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The Undeniable and Open Darkness of Today
This is the undeniable state of the union in 2022. Our right-wing fetishize violence and wants to arm more people.
What is this place we are in?
Why is it so murky and eerie?
Why is the only brightness emanating from a gaslight?
That’s what paying attention to American politics is like in the Age of Mass Shootings.
Shootings that are political fodder for charlatans in a broken-down right-wing political ecosystem that is held hostage by malevolent forces.
Shootings in which many people refuse to hold the political party wedded to the gun lobby accountable.
A party that openly harbors supporters of white nationalist terrorism.
Americans have so many bells and whistles to rely on so they can hide from this truth.
The Republican Party has become a machine of sloganeering, idiotically propagandistic media demagogues, and outright bigots holding onto their idea of power or the power gained from historically brutalizing others.
It’s become an awful and decadent club that chips away at America’s spirit and our ability to renew this political system. Something that is natural but hasn’t happened yet despite the overwhelming population changes.
We constantly unpack the dark money that runs this derelict cabal.
We constantly see the horrors produced by the violence they inspire as we are surrounded by the debunked lies that they keep pushing through their infamous noise machine:
This is a dark place to be in.
This political party is powered by economic elites who have perfected the modern tools of storytelling and imagery to create fake realities. These realities radicalize unsuspecting individuals who are susceptible to disinformation poisoning because they are human and have biases that feature cultural bubbles & blind spots.
I was lucky to be given the opportunity to monitor right-wing media and Fox News for a while. There’s no sugarcoating it anymore, the Fox charlatans are intentionally poisoning people’s brains while cowering from being responsible thought leaders.
Fox will hide stories about the Trump orbit’s attempts to sell out America through the power of the Oval and how he eventually attacked the chamber where lawmakers are directly elected.
Fox will stylize and sanitize white nationalist’s conspiracies and talking points just to cover for a Republican politician who isn’t smart or aware enough to pivot, or better, informatively speak on the topic in a time of need.
Fox is a whirlpool of bigotry, stupidity, and malice. It turns our civic life into a cartoon so that marginalized people are always mocked when they bring up a real long-term problem. It turns life into a paranoid McCarthyite cartoon when children are shot in school.
Make no mistake, Fox News is the Republican Party’s greatest achievement. It has allowed a party to never mature into the present and hide behind lies, fabrications, and half-truths.
Right-wing media, in general, has corrupted the minds of Americans nationwide and is pushing us to a dangerous cliff while those talking heads mock the fourth estate out of their own anger, bigotry, stupidity, or opportunistic inclination. Though proto-fever swamps and talk radio existed before Fox, this Murdoch station brings the raw racism and untruth to cable TV while presenting it as “another opinion” in a glossy manner. They have even inadvertently created their own monsters in Newsmax and OAN.
Any political party that has to revert to attacking the media over and over again is not a smart party that can argue its points or is able to deal with the truth. They either make money on someone’s MTV brain or they act out of pure malice and revanchist splendor.
The party of Lincoln is gone and this is not the Reagan Republican Party who flirted with these forces. The tragic degradation of this Republican Party is part of a larger need for political renewal and party restructuring that is not uncommon in our overall history.
But America has to be willing to do that and be honest about that.
That means we all have to have hard conversations.
That’s how you create social pressures.
In a deeply honest piece of writing, Charlie Sykes gives advice to everyone. He suggests to those advocating for justice through connections with our past social traumas and scars may overplay certain cards that associate the ideological opposite with historic moral failings. We are seeing how it can make people numb to real bigotry and how the GOP is making everything about proving racism isn’t real.
But for the right-wing he encourages deep deep soul-searching:
But this does not let conservatives off the hook.
For years, we ignored the birthers, the racists, the truthers, and other conspiracy theorists who indulged fantasies of Obama’s secret Muslim plot to subvert Christendom, or who peddled tales of Hillary Clinton’s murder victims. We treated them like your obnoxious uncle at Thanksgiving. Rather than confront them, we changed the channel because, after all, they were our friends, whose quirks could be indulged or at least ignored. They could rant and pound the table, we thought, but they were merely postcards from the fringe, right? The hope was that the center would always hold, things would not fall apart, and principled conservatives would rise to the occasion. Except they didn’t. That proved to be a moral failure that lies at the heart of the conservative movement, even in its moment of apparent electoral triumph.
It is impossible to say how many conservatives actually harbor racial resentments, but what is undeniable is that a great number of American conservatives have proven themselves willing to tolerate and even accept racism and racial resentment. When Speaker Paul Ryan denounced “textbook racism,” after Trump lashed out at the Mexican American judge, Ryan was hit with an avalanche of opprobrium from many of his fellow conservatives who believed that winning the election was more important than distinguishing conservatism from racial animus. (Ryan is now a member of the Fox board and notable for his silence on Carlson’s textbook racism.)
The hard fact is that only a political party that had cultivated an indifference and insensitivity to racial issues could have nominated Donald Trump and embraced him so easily.
We know who harbors the lion's share of political misinformation in this country. Some of it is willed out of spite and personal rage over the debunking of a fabricated history or pure religious nationalism. This immature reaction to change and other people of different backgrounds is making this nation and society unsafe and degraded.
The right-wing-inspired identity politics makes it hard to pass common-sense gun reform.
The right-wing-inspired identity politics allows for demagogues to pretend as if they were born yesterday and claim the tragedy is being politicized against them despite their past statements and carelessness:
We know why that is happening and we have the history to explain it:
We just have to be honest with ourselves and our communities.
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