It’s my long considered opinion that all politicians, on the left, the right, or in the middle, make a living from telling lies and instilling political fear in their constituencies. But the conservative movement in the U.S. has gone completely off the rails.
Generally the pumped-up rhetoric that oozes out of Washington is somehow connected to real issues, and only extremists from both sides live in a fantasy where they are in a struggle of Good versus Evil. Those extremists usually have short careers, with only a few like Dennis Kucinich and Strom Thurmond able to hang-on. But on the right extremist fantasy has become the norm.
We have Newt Gingrich equating Democrats with terrorists. We have the new fear-mongering rallying cry of “SOCIALISM”! We have the obsession with illegal aliens (as if they truly were from another planet) who come across the borders to undermine our white way of life.
That’s right: Democrats are socialist terrorists who are using illegal immigrants as their foot soldiers in their Satanic quest to destroy America. At least according to the Tea Party and those old-time conservative hacks like Gingrich who are sucking up to them.
Why are they sucking up to an extreme fringe element that is more of a threat to America than Saddam Hussein ever was? Because they are desperate. They can’t get elected on their own anymore. They aren’t relevant to modern society. So the conservatives have two ways to go: they can hold their nose and move to the center; they can move further to the extreme right and ally themselves with people who often spell the slogans on their signs incorrectly.
If they take the second way they must dance along the thin, convoluted line of fascism. On the extreme right the only issues are those that can be used to instill fear in people already emotionally worn from the terrible economic crisis ten years of bad policy has created. The extremists on the right need a group to hate, to focus people’s anxieties upon. And in true American fashion they have super-sized their fear and hate mongering by using multiple groups that they have tenuously and sophomorically linked together: terrorists, illegal aliens, and the political opposition: Democrats and any Republicans who don’t goose-step to the extremist regressive anthem of fear.
The actual political gulf between Republicans and Democrats isn’t that wide. Often they seek to solve the same problems, just through differing means. But the social gap has been widened to the point it can’t be bridged. Both parties have had a hand in this, but the far right is now digging downward to deepen the divide, and they are using tactics that are abhorrent to anyone who believes in an America that is just, equitable, and most of all united. Our country is at a philosophical crossroad. Unfortunately most of the philosophers are more interested in money and power than in liberty, or are such concrete ideologues they are incapable of rational thought.