Monday, February 6, 2012

GOP: The Politics of Hate

Tis the Season to be Hateful...

The language is unmistakable: You lie, chimed out Congressman Joe Wilson during President Obama's joint house appearance; Newt Gingrich routinely calls Obama the food stamp president; Arizona governor Jan Brewer disrespectfully wags her finger in the president's face (and then has the audacity to claim she felt threaten by him); Kansas House Speaker, Michael O'Neal emails a prayer calling for the death of the president  - two weeks after he apologized for sending an email referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as Michelle YoMama..

And let's not forget - thanks to the Tea Party and Donald Trump - this delusional Birther BS.

The election of Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a new era of post-racism. Fat chance, because like a crack fiend craving that next hit, folks on the far right need that next racially charged outburst - can do without it. To help us better understand this twisted addiction, Arthur Goldwag, author of the new book “The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right,” in an interview with states:

Why is this resurgence of the “old hate” happening now? 

We’re going through a historic shift in this country.  We were on an incredible run of prosperity in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, thanks to the New Deal social compact, thanks to big unions, thanks to very strong regulation – thanks to all the things that Glenn Beck’s followers think are the most evil things in the world.  Fairly unskilled, uneducated people were able to earn a good living, and send their children to college.  And that’s changed.  Income inequality is growing.  If you look at American history, the bottom has dropped out of rural people’s lives every five years, but there used to also be a manufacturing class that made a decent living.  There used to be a route for people that weren’t well educated to make a decent living.  There isn’t anymore.  There’s a lot of anxiety about our individual positions in our society, and our country’s position in the world. If you’re not educated to be able to understand it, and you’re trapped in a disadvantaged life, you might become really, really angry. 
So these resurgences of hatred, and conspiratorial narratives, are related to a basic type of class-consciousness – a stripped-down awareness of unfairness.
Yes.  It’s an old stereotype (it’s also a true stereotype) that rich Southerners drove wedges between poor whites and poor blacks so that they wouldn’t see that they were all in the same place.  That’s very connected to the anger people have today. One of the most infuriating things about Obama to people is that he walks into the White House like he belongs there. But their anger is not really about him.  It’s about them: their place in the world. Because he does belong there.  But their kids will never go there, because they’re poor and feel they’re without open avenues. read entire article

For more on this subject watch video posted on Progressive Soup (thanks Malcolm)


  1. When I stopped over, I was pleasantly surprised to find that you linked to my blog... thanks for the shout out!

    Excellent post to go along with the article. When confronted with the level of hatred directed at President Obama, the right talks about the attacks leveled against Bush. However, it's false equivalency. For starters, Bush never had his citizenship or religion questioned. He also didn't have a cable news network hell bent on undermining his administration nor was his wife mercilessly attacked for no reason. The hateful rhetoric will play well with the base, but I think it's going to cost the GOP in the long run.

  2. @Malcolm...Thanks for the comments. You are so right, no president in recent history has been subjected to such vitriolic rhetoric. It's ironic that Bush/Cheney - who created the economic crisis - are still not subjected to such venom. Matter of fact, Cheney, until his current health woes, was still enthusiastically embraced by the right as a hero - go figure.