20 June 2009

Two things to read which, together, explain so much about the Right Wing in America

I've said it before:  Most of right-wing ideology has little to do with policy or opinions or facts or anything like that.  It has to do with pure tribalism, with a near-constant thread of victim mentality running through it.

Glenn Greenwald put up a post the other day which encapsulates and expands on this idea:

The most predominant mentality in right-wing discourse finds expression in this form:  "I am part of/was born into Group X, and Group X -- my group -- is better than all others yet treated so very unfairly."  This claim persists -- indeed, is often intensified --  even when Group X is clearly the strongest, most privileged and most favored group.  So intense is their need for self-victimization -- so inebriating is their self-absorption and so lacking are they in any capacity for empathy -- that, for all the noise and rhetoric, the arguments they make virtually always have this tribalistic self-absorption at its core.

That's the first paragraph.  He goes on to give lots of examples, such as the laughable idea that the US stance toward Israel has anything but overly deferential.  Greenwald really exposes the kind of adolescent, delusional mindset that is required to hold such beliefs.  

More specifically related to the week's events (and directly related to Greenwald's piece) is a post from Amanda Marcotte about the predictable wingnut outrage/clamor for war in the wake of the stolen Iranian elections, which points out what should be obvious:

It’s not about us.  The rule of thumb that states that if a bunch of right wing nuts get up in an outrage tizzy about something, one should be especially cautious about agreeing works here.  Think of the Iraq War, and how taking right wing arguments on good faith made a lot liberals look incredibly stupid, and learn. 


Conservatives are crying for Obama to make this all about the U.S. for a lot of reasons, but right at the top of the list is they really can’t stand to believe that something may not be about them, or that they don’t have a god-given right to control other people’s affairs and decisions for them.  And, as Jesse has been saying, the delicacy of the situation really requires the maturity to stand back a little and avoid throwing a giant temper tantrum about how this entire Iran situation should be ours to control and own.

When you look at all these things together, it starts to make sense.  Think of any issue that creates cries of victimization from the right wing in America, and it fits the pattern.  God, the entire "pro-family" movement, running around trying in vain to convince people that their marriages and lives will be threatened if gays are allowed to marry, is a prime example.  Or when they're, as Amanda also points out, obsessing over how America's unwed slut mothers are choosing to terminate pregnancies that might have created the next Einstein or Jesus or whatever.  They never consider that she might have just aborted Hitler II (and liberals don't either, because it's a fucking stupid argument).  But yes, it all goes back to everything having to be about them and them only, and it's juvenile and ridiculous.


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