What's Missing With the Media and the Arizona Massacre
Something important is missing from the obvious criticisms of the right wing's campaign of hate and lies. Of course, this sort of propaganda does set the stage for some homicidal nut. There is nothing remarkable about pointing this out, since everything is interconnected and nothing exists in isolation. But all these calls for reasonable discourse will fall on the deaf ears of the reactionary spouters. It is also somewhat hypocritical for liberals to wax indignant against the right-wing hate propaganda – but more on that later.
The reality is, the right can no more cease to lie and calumny than a great white shark can turn vegan. It comes with the beast. All the way back to the struggle to end slavery, reactionaries have lied and demonized about their progressive opponents. Indeed, the basic method of attack was written about 200 years ago and only improved on since.
The right must lie and demonize because its positions do not stand up to rational evaluation, what they uphold is factually untrue. (1) Furthermore, it is very difficult to demand inequality, suppression of freedom and victimization of minorities in a society that claims to be democratic and pluralistic. Underlying all of this are the repressive child rearing practices that spawned these reactionaries. (The US has the most abusive child rearing and pedagogy in the developed world) These child rearing practices give rise to a character structure that perpetuates denial as a life strategy.
As for liberals, can the smugness and tone down the outrage. From the Palmer Raids – where the IWW were branded Bolsheviks and terrorists to the present day demonization of Hugo Chavez in the US liberal media, liberals have engaged in their share of lies and calumny. Mild progressiveness is fine, but get a little too radical and libs could teach Goebbels a thing or two!
1. Examples - that the US health system is the best, that “permissive” child rearing causes delinquency, that religion is needed to make an ethical society, that problems can be solved through repression.