“Thoughts meanderLike a restless wind inside a letter-box
They tumble blindly
As they make their way
Across the universe”
----John Lennon “Across the Universe”
The vitriol of the idiot-wrong arcs across the alternate closed conservative universe, revealing the edifice to be nothing but a hollow echo-chamber amplifying as it does the cries of the damned. As Michael Savage can declare with a straight face that the planet is cooling, or that the Pope is a Marxist, or Glenn Beck can lecture on what subjects the Pope is currently an authority and propose with equal earnestness that he [Beck] would be happy to get a group of people together and send them to the Vatican to ‘instruct’ the Pope on questions economic, the hubris of the ‘idiot-wrong’ is constantly demonstrating that it acknowledges no bounds.
But there is a price to pay for this unseemly display of intolerant ignorance. Increasingly the radical-wrong are seen drifting ever further off the political landscape to a place where fewer and fewer are willing to follow. A place that is increasingly Caucasian, increasingly masculine, and increasingly older.
The war waged by the conservatives upon the poor and the minorities is well documented, here and elsewhere and bears no repeating. As we speak the Cons are about the business of attempting to once again shut down the Federal Government, this time over funding Planned Parenthood. It’s another of those false crises designed to wring yet another series of spending cuts and further savage the safety net. Once again the Cons are raising the bloody shirt of abortion and abortion funding, even though it has been illegal for the Federal Government to fund abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother) since the passage of the Hyde Amendment way in the 70’s. No matter, another false claim (like the planet is cooling) duly shouted from the rooftops of the giant media complexes sufficient to raise the blood pressure and testosterone levels of the vast throngs of ‘ditto-heads’. This latest effort, combined with plans to cut spending on social services, opposing equal pay for equal work and concurrent efforts to keep ‘the woman in her place’, the misogyny of the modern Republican Party has become manifest.
It isn’t simply that the party is sexist, by declaring war upon science it has become the party of ignorance; by confusing Corporate America with the genuine article, it has become the vehicle for the most rapacious environmental policies, and most vociferous anti-labor policies; by embracing America’s racists it has become the staunch advocate of the most xenophobic anti-immigration policies, seeking wherever possible to limit the franchise and erect obstacles to voting. Whatever face one tries to put on it, the facts are that it has become the party of rich, old, white, conservative men. With the latest diatribes and screeds directed at the Pontiff, we can now add anti-Catholicism to the ever growing list of abuses.
The modern American Conservative movement has long been about rolling back progress. It has long been about the business of not only obstructing progress (minimum wage, social security, child labor, environmental protection, education…etc.) but, when possible, of actually reversing the progress the larger society has labored to achieve by way of gaining a more equitable distribution of the fruits of our labors and a more just society. To that end it has steadfastly endeavored to drag this country, kicking and screaming, back into the 19th and 18th centuries.
Accordingly the Republican Party is transforming itself from the “No-Nothing” party of obstruction and nullification to a modern reincarnation of the “Know-Nothing” Party of the 19th century. All we need is a little more anti-Semitism and anti-Masonry for the metamorphosis to be complete. What does it say about a group of increasingly rich, fat, old, white men that they would readily create a modern “Know-Nothing” movement? Ask Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, George Will, and Patrick Buchanan about the clown-car presently in the Presidential race and who they represent.