Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Schzoid Core of American Politics

"When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government...all having the direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states...the state remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsion within...sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substances...he has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns and destroyed the lives of our complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny...with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages."

Thomas Jefferson, et al. The Declaration of Independence, 1776.

When Richard Hofstadter spoke of the "paranoid style" of American politics, I can only think, "Oh, you have no idea." He was talking about the John Birch Society in the 1950's but, as you can see, it goes way back to the founding fathers.
 I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And People Like Me.

All this occurred to me as I started reading about the people who inspired the wonderful, creepy, indignant, explosive, smarmy character, Brett O'Keefe, in "Homeland."  At first, I thought, "Oh, Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Steve Bannon," but as the season progressed it was clear the writers had gone beyond that level of sleaze to something sublime. 
I just play one on TV

Apparently, he may be based, at least partly,  on a certain wacko in Texas named "Alex Jones" who believes the Oklahoma City bombing was carried out by federal government agents, that the Branch Davidian attack in Waco was another government conspiracy, that moon landing was staged, that the 9/11 attacks were a federal government conspiracy and that his own personal ancestors were responsible for winning the fight with Mexico which wrested control of the state of Texas for the white Anglos who died at the Alamo and whose brothers ultimately prevailed. So he is a hero by association. And, oh, yes, my favorite: Mr. Jones knows that the Sandy Hook slaughter of children was fake news, staged by lefties who want to take your guns away and deny you your God given right to own an assault rifle.

This man is a piece of work. He started out with a public access TV show, then went on to a radio show launched from home on the internet and now he is big business in Austin, Texas, which tells you something if the most liberal town in Texas has given rise to this mutant.
Puffy Pink Guy: Alex Jones

Not only that, a new world order of international banks colluding with the government is behind "manufactured economic crises" to seize control of everything.

If all this sounds far fetched, and if you are thinking "lunatic fringe," I would ask you to consider the sentences which have belched out of President Trump for the past two years, about climate change being a Chinese plot, about the Muslims who he saw or were seen by someone celebrating on the roof tops after 9/11 about Barack Obama's birth in Kenya and about vaccinations causing autism and mental retardation.
I think it might have been that lady in the parking lot who told Michele Bachmann about vaccines causing mental retardation who told Donald Trump about the celebrating Muslims.
That lady is just so tuned in!
 She knows. Ever notice how puffy white guys (PWG's) like Alex Jones and Donald Trump always start sweating when somebody asks for their sources? They are long on allegation, these PWG's, but short on substantiation.
Now, Thomas Jefferson was no PWG, but he wasn't much into substantiation either, when you come to think about it, but he had all those good words.
Mr. Trump claims to have the best words, but I'm with Jefferson when it comes to words: usurpations, perfidy, plunder, ravage, desolation.  My favorite is "usurpation."

 You can only imagine how Mr. Trump would slay a press conference if he threw "usurpation" into some remark.  "Oh, that Obamacare is just such a usurpation! It has plundered and ravaged the middle class unto desolation. It'll implode. Just you wait." Wow. That would be worth another four years right there, that riff alone.

Does he take his meals with these guys?

And people listen to Alex Jones on the radio in droves and of course, over 60 million Americans voted for Mr. Trump. Maybe Mr. Trump will appoint Alex Jones Secretary of Homeland Security. He'd be a natural.  Remember the Alamo.
Does he smell something bad?

I would submit, these guys are no fringe element in American life.  I would submit, they are, in fact, the mainstream.

Are These Guys Related? Same Gene Pool?

We might ought to check the lead levels in the water of all the counties which voted for Mr. Trump.

Grief and History, Washington DC

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