Pardon this thought experiment, but it's based on a recent post by Josh Marshall - whom I don't, and I don't know anyone who does, consider a wild-haired rhetorical bomb thrower - who ponders the possibility that "Crazy may be Drifting Towards Evil."
People say lots of crazy stuff. Particularly right-wingers struggling to find analogies that might explain why their present day indignities, would-be oppressions or efforts to be understood place them in the descent of history's inconic victims - enslaved Africans in the Americas, gassed Jews in the Holocaust, to name only the most frequent examples.Marshall considers the idea many of us have often dismissed the most inflammatory of rhetorical bombshells thrown by the right as not entirely serious. That they are merely terms of political art intended not to put forward a legitimate case, but instead to provoke a reaction that then the speaker can claim was "misinterpreted","taken out of context" and "demonized" then granting them the vaulted position of "Victim" of the afore mentioned "PC POLICE" for simply exercising their own first amendment "Free Speech" rights.
I got to thinking about this more after I heard right wing star Dr. Ben Carson claim that 'political correctness' and its paramilitary enforcement arm, "the PC police", have made America "very much like Nazi Germany", so much in fact that we're living in a "Gestapo Age".
In other words I'm not a bad guy for making repeated Godwin-ish claims, YOU are the bad guy for claiming that what I said - is truly WHAT. I. SAID. And then it becomes not just what they said, but what they did to someone else in order to protect their own "rights", then what they voted for, then eventually - who they vilified and killed (or simply allowed to die of their own accord) all in their own "self-defense", but of course.
What Josh brings up, is that this sort of tit-for-tat process we've all grown used to, may in itself may be one that gradually coarsens our dialogue and shifts the Overton Window to point that out-and-out genocidal comments become so commonplace as to be shrug worthy while actual political violence becomes fully rationalized and justified in advance.
Dr. Carson statements do follow this pattern closely. He makes a borderline statement, which (he believes) can easily be interpreted as both highly inflammatory by those who are sensitive to such things and also "totally innocent" by those who would prefer the latter to be true.
As I wrote last week Dr Carson made this point himself at CPAC claiming that he had never intended to claim that a) Being Gay is Like Bestiality b) Obamacare is like Slavery and/or c) Liberals, Progressives and Obama were like Nazi Germany
He claimed then, just a week ago, that he'd never said anything of the kind.
Carson wanted to set straight some “lies” progressives were telling about him. “I still believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” said Carson, and when the applause died down continued, “and because I happen to mention that nobody gets to change the definition of marriage… progressives say I equate homosexuality and bestiality.” (They also say he apologized for saying whatever it was he said, but that can’t be true, since he said nothing offensive.)As I pointed out then Dr. Carson actually did say exactly what he now claims he didn't say and that only "Liberal Liars" would repeat. So that either makes him a pathological liar or a just plain pathological.
Nor, Carson said, did he ever say “Obamacare and slavery are the same thing.” What he said, according to the Washington Post, was, “Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery“; but what he really meant, Carson patiently explained, was that the government “has shifted the power that was given to us, it’s the most massive shift in power in America that has ever occurred,” which is not slavery. Also, Carson said, “In Germany people did not believe it what Hitler was doing and they didn’t speak up,” which was not the same thing as “progressives are Nazis” even though he was explicitly talking about Obama and America. Yet progressives “repeat these lies because they cannot argue the actual facts"
marriage is “a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition.And predictably he was "surprised" that people found his collecting of gay people who wish the equal right to marry with those who would wish the right to commit child rape and bestiality as being somehow equal or in concert, to be offensive.
Despite his later protestations, he did say that ObamaCare Was Slavery "in a way".
"You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control."And he did say that Progressive were Nazis. Why stop at just "Liars" right?
The majority of Americans who have "common sense," meanwhile, are "afraid to speak out," Carson said, because "they will be targeted, they will be called names, they will be investigated by the IRS, and all kinds of unimaginable things will happen." There comes a time when people with values simply have to stand up," he said. "Think about Nazi Germany. Most of those people did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? Did they stand up for what they believe in? They did not, and you saw what happened."And his most recent comments that we're living in a "Gestapo Age" tears the thin-scab of his "innocent intentions" completely away. Yes, he thinks ObamaCare is Slavery ("in a way"), yes he thinks he and other Conservatives are under assault and persecution as vile and dangerous as the Nazi genocidal crimes against the jews, gypsies and gays. His and others continued use and mis-use of Nazi-Slave imagery is not an accident. At a certain point we go from misguided fever dream delusions to a specific and deliberate plan to foster and deciminate Hate Speech with a specific policy intent.
"And if you believe that same thing can't happen again, you're very wrong," Carson then added. "But we're not going to let it
This is a person who was included in the CPAC straw poll as a potential Presidential contender for 2016 (landing in fourth place), and This kind of talk is what he brings to the table? Not just once. Not just as an occasional slip, but time and time again.
It is to the benefit of people like Carson, who are attempting to hide their intent, that their comments continue to be considered innocuous and innocently intended, but over time that becomes more and more difficult to sustain.
Hence we hear ever more disgusting terminology from the usual sources, be they Michele Bachmann (Gays are "bullying" the American people") , Louie Gohmert ("ObamaCare will lead to death due to the denial of treatment"), or Ted Nugent ("Obama is a subhuman mongrel") and although they may still back down or deflect when challenged to substantiate their claims, they generally stand behind the core concepts underlying them.
Some of this isn't "Crazy", it's just plain malicious. It's deliberate.
Particularly when you have cases where the basic common sense filters go completely out the window, as we've seen in the response to a Duke student who wished to pay for the cost of her school by working in porn as we saw from this Conservative Catholic.
That is the nonsense that they teach in women’s studies at Duke University, this is where she learned this. The toxic stew of the modern university is gender studies, it’s “Sex Week,” they all have “Sex Week” and teaching people how to be sex-positive and overcome the patriarchy. My daughters go to a little private religious school and we pay an arm and a leg for it precisely to keep them away from all of this kind of nonsense. I do hope that they go to a Christian college or university and to keep them so far away from the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities, who should all be taken out and shotYes, because endorsing summary extra-judicial execution is exactly the right response to one student choosing to do something that is completely legal to help her pay for school.
And predictably, a rapid climb-down, quickly ensued.
I deeply regret and apologize for using the expression "taken out and shot" on the Sandy Rios Show this week. It was not intended to be taken literally. I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence. I regret that these poorly chosen words are being used to attack my friends at American Family Radio and American Family Association.Even if only meant "figuratively" the sentiment shows support for the idea that any means necessary needs to be deployed to stem rising tide of destructive "Liberalism."
Like Marshall I sometimes wonder if we've grown complacently accustomed to this kind of "Crazy" talk to the point that the open endorsement of violence and threats has become common-place and meaningless to us. And could that not also be the goal, to normalize these types of comments to the point that they rationalize and justify retaliatory and "self-protective" acts of legislative, law enforcement and physical violence against the targets of this Hate?
At some point all of the "Slavery" and "Nazi" and "Death Panel" and "Traitor" talk from the right stops being hilariously "Crazy" and cute, eventually it becomes deadly serious.
Under the guise of "self defense" and retaliation against the well-demonized "Liberal Horde" - when exactly does all this "Crazy" talk veer into a drum beat of rationalization and endorsement for acts of "Evil"? What is more evil than making a serious of vicious harmful acts against one particular group (or several groups be they voters blocked from access to the poles, workers denied fair compensation and safe conditions, consumers blocked from redress for industrial malice, school children denied food and access to good educational resources, women denied the right and freedom to make their own reproductive choices, to be paid fairly and to be free of sexual harassment and assault, the sick denied health care simply to cut costs or because of a pre-existing condition, gays denied freedom from bullying and the ability to marry the consenting adult of their choice or blacks who would simply like the right to be able to walk to the store or cry for help without being feared, being harassed by police and their lives being put a risk because of being constantly treated as if they were criminal, whether they are or not) - all of that and more - made strategically to seem not only "justified" but "necessary" and even "kind" by the twisted and vicious rhetoric of the GOP?
Is that not Evil?
8:03 AM PT: I don't mean to suggest or support the idea that "Republicans Are Evil", because besides being a ridiculous over-simplification, it's just technically not possible for that to be universally the case. Instead, what I'm wondering is whether all the outrageous rhetorical devices that Republicans typically use to demonize their opposition are inherently designed to goad otherwise honest and good people into supporting policies which when implemented, have distinctly Evil results.People support expanded gun laws because of all the "Black Thug" rhetoric they hear. They support Voter Suppression Laws because they're told that otherwise A.C.O.R.N. is gonna steal the election. They support laws that block gays from marrying because they're told that otherwise their children are going to be forcibly taught all about "the ghey" in school.
The "Evil" would be in this case, these resulting actions and policies, as well as the methods used to achieve those actions and implement those policies - not in each specific person. The fact is that good people can, under the right circumstances and with the right ready made excuses, do and vote for terribly evil things.
9:06 AM PT: It's always good to be rec'd - thanks. But as usual, I often feel that my previous diary - which unfortunately wasn't rec'd even though I had high hopes - probably deserves eyeballs just as much as this one does.