The reports in recent months of the imminent demise of the most notorious, as well as the most repugnant voices of America’s contemporary “Know-Nothing Party” comes as long awaited and welcome news. But by having transformed the village wells into open cesspools it will be a long time before the citizens of this country will feel safe enough to once again breathe, much less drink, in the public square. For though the likes of Limbaugh and Coulter are receiving much less attention, the stench still rising from the pools of public discourse betrays clear evidence that it will take some time to degrade the mass of stinking offal. In the meantime, the forum stands nearly vacated, occupied only by crazed conspiracy theorists, xenophobes, and capitalists—the only ones who can afford the necessary safety equipment.
Breathing this air, and drinking this water has led to some bizarre behavior. From Donald Trump standing in Texas near the Mexican Border talking about building a giant fence from California to Texas, to Scott Walker warning us of the impending Canadian invasion and urging the immediate need to likewise build a wall along the Canadian border, the current GOP is now seen aping their Israeli counterparts by proposing to encase the entire United States and transforming it into a continental ghetto. What we may do with the borders about Alaska and Hawaii remain to be seen.
Like the contamination of an old village well, the cesspool created by the demonstrably paranoid and psychotic conservative fringe, has spread the predictable and accompanying disease. One simply cannot drink from the latrine and inhale its vapors without lasting and serious physical and mental effect. Last week, after the second Republican debate, one of Trump’s supporters asked him what he was going to do about Muslim terrorist camps that are supposed to be operating in this country, adding that we know the president is a Muslim and isn’t an American. Trump, himself having spent altogether too much time face down in the cesspool simply nodded, adding “Right…We’ll look into that…you can depend on it.”
One can measure the damage done to the village water supply by the behavior of its citizens. Eight years ago, when confronted by a woman in his audience making similar statements about then candidate Obama, John McCain corrected his follower and his audience. Not this time. So crazed has the idiot wrong become that these things are taken as fact and not questioned, not even by the current front-runner for the Rescumlican Presidential nomination.
This is the legacy not only of Coulter, Limbaugh and that most clinically psychotic of them all, Glenn Beck, but the consequence of the airwaves being likewise daily polluted by the conspiracists such as Alex Jones, and the racist xenophobia of even ‘mainstream’ commentators like Pat Buchanan. Decades of this nonsense added to cable television’s fixation with conspiracy theories and the reduction of the History Channel and the Discovery Channel to programs dealing with conspiracies, witches, ghosts and goblins and you get the idea of not only what America now understands to be ‘news’, but in-depth “documentary” reporting. Coulter’s screeds have become symbolic of a form of pollution that has reduced the public square into a toxic waste site.
It’s time to clean up this mess. Basic hygiene demands it.