Saturday, April 20, 2013

Troubled American Skies

One of the few thin strands of commonality that Americans share these days is the belief in some personally defined delusion. These fantasies are easily tailored to fit whatever political, religious, socio-economic standing, or any other views a person bases his or her reality on no matter how ridiculous they might be. To justify these beliefs people naturally seek out others who believe the same thing and then usually begin a process of reinforcing and augmenting these viewpoints. As these groups become more insulated paranoia sets in with anyone who even seems to be deviating from the accepted orthodoxy being branded a heretic.

Since I have long declared myself a liberal most will conclude I am speaking strictly about those calling themselves by a variety of monikers that boil down to social conservative, governmental libertarian-leaning Republicans. The nifty little catch in this is I am not; I have met more than my share of liberals/progressives that have long since drifted off into the netherworld of political La-la land. Their chief fault being summed up in the demand that Utopia be immediately established and God help the person who hinder this process that should not take more than a year to accomplish at the most.

With that open admission out of the way, where warm and happy delusional liberals fall short as compared to batshit crazy conservatives is that the latter is very heavily armed where as the former often go into seizures at the mere sight of a bolt-action deer rifle. This is not a criticism of liberal trepidation at firearms, being a Southerner who was raised around the religious zeal associated with gun culture from the late-70’s to now I have personally seen it mutate into a paranoid monster both eagerly awaiting doomsday and I believe something far worse.

In the strange world of conservative media, no event can go by without it being branded as some vast left-wing conspiracy out to impose a commie/Muslim/atheistic/vegetarian/animal rights believing world government on righteous, God-fearing, capitalistic Americans. The blood was not cleaned up in the Sandy Hook Elementary school classrooms when it was already being declared a diabolical plot by Obama to take away guns from the ever vigilant, liberty loving Americans. It should not go without saying that even as Boston begins to recover from the aftermath of the very recent terror attack on the marathon the loony bin reverberates with the shrill sounds of conspiracy.

Okay, let me reiterate this because I know someone reading this has his or her terribly bent out of shape despite what I already admitted. Yes, liberals very much have their own wackos spouting all sorts of wild conspiracy theories on a wide spectrum of subjects but as a group, we do not purchase huge arsenals of assault weapons and ammunition awaiting the jackbooted thug knocking at the door.

Elements of the right-wing have gone so bonkers that after reading an article concerning how many of Rush Limbaugh’s commercial sponsors had dropped his radio show after an incident calling a woman a slut the comment section was awash with his fans proudly proclaiming they were ready for civil war. As you might be able to guess, they saw this as some plot to take away his First Amendment rights.

Along those same lines I personally heard a coworker say he believed the 2010 midterm elections were fixed because the Tea Party-inspired Republicans were unable to win enough seats to take over control of the United States Senate. This bright boy clearly ignored the fact that the Delaware “I am not a witch” candidate and the crazy loon from Nevada who believed in “Second Amendment remedies” were simply rejected by the voters of their respective states. Like I mentioned, when any group believes they are in some fashion the sole carriers of truth and justice anything that does not support that assumption has to be the result of some mistake or scheme to subvert their legitimacy.

One of my own brothers once posted a comment on Facebook equating disagreement with conservative principles, both religious and secular, as a form of behavior traitorous to true American ideals. The funny thing in all this is that in a family filled with God-fearing, Second Amendment loving, tax-hating, conservatives the liberal black sheep, me, is the only one ever to serve in the military. Not to further expose my family’s dirty laundry but contact between those branches and mine have been severed since November 2008.

There are ultimately two real points I am trying to make here. The first being that there is a large, paranoid, and heavily armed segment of the American public that views any deviation from what they consider normal as not only an affront but an attempt to impose a tyrannical government. By no means am I saying the majority of conservatives hold this view. I still hold to the belief that most Americans on both on the left and right understands it takes compromise to manage a country as large and complex as the United States of America has become.

I do believe that a large segment of conservatives extremely fear the huge change in demographics this country is going through. And that this fear manifests itself in several ways. Ethnic xenophobia with talk of border walls and mass deportations, nightmarish anxiety that institutions such as marriage might be corrupted if Gay people are allowed that basic right, and a despotic federal boogeyman out to take peoples hard earned money.

The second point I am trying to make is that while the United States does have real and dangerous enemies in the world by divine protection or sheer dumb luck we have never faced one with real intelligence. If such a cunning enemy did exist, he or she would only have to understand that our truly most vulnerable point is not some long and unguarded border but a deep mistrust and ignorance constantly exacerbated by a troop of insane political clowns. A few terroristic events staged to make one side or the other of American politics look guilty could very well push this country over the edge.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:


Beach Bum said...

With regard to my last post about not getting enough access to the internet to blog, my wife has a headache and my daughter is at a friend's house.

Pixel Peeper said...

I have a former co-worker on my Facebook friend list... every time something happens (Sandy Hook, Boston Marathon bombing, etc.), I wonder what he will say to blame Obama for it.

I really should check and see what he has to say about the explosion in West, TX, because surely that muslim Kenyan (the one who will take all our guns away before turning us into a communist nation) will somehow be connected to it.

And hold on to your pressure cooker, because they will take them away, too...

MikeP said...

"...our truly most vulnerable point is not some long and unguarded border but a deep mistrust and ignorance constantly exacerbated by a troop of insane political clowns."

Wiser words are seldom spoken.

We all live in a protective bubble of our own delusions regarding what has happened in our past and what's happening around us. For some of us, that bubble is close enough to reality to make us functional. For some...not so much. We look back on how great things 'used to be' conveniently ignoring the obvious contradictions.

In days past, we spoke with pride of democracy, freedom, opportunity and the good life, even as we submitted to rule by bullies and their thugs from the most local level to the national. But the constitution has come to roost.

As we are more and more forced to face up to the actual doctrines we've always claimed to uphold, more and more its fiercest defenders are getting blindsided with the revelation that it wasn't just talking about them personally. They can respond by altering their bubbles to accommodate the new situation, or they can draw it in tighter, separating themselves even further from reality. It's pretty obvious which choice they are making.

I wish I had something optimistic to say, but I'm just not feeling it right now. Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. The underlying problem is always the same whether you are talking about radical religion, fear/hate politics, class warfare, etc.: rational, open-minded people don't organized for shit.

Sarge said...

Great post!
Daughter at a friend's house! You only have to shoot one - the word will spread...

Good post and comments - Found Pixel Peeper.

Today I was at FT Campbell, the home of the 101st Airborne - the carzies and wing nuts can stand down - I assure you that these lads and ladies are quite capable of keeping America safe - along with our people in the Marines,
Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and the rest of the Army.
So, drop that banana clip out of your Glock 19 and get back on that medication...


The Master Sergeant

lime said...

it's disturbing how quickly the conspiracy theories start being spouted after a horror like the bombings. that and the attacks that have already been documented as occurring on innocent muslims or others of obviously darker ethnicity makes me weep for our future. when will we learn?

Marja said...

What a coincidence I just posted about gay marriage being legalised in NZ and about tolerance of people being different. Reading how you think americans deal with deviations of the norm, I might not get a lot of American visitors? and others lol
About conspiracy theories Can't believe how imagination can run so wild.

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: Strangely enough my wife does not own a pressure cooker which is quite bizarre actually because my garage is literally filled with a collection of small kitchen appliances. The latest are a waffle iron that makes rectangle waffles for easy dipping and a "baby cake maker" which is self explanatory.

Mike P: AWESOME!!!!

I wish I had thought of those points! As for optimism it occasionally returns for short visits but is soon blind-sided by some event. Like the doofus I mentioned in the post who believes the 2010 midterms were fixed.

And people wonder why I want to flee to some isolated location in Australia or New Zealand. Not to contradict myself but I actually have some hope for the greater mass of humanity for various reason that would take too long to explain in a comment.

But as for the United States, I have said time and time again we seem stuck in a mid-20th century time frame and that world is long gone.

Sarge: I sincerely hope so, its just that there are a wide collection of fruits and nuts that are literally wishing for something to happen so they can "take the country back."

Lime: Americans hardly ever learn anything. It's tough when most have come to equate power with righteousness.

Marja: Taken on an individual level I have to admit Americans are really cool. Get us in groups and things change.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

This was indeed a great piece. Did your wife and daughter write it for you? (LOL?)

Akelamalu said...

There's always conspiracy theories, usually the product of somebody's over-active imagination, but then it makes you think.

Randal Graves said...

Given how easily the masses were willing to support the idea of a lockdown (compare to other cities in comparable situations *not* doing so), you're right; a few more terrorist blow-em-ups and folks will sign over every last bit of freedom, and with a smile.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Isn't it funny how so many of these right wingers do not serve in the military at all and yet are so willing to support war in which they ultimately do not fight in. Now I know some conservative men and women who have served as well but they are the more traditional conservative to begin with and not wingnut crazy.

Ranch Chimp said...

I read this posting yesterday but didnt get to comment then. But this is really a solid piece Bum ... and remind you, I am also pro- gun and pro- militia especially ... it's not so much a left right thing to me though I reckon. Statistically USA is No#1 when it ome's to opinion's formed and influenced by media and propaganda ... we have the best of the best as far as media as well as BS too. To me ... all institutionized religion's are sort of destructive period, I view as oppression tool's of sort ... I see none as having a thing to do with God or spirituality of any kind, and sure as Hell dont compare none of these neo- prophet's of today as having any slight resemblance of the Nazarene Jesus spoke of in the Gospel's either ... enough from me though ... but great posting Guy ... Later Bum, ya'll have a good un