"In a new interview with Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), Politico asks the congressman what the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus does. Harper’s response:
We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition."
An obsession with pure manliness and violent assertion of power is most commonly associated with right-wingers and overwieght boys who drop out of third grade at the age of 12, but I repeat myself.
It's not hard to understand. When men of a particular ethnic group dominate a multi-ethnic society for any length of time they become unable to seperate their control of society from their own sense of manhood, and when they start to lose their traditional power....
Well, there have been an awful lot of white men in the past forty years have gotten awful fixated with GUNS and the fear of having their GUNS torn away from them. Like I said, it's not hard to understand.
The portrayal of every liberal female politician as a lesbian ball-buster, the rise of a partiular strain of Protestantism which proclaims a violently jealous skyfather who cares for little more than the endless praise and submission of his children, an endless stream of cinematic revenge fantisies, in which a rightous white man uses his GUN to mow down the killers of his wife or children, killers who are invaribly dark or, if not dark, the sort of white people who have negated their whiteness by getting involved with drugs. (Drugs equal pleasure, the need for pleasure betrays vulnerability, vulnerability equals effeminacy.) It is all pornographicly easy to understand.
And of course to the man whose sense of manhood is based on social dominance there is nothing more threatening to him than democracy itself. (Especially a democracy whose demographics are turning against him.) Democracy requires its citizens to consider those who disagree with them to be, at worst, well-meaning idiots. It requires us to accept that those who disagree with us are acting in good faith and doing what they sincerely believe is best for the country. Moral certainty provides the same sort of testosterone rush that comes with lifting a hundred pound weight or successfully seducing a beautiful woman. So does the belief that you live in a society that is innately just, one that always puts the most well deserving people in positions of privledge and that the most deserving people just happen to be you and yours. To accept democracy is to deny oneself this masculine rush. It is to accept that fair and honest elections will occasionaly put the Other ones in charge to enact their opposing policies. Worst of all it means to accept that those who disagree with your most passionatly-held principles are your moral and social equals. This neccesarily requires one to accept that his most passionatly held principles could be wrong. To live with the internal doubt that freedom demands is to accept ones vulnerability, and as stated before only women bleed.
This is why right-wing rhetoric is so full of strawmen and ad hominems, so full of apocylyptic dreams of crushing internal and external enemies with supreme confidence and will. For them it is not enough to believe that they are right. Belief leaves room for vulnerability. They must KNOW that they are right. The truth of their beliefs must be so obvious that even those who disagree with them secretly know that they are wrong, and are only pretending to disagree beacuse of some hidden evil motive. Right-wing argument violates the rules of logical debate so often because, in a world where abstract truth is as obvious as the color of the sky, there is no need for logic.
And so we have stabbed-in-the-back mythologies to explain the failures in Vietnam and Iraq. Womanly doubt is the only possible reason why indisputibly just White male power would ever fail to impose its infallible will abroad.
And so we have a long history of bullying language and behavior towards liberals, Democrats, uppity women and minorities, gays, lesbians, foreigners, eggheads, hippies, city boys, and every other strain of social outsider or vaginal skeptic.
We Come Unarmed, This Time.-Various 'Teabaggers' at recent protests
"We're going to keep on building the party (the Texas GOP) until we're hunting Democrats with dogs." Phill Gramm, 1995
Wouldn't it be great if anybody who speaks out against this country, to kick them out of the country? Anybody that threatens this country, kick 'em out. We'd get rid of Michael Moore, we'd get rid of half the Democratic Party if we would just import that law. That would be fabulous. The Supreme Court ought to look into this. Absolutely brilliant idea out there.-Rush Limbaugh, 2005
I am a United States sailor. I have chosen to defend my country and the freedom some take for granted.
I love my country, my family, my freedom. Only by the blood which was shed by the service members before me did we receive this freedom.
There are some, though, who do not appreciate this freedom. I call these people traitors; they call themselves protesters. They are nothing more than an infectious disease that infests the minds and hearts of the Americans we are defending. It consumes the honor and courage within its host until it kills the very patriotism that made this country.
There is no cure for this disease. Never will everyone be satisfied. But let it be known what this guardian of America's freedom thinks of these protesters: Traitors should be hanged. I hold our enemies in higher standing. At least they are willing to fight for their beliefs and the country they love.
Amarillo-Letter to the editor of The Amarillo Globe December 2003
And how could we forget the old grandaddy?
I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches-Strom Thurmond, 1948.
The Thurmond quote of course comes from the days when lynchings of both Black men and liberal White "outside agitators" was common practice in the South, especially in Mississippi. Indeed the most famous act of terrorism against the civil rights movement, the Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner murders, happened in Greg Harper's district. Happy fucking hunting you worthless piece of illiterate daughter-raping cracker-ass Nazi puddle of diaretic rat shit.
The thuggish language is nothing new. Putting it in the form of a "joke" is. Harper learned that one from Angry white Man radio. Tell a "joke" about liberals being a bunch of Commufaggot traitors who are going to get us all killed and than you can paint anyone who calls you out on your joke as a humorless p.c. nancy. But this tactic isn't really fooling anyone. We all know that the violent language is meant to intimidate, and that the drunken tough-guy language is descended from more direct forms of intimidation.
And I'm afraid that the brutish talk isn't going away. Because the right wing is unable to look itself in the mirror unless it has convinced itself that it is in a position of dominance over its enemies. (aka: Everyone else on Earth) If electorial reality denies them this need for dominance, they can always latch on to some minor political setback for President Obama or other Democrats (Such as Chicago losing out on the Olympics. Feel free to keep shitting on my city fellas. It's doing wonders to change our minds about you.) as evidence that the tide is turning and the wayward nation will soon be back in the right's burly arms where she belongs. The twenty four hour news cycle, with its essential tendency to blow up the importance of day-to-day political hubbub, is a great facilitator for this sort of self-delusion.
Or failing that, they can just talk tough, and indeed talking tough is the far- rights weapon of choice for any political situation. It is through threatining talk that they convince themselves that they are Titans among men, that they need not even think of compromise or nogotiation, that they need only apply their indisputibly superior force to assert their perfect will.
Mostly they will talk tough because they will always believe that it works no matter how many times it doesn't. Beacuse they sincerely believe that we liberals secretly know that they are right and we are wrong. Beacuse they really do believe that we are the weak, cowardly, and effeminate strawmen they have made out of us. They truly do believe that suburban moderates swung the election to Obama not because they were disgusted with right-wing governments failures (Which cannot possibly exist) but because white guilt and mushy-headedness led them to be seduced by mindless calls for 'change.' They truly believe that all they have to do to win these mushy-headed children back is to cow faggy liberal voices into silence.
It is indeed true that a high degree of passion for one's beliefs can better inspire one to fight for them when they are threatened. But again, the far right thinks that they are the only ones who truly believe what they believe. At any rate they think that beliefs are confirmed and validated only through the violent assertion of them, an attitude embodied in the hang-happy Texas sailor's letter to the editor. (The best demonstration I've yet seen of how the American right and Islamist terroists are quite a bit like each other.) There is no such thing as a grudging willingness to fight for one's beliefs. There is no such thing as fighting as a last resort. To be willing to fight for one's beliefs is neccesarily to feel overwhelming lust to fight for one's beliefs. Those who claim to be willing to fight only as a last resort are nothing but dishonest pacifists. The entire right-wing mindset is designed to maintain perpetual self-assurance, and the belief that they are the only ones with the balls to fight is the cornerstone of this self-assurance.
And of course it's not just jokes about murdering fellow citizens. Many of the most unhinged rightists are talking (talking at least)in utterly serious terms about taking back 'their' country through force. Death threats against President Obama are four times what is normal for any given president. Newsmax columnist John Perry has helpfully suggested a military coup. A new video game lets the player start his very own Wolverine Brigade to stike down Obama's Socialistic youth Corps.
And then there's the odd case of abortion doctors being murdured and Unitarians being massacred.
It will get uglier before it goes away. We are in the midst of a right-wing death roll. Their claims to ownership of American society will grow steadily louder and angrier as more and more Americans reject their barbarity, to which they will respond by growing louder and angrier, because it is the indisputible cure to all ills. Gays, immigrants, labor activists, and liberal politicians will face harrassment and intimidation. Some will die. It will get uglier, but at least we can take the death roll as proof that we have already won.
Where is their pemenent majority? If only they had been just a little less obvious about ruling the world as a Christian White man's world. There was a time when the GOP actually could have had a viable coalition for post-white majority America. Muslim immigrants from conservative cultures tended to vote Republican in 2000. A thing or two has happened since then to change that. The old game of power elites suckering poor-and poorly educated white men into thinking that they were among the elite has finally blown back on them, for it was this army of Real Americans that scared away Latinos who had been evenly divided between Bush and Gore. Even the military, which not long ago was overwhelmingly Republican and offered as proof of conservtism's superior virility, is no longer a solid GOP voting block. They have learned that "Vietnam syndrome" was not such a bad thing after all; that a government who faithfully believes that the military can do everything will command it to do exactly that.
So now the far right's oldest and most dreaded nightmare; sociopolitical impotance, has arrived; and since they have oppressed, terrorized, villified, marginalized, dismmissed, and demonized every rising demographic group in the country, there is a good chance that this impotance is permenent. Oh how sweet it is to hear the dying monster snarl as if it still has the power to scare anyone.
Still let the snarl be a reminder that a bang and a whimper can be the same thing.