Critical Mass

[This is the first thing I wrote after the slaughter in Connecticut. The thing from yesterday, believe it or not, was after cooling down some. This is, maybe, a stretch.]

President Obama is a socialist who wants to destroy America: Pat Robertson, Christian.

Funny how these shooting are taking place after Obama's reelection. Now he'll have a reason to take away our guns: countless right-wing crazies, online.

Obama is working on a plan for a third term: countless right-wing crazies, everywhere.

We've systematically removed god from schools. Should we be so surprised... : Mike Huckabee, phony, and affable asshole.*

Liberals defecate on cars: commenter.

We're approaching a critical mass of hateful paranoia, religiously-fueled insanity, mindless distraction, and deliberate ignorance: me.

I don't see any way past it. It's only gotten worse since the election. I have no idea if the shooting in Connecticut has anything to do with it, but when hate is the primary weapon of so many people, when propaganda and lying is the modus operandi of a major news organization and the frenzied whipping up of outlandish conspiracies is lionized in our RWS™, the climate is ever more ripe for societal breakdown. It's not people on food stamps who are the threat, milady. It's this. This fomenting of ignorance and hate, a combination incompatible with democracy, a cancer eating us up from the inside.

The occasional punch in the nose by a union guy who was knocked down before he did it is nothing -- nothing!! -- compared to the damage being done, daily, hourly, minute by minute, by every single person on Fox "news" and every single right wing screamer, starting with Rush Limbaugh and descending, as through the circles of hell, past Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, and ending with that weepy paranoid and master of marketing to the frightened and weak, Glenn Beck. And all of their enablers, in the Tea Party, the halls of Congress, and in the voting booths across America.

It's a leap, I know, from Foxobeckian insanity to that madman in Connecticut, and, like any given hurricane of previously unknown proportions and global climate change, you can't point to any one incident. But it's unquestionable that we live in a society where the worst sort of fear-mongering is tacitly (and overtly) approved as political technique. And where nonstop vitriol is spewed into the pudding-brained, made so by design. And there's simply no equivalency here: on the left, there are no such highly acclaimed and roundly applauded icons as there are on the right; nor are the few to which some could (wishfully) point given the sort of audience and deference and influence the right offers up to its spewers.

We're a dying society, and we've done it to ourselves. No terrorist, no planes into buildings, no secretly planted Muslim in the White House. If "dying" is a premature characterization, it's only by degrees. It's coming, hard, from the right. And I can't imagine what, or who, can stop it. But if the screamers on the right, the ones who incessantly refer to those who disagree with them as evil, as wanting to destroy our country, as haters and destroyers of everything everyone holds dear -- if those extraordinarily dishonest and destructive mongers could tone it down a little, it couldn't hurt.

*Think about the sort of theology, the view of what kind of god that leads to such a statement! Who'd want any part of it? 

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