DO CONSERVATIVES REALLY BELIEVE IN FOX AND RUSH ?
IT'S NOT A GAME
Right. So now Ebola is the current tragedy/controversy/Obamafailure in the conservative world. Conservatives believe that Obama is negligent in not banning flights from West Africa. Or not locking up every person who’s ever set foot in Liberia. Or something along those lines. The CDC says this would be counterproductive – would cause people to lie and not be forthcoming to avoid possible quarantine – as does the World Health Organization. In essence, the right wing is once again stooping to fear mongering propaganda as opposed to heeding the science of the matter. Let’s call the science part “reality” for short.
This stance, believing in propaganda as opposed to scientific truth, is nothing new for conservatives. This anti-science, anti-intellectual bent has been a hallmark of the right wing for over thirty years now. Does it have to do with the fact that science counters the Genesis version of the creation of the universe and man? It’s possible. But frankly I don’t really give a shit. Eating shellfish is no longer a sin punishable by death although the Bible says that it is. Same with wearing mixed content fabrics and having sex with your neighbor’s wife. (I can’t recall if having sex with a chicken, or goat or lamb is punishable by death. I’ll need to look it up.)
So as with climate change, Muslims, EPA, racism, and a whole lot of other right wing “issues” that range from the silly – Obama is the biggest criminal President in America history - to the more sublime, Obama is causing all the racial turbulence in the country - conservatives just don’t seem to “get it.” In my forays into the conservative commentary and blogger world (which began as a three month experiment and has lasted for three years) there is a very strong penchant for denial among conservatives. Sort of along the lines of “Well, if people would stop playing the race card we wouldn’t have all these racial problems.” Huh? What the fuck are you talking about? So if we just ignore the fact that young Black men get arrested more often and receive longer sentences than their White peers for the very same crime this fact will simply go away by ignoring it? Disappear into the ether never to be heard from again? If we never talk about racism then it doesn’t exist? Such crap – the denial of facts and data - in the 21st Century is unbelievable.
But the real question surrounding all of this denial and proliferation of propaganda and fear mongering is “Do Conservatives Really Believe All The Crap?” that their faux media web and “leaders” produce? I don’t think there’s s short, easy answer to the question. After all, there was that woman in Southwest West Virginia last spring who wouldn’t sign up for Obamacare because she was afraid of the death panels. Honest. Death panels. So, yes, I would guess that many people, let’s call them “low info” folks (and I mean this in the best of terms. Not every American has a college education, daily access to the New York Times or who lives in integrated communities as many of us do) really do believe all the propaganda that the right wing media produces. These Fox fans, are not educated or sophisticated enough to be able to discern fact from fiction when it’s presented as beguiling propaganda. They don’t really have a world view that includes Muslims, for example, or understand that Ebola is not an easy virus to catch like the common cold. So yes, I do think that there are many Americans who do believe that Obama is the biggest criminal President in history. After all, why would Fox lie about something so important?
But in addition to what I’ll call the propaganda believers, are another, perhaps equally large group of conservative, who know very well that what Fox and Rush produce is just fiction. They know it but they use it to their advantage. In my experience, these, I’ll call them “cynical gaming conservatives,” relish all of the swirling fear and miasmic bullshit floating around the American atmosphere designed to confuse and obfuscate ordinary Americans so that conservative Republicans can win elections. And it works. And the gaming conservatives love it! You can almost hear their gleeful yukity yuks when another spate of bad news hits the Obama Administration. These folks honestly see politics a big game offering them little in the way of immediate and personal reward but see their fight as a kind of video game battle that holds out the promise of a higher level of fun for them. So why not? Why not play the game and spread the fiction? After all, it’s only politics.
I think that these cynical gaming conservatives are very much aware that the majority of Americans do not buy the crap they are pitching. They know it. But they are putting up the good fight for Freedom, Democracy, Liberty and good old fashioned American teen spirit, as they see it. They honestly don’t care how well or how poorly real people are doing. That’s not what the “video gaming battleground” is all about. It’s about making as much noise as possible. It’s about shutting down the other guy. It’s about who can yell the loudest. It’s about who can do the most ephemeral damage to one’s game opponent. It’s about who can kill the most bad guys. Its about WINNING!!!!! Sadly, that’s all there is too it. Winning “what” is not a part of the game. Just winnin
This brand of gaming conservative understands that most Americans really do trust science more than the Bible. Even he or she does but would never admit it. Being honest with oneself is not part of the game. It’s in the rules: honesty is a loser. The bigger the lie the bigger the payoff. That most of the country really would like to see America not be subjected to divisive rhetoric and political gaming and revert to the kind of country that was once admired around the world is not important to them. Who cares what America’s place is in the world? We are the most powerful (deadly) country on earth so why should they care about anyone living in some other country? Thus the cries to ban anyone who has ever set foot in Liberia from the right wing do make sense. That most American’s long for the days when we were admired for our national dedication to the proposition that all people are created equal and therefore have the right to live free from lies and fear and unimpeded by racism, sexism and Fascist politics is just not where it’s at. Why bother about such ephemeral considerations when America is at the top of the heap? Why should we care? In their minds, just as long as we can invade any country on earth and bring them to heel, we don’t have to think about American’s “image” overseas. Or how others view us.
If only, the gaming conservatives believe, every single Americans (except Blacks and Latinos) were allowed to carry guns all the time and anywhere, then everything would be fine. They really do believe this. They honestly believe that crime would simply disappear because no one would dare commit a crime knowing that everyone around them was weaponized. Why our armored-up police departments with their war ready armored personnel carriers and AR-15’s don’t stop criminals today doesn’t seem to occur to them. Facts are simply another liberal sideshow that they don’t care to acknowledge must less think about. They know that if everyone is armed all will be well.
So there you have it: the truly low info propaganda believer conservatives (there are low info liberals as well, just not so many) and the cynical gaming conservatives. My two branches of conservative yahoo’s who have hijacked the country. The really sad part of all of this is that most Americans do not want what they want. Most of us do want sensible gun controls. Most of us do want to do something about global warming. Most of us don’t want American citizens prevented from voting. But thanks to Karl Rove and the conservative think tanks (and ALEC) who have been at work getting Republican state legislatures to pass conservative, un-American legislation, getting conservative judges elected and appointed to our court system, and all the rest in a highly controlled, highly effective network of partisan propaganda outlets that spew propaganda over the airwaves every single day of our lives, they have effectively infected the American body politic with the politics of fear, hate and selfishness for the past thirty years.
The really sad thing is that although conservatives see politics as a game, just a game where the winner wins and gains all-power, the rest of us see politics as how we evolve as a society, how we effectuate change and how we exercise our rights as American citizens in order to have some say over the important policy issues we face and, ultimately, how we are governed. To us it’s not a video game. To us it is the very essence of what it means to be an American and what all of our ideal riddled founding documents, flawed as they might be, speak to. Our political world has been hijacked by the right wing and, as of today, - two days before our midterm elections - it looks as if the propagandists and fiction spinners have the upper hand.
Will all ordinary Americans have to become serfs before the ugly truth of the right wing fantasy dawns upon them? And then how will we correct this thirty year foray into the conservative social and economic video game?
I’ve never been a fan of violent revolution but I don’t see a future for America without it.