17 August 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble...

My Republican friends are determined to mix a caustic and destructive brew of inventive and innuendo, according to Carl Hulse in today's' NYTimes.

This is actually the original campaign theory of the Republican Party, which invoked the Civil War in campaigns a generation or more later. It came to be called 'waving the bloody shirt' and was often successful.

I call it demagoguery, which is to inflame the emotions of the people to manipulate them to your aims. The most successful exponents are those of the 1930s, Soviet or Fascist or Falangist or Nazi. By playing on fears and hatreds, leaders convince people in tough times that this or that group (Jews, Capitalists, Catholics, Mexicans, Muslims, Gays, Liberals) is dangerous and must be stopped.

I do not fear the ultimate paroxysms that Europe experienced. But as one whose faith community has been hounded in the past - a leader firebombed out of his house in England, another carted to Dachau, one or two burned at the stake - I know how easy it is to demonize a group that leaders label as 'different,' or 'foreign,' or 'degenerate,' or 'dangerous.'

What really galls me is that this whole mosque thing has been trumped up from the beginning and no one seems to notice. Except perhaps Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post. Please, please, read his retrospective on how this 'issue' began as a non issue and was literally blown into one by outsiders.

Yes, outside agitators really did it, and no one is calling them on it. Not CNN, not ABC or NBS or CBS or PBS. Fox is not worth asking as the "Pravda," of the Republican Party. But that is the role of the press, isn't it? To call people to account when they play fast and loose with the truth.

Only when a 'disinterested party,' one without skin in the game to use a more modern term, speaks up will people listen. Where is Emile Zola now? Where is Edward R. Murrow? Where is Woodward or Bernstein?

Am I the only one to say "J'acccuse," to the rank and disgusting demagoguery and hate mongering of the Conservative powers that be? And you, the two score of so who read this little diatribe, what good can you do?

Trust me, the path of Martin Neimoller is very easy to tread.

1 comment:

Carolyn Matheson said...

You are singing to the choir, Fred. Ignorance is NOT bliss!