Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scared witless amid murderous phantasms

In central Arizona, this piece of Republican tripe seemed to be running in an endless loop on broadcast TV.

The same terrorists targeted by U.S. bombers for destruction in Syria and Iraq are coming to the U.S. to attack the homeland through the Mexican border.

That's how Time Magazine summarizes the political ad's message, before pointing out that the hyped threat has been "repeatedly refuted."

Delaware Senator Chris Coons tweeted Johnathan Cohn's unexceptional article, which points out that a tiny number of Ebola cases in the United States and Europe are a minor threat compared to "the real problem, which is the outbreak in West Africa and the toll it is taking there."

He received in turn hundreds of messages like this:

Too many people in this country are scared witless. Okay, it is obvious that keeping us terrified serves the interests of the Republicans. Their only policy proposals are to take necessary services away from the majority and give the country's resources to the one percent -- these are not very popular ideas when when people understand them, so they need us to remain witless.

But why are so many ready, even eager, to be governed by fears? The music historian and cultural critic Greil Marcus thinks the mere fact of there being a Black president has driven some of us over the edge.

... when you look at the murder of Trayvon Martin, when you look at the murder of Michael Brown, when you look at those situations, it’s not unrelated to Obama being president, but it’s more the way in which the country has reframed itself or rewritten itself since his election, with all kinds of people saying to themselves, maybe never putting it into words, just feeling it, “There’s a fucking n--er in the White House? Well fuck you, n--er, whoever you are.” And an inchoate loathing and hatred that seeks out its targets.

I’m not a psychiatrist, I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown, I don’t know what their motives are, I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama. ...

Sometimes my fellow citizens scare me. That seems an appropriate fear.


Rain Trueax said...

I heard Limbaugh giving off with this selfish tripe last week. Here's the point they miss. When a virus like Ebola grows in a large enough population, it evolves. It becomes more deadly, which it already has done. My sil, who has a doctorate in aquatic virology, says a virus which kills fast is less effective. Ebola has already changed to taking longer. Its next step could be airborne. It can be carried by bats and birds. Since they migrate, how would these oh so wise right wingers protect themselves then? It's why scientists say we have to stop it and fix it in Africa. The ignorance of the right comes from their hatred of science, which shows up in everything they espouse.

Hattie said...

Exactly. But of course it's all politics and has nothing to do with the reality of a terrible disease. That's what gets me about all this: the way these Republican politicos don't care about human suffering.

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