrants of history.

Wherever you see genocide it is a good bet that the genocidal architects are motivated by a host of economic and political factors. There is usually at least a small group of people who benefit enormously from the wars that they help to instigate. Eliminationist rhetoric, including dehumanization of the purported enemy, often helps to set the stage for these wars and make them politically feasible.

Those are the leaders, the nation’s elites. But there are always orders of magnitude more followers than leaders. What about their motivation? In his book, “The Authoritarians” (which I discuss in this post), Bob Altemeyer describes in great detail the phenomenon of excessive obedience to authority. Based on his own research, the obedience experiments of Stanley Milgram, and historical and sociological literature on the subject, he explains:

The bigger reason has to be that the vast majority of us have had practically no training in our lifetimes in openly defying authority. The authorities who brought us up mysteriously forgot to teach that. We may desperately want to say no, but that turns out to be a huge step that most people find impossibly huge – even when the authority is only a psychologist you never heard of running an insane experiment. From our earliest days we are told disobedience is a sin, and obedience is a virtue, the “right” thing to do…

We as individuals are poorly prepared for a confrontation with evil authority, and some people are especially inclined to submit to such authority and attack in its name.

The humanist psychiatrist Erich Fromm, in his book, “The Sane Society”, (which H2O Man recommended to me), the humanist psychologist Erich Fromm explains the phenomenon of excessive obedience to authority as originating as an unhealthy response to the human need for rootedness and a sense of identity:

Man – freed from the traditional bonds… afraid of the new freedom which transformed him into an isolated atom – escaped into (a state) of which nationalism and racism are the two most evident expressions… Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism are the most drastic manifestations of this (Fromm wrote this in 1955)…The average man today obtains his sense of identity from his belonging to a nation… Those who are not “familiar” by bonds of blood… are looked upon with suspicion, and paranoid delusions about them can spring up at the slightest provocation.


Some closing words on eliminationism

So it is that society’s elites cast a spell over millions of their fellow countrymen, in order to facilitate their sociopathic quest for wealth and power. It’s bad enough that this leads us into repeated catastrophic imperialist wars. It is even worse when it additionally poses the risk of widespread violence on our own soil.

Fromm explains what this does to individual people who succumb to the diseases of racism and ultra-nationalism:

His capacity for love and reason are crippled; he does not experience himself nor his fellow man in their – and his own – human reality. Nationalism is our … idolatry, our insanity. “Patriotism” is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by “patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation…

Near the end of his book, Neiwert makes a statement about what we currently need to deal with:

Confronting the legacy of eliminationism is necessary for our wellbeing as a nation… Healing those fault lines takes work. To do so, ultimately, entails not simply standing up to the outrageous falsehoods and the cold inhumanity its purveyors spew but also creating a culture in which engaging our common humanity informs our choices, our behavior, our beliefs, our politics. It also entails looking honestly at our history and understanding how we came to be where we are today – seeing that although today the virus of eliminationism is far more hidden, it remains buried in our cultural soil, and invariably surfaces when we look the other way.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. +100
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Neiwert used to post here.
I'm not sure what happened to him.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. He posts regularly at Crooks & Liars (he's managing editor there),
and, of course, at his own site:

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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
53. no kidding. I read this book and liked it. it is a good source
for other material to read on related topics as well.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #53
69. DU really was a place to get an education back then.
Now it's just a place to gawk at wrecks.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. kicked, rec'd & bookmarked. . . n/t
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, Time for change.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. the ONE person who's the object of most of this eliminationism remains strangely quiet as if
none of it is going on at all.

Msongs
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
62. Only because mentioning it will cause it to be played by the media
as paranoia. You KNOW that's true.
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Warning to the Rich who spread hate.... "When you got nothin'. You got nothin' to lose !"
It may surprise the Freeps and Rush. But some of us are just waiting on it.
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Wilber_Stool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
48. I think that because
"Liberals want to take our guns." that we don't have any. Damn, will they be surprised.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Until now, I was unaware that Rush Limbaugh had advocated killing liberals. Maybe I was too
positive a person to believe that even that low-life motherfucker would not go so far as to advocate KILLING liberals.

Now that I know this, and accept it as fact due to the source of the information, I want to know why this isn't considered a physical threat to American citizens. This is promoting MURDER. Surely there must be some zealous far-left DA who would love to prosecute that fat son of a bitch for communicating threats of murder--or some such violation of American law.

Recommend.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Great question -- A few explanations come to mind
The most important one is that there is an extreme double standard in our country when it comes to things like that. Can you imagine what a scandal it would be if a liberal said something like that about conservatives? (Not that a liberal would say anytnhing like that, but if s/he did, our corporate news media would talk about it constantly). Sarah Palin makes an acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 2008, in which virtually every sentence that came out of her mouth was a lie, and the media says little about that; yet when Al Gore makes a slight mis-statement during a debate, he's constantly disparaged as a liar by our illustrious talking heads.

Second, it is possible that he never made that statement publicly. In the link that I posted, he made it as a private comment. But it was to a journalist, so he must have known that it would be published. And he acknowledges that "I tell people... ", so there appears to be little doubt that he's made that statement with a fair amount of frequency -- and I'd bet money that he's said it publicly.

It seems like this sort of thing is expected of the right wing fanatics who plague our airwaves, so when it occurs nobody thinks much about doing anything about it (regardless of whether it encourages hate crimes). But that must change.

And it is also possible that people like Limbaugh have invisible protecters that we don't know about.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. There's no doubt he has invisible protectors; although, I don't know how we can call the entire
Edited on Mon Nov-23-09 09:57 PM by bertman
leadership of the Republican party "invisible".

My position is that if it could be proven by audio or video tape that he actually advocated the murder of liberals, then getting a DA to prosecute might be a viable option. There are liberals in every city and county in the United States--except maybe that one county in Kentucky where the census worker "hung himself". Even if it did not get much media attention, it might become an indictment. Who knows what would happen from there? Maybe good things. Maybe bad things.

Your comments about the double standard are right on target, Time for change. The corporate media did not monopolize the airwaves JUST for profit. The bigger part was for control of the populace--dissemination of propaganda. Fox is the most outrageously blatant, but the other networks and even NPR have been slaves to the Military-Industrial-Corporate Complex indoctrination plan. Pacifica, on occasion MSNBC's lefties, Air America, et al., AND the internets are the only avenue for getting the real news.

Part of this is about educating the vast, faceless expanse of the masses. It seems that when people get the REAL story they often see through the propaganda lies and get pissed off at UnAmerican shit. I think this would be one of those times. Most Americans do not support or condone the murder of ANYONE because he/she is a "liberal". I truly believe that. We are a nation of mostly honorable people. This could be the thing that brought down Limbaugh and his other fascist imitators.



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #14
67. Yes, educating the masses of American people is key
Edited on Tue Nov-24-09 07:04 PM by Time for change
And the sources that you mention form a valuable base.

When I speculated about invisible protectors I was thinking about something beyond the visible leaders of the Republican Party. Those people can't stop us from at least mentioning the violent rhetoric of people like Limbaugh. Sometimes it seems to me that there might be a real serious penalty to pay for doing the kind of thing you suggest regarding exposing people like Limbaugh.

Edited to add: Here's just one example -- though involving a much more serious issue than exposing Limbaugh's violent rhetoric:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. Point well taken. I am aware that there are scores, if not hundreds, of Americans who
have died when they dug too deeply or stuck their noses where others thought those noses should not be.

I may be mistaken, but many of these investigators or citizen-sleuths were working alone or with only one or two other individuals. I assume this might be because of fear of being compromised or of having a "mole" in the group, but it could also be due to the inherent secrecy required to ferret out these types of details. Conversely, the more people who are involved, even if they are all dedicated to the cause, the more cumbersome, unwieldy, and contentious the efforts become. Sooooo, I guess what I"m suggesting is that ANYONE who takes on a task like I described, or who, like Lemme, is assigned a job of this nature and degree of danger, should be collaborating openly with a pretty large group of carefully-selected compadres. Of course, as I'm typing this I'm thinking of the problems that could arise even in a well-funded, well-organized, publicity-rich effort.

P.S. from the Lemme post, I am still scratching my head about the Florida D.O.T. Maybe they are the Florida branch of the CIA, given that they have access to every part of the state, and can inspect or control any and all traffic on the roads--including their specialty, contraband.

There are some really brave souls who dig into this kind of stuff and appear to lose everything when they decide to expose the evil that lurks below.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-25-09 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #70
74. Recall that Jeb Bush was governor of Florida at the time
I think that might have explained a lot.

Here's something I posted on a similar subject. I learned a lot more about the subject from many of the reponses:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-26-09 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #74
75. There are so many. Add Mike Connell to the list. Thanks for the archived post. There
was another post recently that listed many of the "suicided" and "accidented". Hundreds.

A while back you recommended "JFK and The Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" by Jim Douglass. I'm reading it now. Fascinating and so disturbing. Especially when you think of the pressures our current President faces.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with joy and thanks, Tfc.

Bertman


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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Beautiful and true
Thank you again.
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dye Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. authoritarianism referenced on boingboing.net, too
I've never quite understood why some right-wingers resort to
extremes such as death threats when some of us just disagree
and want to be left alone. Here's the link from
boingboing.net:

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/23/understanding-the-ps.html

Thanks for this post, and historical perspective.
dye
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. Two words --- Radio Rwanda. 4 more words --- It Could Happen Here
You have written an amazing and enlightening post. I wish that I could rec this 1000's of times and kick it every day.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. +1
:thumbsup:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
35. Thank you -- Radio Rwanda is a great example
And yes, it certainly could happen here.
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #12
41. +1, Horribly sad and true. (nt)
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. I have the book The Eliminationists and have added
Republican Gomorrah. Recommended.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. Here's who inspired these treasonous turds...
A Cold Warrior who turned to Peace:

"If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all -- except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. ]Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security, as well as our liberty." -- John F. Kennedy, October 29, 1960.

He was killed by those with NAZI hearts.

Thank you for another outstanding essay, Time for Change.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
44. Thank you Octafish -- The American people could learn a lot from JFK's example:
Too bad that the examples that his presidency set (and FDR's) receive so little attention from our corporate media today. Instead, they tout Ronald Reagan as some sort of hero.
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
17. Wonderful contribution to DU--this encapsulates the Right wing.
"It is by small steps of incremental meanness and viciousness that we lose our humanity."



I wish there was an answer, a solution to this serious threat. I live in fear dailly--fear for America;for Obama...

Tonight driving home listening to Ron Regan I listened to birthers go on an on about Obama not being American. He is being ritualistically dehumanized from multiple vantage points

God help him--and us all.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
66. Thank you -- This is scary indeed
I don't think I've ever heard so much racism expressed publicly in my life.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
18. +1,000,000,000,000
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
20. TFC
:applause:
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. What's TFC?
Tennessee Fried Chicken?
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Time For Change
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Oh. That's a new one for me.
I was expecting TFC to be "too fucking cool". :D
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
46. That too!!
:rofl:
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Merchant Marine Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
21. Reminds me of trying to talk to gun control advocates n/t
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 02:33 AM
Response to Original message
25. the limbaugh quote isn't in the TIME article linked unless I missed something.
If you're accusing people of making such statements, better source them.

Else you be accused of behaving like limbaugh.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. It's in the second paragraph at the link
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-25-09 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #27
73. my apologies, i overlooked it when i skimmed.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 05:02 AM
Response to Original message
26. I think you left something out
have you not seen this rhetoric on DU, directed at FReepers and talibornigans and wingnuts?

"Rhetorically, eliminationism… depicts its opposition as beyond the pale, the embodiment of evil itself, unfit for participating in their vision of society, and thus worthy of elimination. It often further depicts its designated Enemy as vermin (especially rats and cockroaches) or diseases, and disease-like cancers on the body politic. A close corollary is the claim that opponents are traitors or criminals and that they pose a threat to our national security… Eliminationism is often voiced as crude “jokes”… predicated on venomous hatred."

Even your own post here seems to fit into that. Our opponents, you see, ARE 'beyond the pale'. They are not just conservatives or anti-liberal, they are something beyond that, something beyond all reason, something insidious and dangerous - they are eliminationists.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. I've never seen on DU rhetoric that advocates killing people
I've seen plenty of rhetoric aimed at advocting putting people on trial for crimes, but never advocating killing people.

I have seen some rhetoric that I considered over the top here, but again, never advocating killing people. What is it about what I've said here that you consider eliminationist rhetoric?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #28
37. maybe not, but there's certainly enough hatred
for example

even directed at a Congressional Democrat, and note the last post in that thread

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

This one made the top of the greatest page - twice

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

notice how it ends

"Fuck you, you scumridden shitehawks, you make me sick. Just fuck off and die."


Maybe not advocating killing people, just wishing very very hard that they would die.

The quote from your OP again.

"Rhetorically, eliminationism… depicts its opposition as beyond the pale, the embodiment of evil itself, unfit for participating in their vision of society, and thus worthy of elimination. It often further depicts its designated Enemy as vermin (especially rats and cockroaches) or diseases, and disease-like cancers on the body politic. A close corollary is the claim that opponents are traitors or criminals and that they pose a threat to our national security… Eliminationism is often voiced as crude “jokes”… predicated on venomous hatred."


It fits right into this mentality about THEM, about the OTHER. Those Republican voters are eliminationists, and as such, they clearly are 1) beyond the pale, 2) evil, 3) unfit for participating in a democracy, 4) disease-like cancers on the body politic, and 5) a threat to our national security.

But there's a conundrum there, since hate-mongers clearly deserve and need to be called out on their rhetoric, but I also think that over-the-top rhetoric is very easy to fall into for people who feel passionate about their politics. Maybe if we do it too, then a person who does it is perhaps just an over-zealous person who needs to be told to ease up on them hammers and not a closet Nazi who is beyond redemption.
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Politicub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. A couple of quotes from the DU fringe doen't rise to the level of institutionalized hate speech
Come on now, don't be disingenuous. We ignore this threat at our own peril.

The right has built a sophisticated infrastructure to paint liberals as the other. There is no equivalent to this apparatus on the left.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #39
50. it's not fringe when it makes the greatest page consistently
it's the same type of speech, just not with as big an audience.

Ignore what threat? So far the worst thing I have seen them do is win elections.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. I agree that there is a lot of over the top rhetoric here
And I think that more of it should be deleted than currently is done.

But I also think that there is a big difference between that and rhetoric that advocates or encourages violence.

I think that it is also pertinent to note that the good majority of hate crimes in our culture are directed at minority groups or liberals. I can't think of a single example that has been directed at conservatives per se.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #43
51. some of that is from the definition of a hate crime
it seems to be defined as a hate crime when a minority is attacked, especially by a white person. The reverse is not defined as a hate crime. In fact, I am pretty sure google found a conservative source talking about the statistics of minorities committing crimes against white people. I guess it is some comfort if one is robbed, mugged, assaulted, raped, or killed to know that at least the perpetrator doesn't hate you or your race.

http://www.racismeantiblanc.bizland.com/005/06-02.htm

I am not sure the difference is that big between unrestrained hate and advocating or encouraging violence. It seems to me a very short jump and a logical step from "I fucking hate them! They are fucking useless! I wish they would die!" and advocating or encouraging violence. If they are that bad, and that harmful to our country and our world, then why wouldn't violence against them be logical, even if it is never explicitly stated?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. The step from hating to wanting to kill
is much larger if one believes in the rule of law, and if one has a sense of fairness.

For example, speaking for myself (and I believe that this applies to many if not most DUers), I believe that Bush and Cheney are a lot worse than useless. They are positively dangerous and evil, and they did immense harm to our country and the world while they were in office.

But I wouldn't have contemplated assassinating them or advocating assassination, and I don't believe that it would have done our country any good to see them assassinated. We have legal processes for handling them, and those legal processes should have been used to first impeach them and remove them from office, then try them for their many crimes, and then enforce punishment against them. Assassination could have led to civil war or a coup de tat, and it is the last thing that I would have wanted to see.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
29. Those who use this sort of rhetoric against others
should not be complaining when it returns to be used against themselves. This is why I begged the Obama campaign to reject the vicious eliminationist Donnie McClurkin from the role they gave him as host and only speaker at campaign events. Mr McClurkin is famous for going on 700 Club to declare 'war' against gay people, he said 'they are trying to kill our children. The gloves are off, this is war.' And yet he was the hand picked host for Obama praised by Michelle as well in defense of his eliminationist rhetoric.
Either this sort of rhetoric is bad for all or it is a tool for all. Obama used it as a tool. So blame the GOP if you'd like, but that is self serving and short sighted.
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Agreed, sadly.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. I blamed "right wing fanatics"
You don't think that someone who would declare "war" on gay people and accuse them of trying to kill our children is a right wing fanatic? Some of them may be reasonable on other issues, but not on that one.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Why the snark? Of course I think they are fanatics
My point is that it is not just the Republicans that are using this lexicon, and that the Obama campaign did exactly what you are talking about. I think Donnie McClurkin was an Obama campaign surrogate and hand selected host of Barack's events. Right wing? Maybe. But the point is, Obama used employed him and his rhetoric of elimination. Not a Republican, Obama did that. Few call Obama a right wing fanatic, I don't. Do you?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. It wasn't snark. You accuse me of blaming Republicans
I don't use the word Republican anywhere in the OP. The term I use is right wing fanatic.

I don't know the context regarding what you say about McClurkin. But it seems to me that anyone who declares "war" on gays and accuses them, as a group, of killing children, is acting like a right wing fanatic, whether they are registered as Democrats or Republicans.
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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
34. OP misses an important point. Hypervigilance is the tool
Ti makes the human heart hard. It makes us draw the line at close family. At least not further than our border. It is the poisin that allows inhumanity. As the author stated, you must make the haters FEAR the other. Hate alone wont do it. Fear must be added.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
36. K & R nt
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Jester Messiah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
38. K&R & shared on social networking.
This is a very important piece of work. Bravo.
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Politicub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
40. There is precedent out there for what can happen if these seeds of hatred take root
And if eliminationism does play itself out against the left in the US, it will be swift and severe - and it will be uniquely American. It has happened in our country before against the native peoples. Why couldn't it happen again?

Excellent, informative post. I hope we can wake up enough people to be a counter weight against the right's sophisticated infrastructure of sustained violence inciting speech.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #40
65. Yes
And anyone who thinks that eliminationism is gone from our country ought to listen to the accounts of Iraq War veterans or Iraqi civilians regarding what we've done over there.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
42. Part of understanding this is realizing these thoughts are in all of us.
I have seen eliminationist rhetoric from the left as well. One example is the famous map separating the country into the USA and Jesusland.

I do think these tendencies are far more pronounced, and in the open, on the right, but we should look at this as part of the overall human condition. There is a natural feeling to eschew people who are not like us.

The real meat of the matter is what are most of us going to do to work to try to hold society together? My thought is that we all need to work hard to be ethical in our lives and uphold the rule of law, then most other things fall into place in a reasonably good way.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. i don't think this can be said enough
there is nothing remotely equivalent to the right wing on the left. for example, there is no fox news or rush limbaugh on the left. there is no leftist who has the power to influence the way limbaugh does. also, there is a difference between trying to oppress people and fighting oppression. MLK was not the same as Bull Connor...one stood for non-violence and the other used violence as a tool to oppress.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
60. Absolutely
"We all need to work hard to be ethical in our lives and uphold the rule of law."

Far better to do that than to follow their example.
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Mosaic Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-25-09 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #42
72. "part of the overall human condition"
I agree with that. The blade is double, and triple edged and dangerous to all. Hopefully interaction of the various sides in cyberspace can prevent violence, hatred, and revenge, and broaden understanding.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
47. kick to read later when I have time to digest it. n/t
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keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
49. They are dangerous
Edited on Tue Nov-24-09 02:35 PM by keepthemhonest
you really never know what they are capable of.The things they say things out loud that are very scary.
Forgot to say thanks for posting all of this.





"Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed."
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
54. Wasn't that first quote actually the coultergeist??
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. She's said a lot of similar things
But the quote is from Limbaugh. It's in the second paragraph of the article at the link.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
55. If they come for me or mine they have a rude awakening coming.
It'll be a long fucking day.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
57. Auto K&R.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
58. K&R.
Too much to say in response again.

I have been quite bewildered by how little condemnation the hateful comments of popular right wing extremists (and even some Republicans who echo their comments) receive on the corporate media, compared to any slightly strident comments by liberals.

Yes I know, as I tell others, that our major media have been consolidated into right wing hands, but still, I am depressed that there is no longer a pretense of even-handedness. Democrats and liberals who make angry statements are roundly condemned. Even a well qualified leader like Van Jones is driven from office for signing an online petition wanting answers to questions about 9-11. While extreme right wing commentary has been allowed to sail along with little righteous condemnation. Right wing extremists are invited back on the air even after making violent hateful statements.

The whole issue is complicated by some ingenious PR -- I'm still trying to figure out how to formulate a discussion of the increasing popularity of bullying and cold manipulation of other people to advance ones own private interests. The manipulation and scheming against others for personal gain seem to be a result of all those reality shows in which isolated groups of people plot against each other and win the cash by double-crossing others. And other reality shows that glamorize the most obnoxious behavior-- people can stand out in reality-land by being the most irritating person on their season of a particular show. Nastiness becomes a means toward achieving celebrity.

I also think there is probably some sophisticated PR going on to encourage selfishness in people. To get them to resist Good Government-- why should I pay for healthcare for that fatso with diabetes? I was recently wondering whether the right wing elite had also read Faith Popcorn's prediction years ago that the current batch of 20-somethings would have a stronger sense of community and volunteerism, and worked on methods to undercut those trends. I have seen 20-somethings with more of a social conscience than some preceding generations, but there are also many of them who seem to be trying to distinguish themselves by how crass and selfish they can be.

There is also a strange kind of jackass humor that dishes out gross racist jokes under the pretext of making fun of such horrible attitudes. But it still puts those sick stereotypes out there once again. Does watching the mocking portrayal of gross stereotyped humor really free the audience from those attitudes or subtly reinforce them?

Thanks for another provocative essay.



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
63. Interesting thoughts
There definitely has been PR by our corporate media to encourage character traits that were once widely thought to be onerous -- greed and selfishness at the top of the list. Your pointing out the reality shows as one of the means of transmitting this attitude is right on target IMO.

If I had to single out one person responsible for this it would be Ronald Reagan -- though actually he was just a puppet for more powerful interests. I'm reading a book about that now -- "The Man Who Sold the World -- Ronald Reagan and the betrayal of Main Street America". Here's an excerpt:

He also transmitted a more pernicious message from his first days in office: that the blind pursuit of wealth was not tawdry or immoral but a supreme human virtue... The message was deceptively simple: the market, unfettered by government regulation and taxation, created the most efficient allocation of a nation's resources.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #63
71. Yes, Grandpa Ron did usher in a whole new ethic -- The Bold Lie
The brazen lie of Trickle Down Economics. And we were supposed to learn to believe it by tuning in to Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. And check out those junk bond traders. And all the merciless merging and acquiring of small, independent companies by bigger crueler ones, willing to crush livelihoods and whole towns across America for the Look of the Quarterly Financial Balance Sheet.

That damn Trickle Down. The Morning In America Lie. It was late already, but the whole power of so many major media jumped on board. It was getting late in America; the Carter folks had been talking about that bothersome conservation and alternative energy. Couldn't have that, now, could we? No no no that's all about limits. Reagan's folks wanted us all to be free to get rich as quick as we could. It was Morning in America, we were free to flaunt our glorious liberty-- the freedom to Get Rich Quick. By any means necessary. Splash on some flag waving after the tax cutting and union busting.

Behind the flashy fun of the Age of Mergers & Acquisitions, (just ignore the movie Roger & Me), were trading arms with our enemies to finance Freedom Fighters brutally attacking a duly-elected government our corporations disliked-- damn socialists, and that was enough, too many times. And variations of those themes, long lists of cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on our fellow human beings around the globe. Cheap business to conduct when you do not factor in the costs of warfare.

But be that as it was, big shoulder-pads were in then. Big Dallas Hair too, I believe. Brazen splashy We Are Rich & Digging It stuff. And lots of flag waving, even as we were breaking international laws with extraordinary cruelty at that time too.

Grandpa Ron was re-elected in 1984, wasn't he? I still can't believe it. Wore a kid's ring with "Mickey Rat" on it. That emblemized Papa Ron for me.

Feeling the crassness that can result from pushing the big lie for so long. Because here we are having the pathological torturer who destroyed our national security given some of our country's air time to expound on his misgivings regarding our Afghanistan policy. They've given Alleged Torturer some valuable air time to slam our president. How crass can we get? La dee dah, let's check in with the Alleged Torturer.

And extremist language like that of the Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Malkin, et al, is actually broadcast in our country. We can hear them spout incendiary nonsense on our televisions every day. Yet God Forbid we see a nipple.

You kind of need a split personality to endure life in this US Kingdom. Pretending the Big Lie Still Applies even though your hands have withered while waiting to catch a little drop of that damn trickle down. Pretending there is such a thing as The Wisdom of the Private Sector, when all evidence points to the contrary.

In going private or public, you're really just choosing whether the corruption-prone industries should be managed by a government accountable to the people, or hidden away in private corporations accountable only to their quarterly balance sheets. Really man. Corruption in-house or behind closed doors. I prefer in-house, supervised by Congress, because we can watch them. Not having military services provided by a corporation at which our current VP was their CEO very recently.

Cruel cowboy capitalism could have its proponents. But when it gets to war profiteering, I would expect that to be a very clear example of Crossing The Line. a.k.a. blowing the hinges off any triggers of human decency. Yet while the stories were separately reported, there was no major consolidated Democratic outcry against those revolting practices. Individuals introduced bills, but there was no solid Democratic walk-out on critical votes about continued funding of contractors proven to be shoddy. Dribs and drabs. And now tweets, when it is time for consolidated action. Real reality, don't you know. 44,000 die early. And they are the tip of the iceberg.

But seriously. Retaining contractors whose faulty wiring electrocuted our soldiers in the showers. Or even just privatizing the contract for military supplies-- while congress was voting forward all requests for funding, our beloved soldiers still could not get the armor they needed. Doesn't that blow all triggers of decency?

So this whole new angle-- "Hey, check me out! I'm brash!" Obnoxious reality show persona gone viral, is troubling. We've watched so many vacuous people spout their drivel and talk through their hats, that we don't balk at letting an Alleged War Criminal get some air time to smack down our commander in chief. Just a little bit of the day's news.

What does the popularity of vampire lore signify-- that it is Time for a Change?

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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
59. What I admire about you most TFC is your ability to organize
Your thoughts into a really powerful point....I am also jealous of that.

But yes it is dangerous and we must not take these tea baggers and pundits lightly.
Yes we can laugh at their stupidity, but don't let that distract you.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #59
64. Thank you zeemike
Yeah, we laugh at them at our peril. That just gives us a false sense of confidence, enrages them and makes them all the more dangerous.

But we DO need to call them out on their tactics. Our corporate news media does us a great disservice by giving them a free pass on their lies and their rude and violent rhetoric. So it's up to us to expose the truths.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
61. K&R
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
68. I don't even try to read your posts on the screen anymore - I just print 'em and read 'em
and then pass 'em around, because I know they will be good. Thank you very much.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-29-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
76. I'm loving the 1987 British satire TV series called The New Statesman
Edited on Sun Nov-29-09 12:14 AM by Overseas
It shows the amping up of class warfare in 1980's England. The script is really insightful as we follow the lead character (played by the great Rik Mayall) who is a brand new Tory MP because he married the daughter of the local conservative party leader. He's a selfish charismatic cad who espouses and promotes Tory doctrine with cunning dedication.

But it is best at brutally exposing the pompous idiocy of right wing policies in Maggie Thacher's era with devastating humor. The right wing policies are clearly rooted in class. Those tenets and prejudices have been echoed in recent US history, like the GOP's anti-French thing. The new MP getting ahead with his first piece of legislation to arm the police. Then getting the contract to supply the guns through the back door by using a religious fanatic. And how he bluffs his way through other situations with a breezy lack of empathy, if not contempt, for the proles.

I've just finished the first disc. Looking forward to the next ones.

Since we'd been talking about the dangerous divisiveness of our current right wing ideologies, and how they really got ramped up in the 80's with Reagan, it was really fascinating to see this show mocking the cruelties of the Thacherite policies. The writers have done such a great job capturing the callous ingrained attitudes of the always rich Tory MPs. And strip away the grandiose rhetoric of the Thacher era to expose her policies with lots of laughs for what they were-- class warfare on steroids.
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