Saturday, August 15, 2009

An Army of One

DougJ points to a must read Rick Perlstein piece in today's WaPo.

The orchestration of incivility happens, too, and it is evil. Liberal power of all sorts induces an organic and crazy-making panic in a considerable number of Americans, while people with no particular susceptibility to existential terror -- powerful elites -- find reason to stoke and exploit that fear. And even the most ideologically fair-minded national media will always be agents of cosmopolitanism: something provincials fear as an outside elite intent on forcing different values down their throats.
Here's another article on our crazy friends: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, By Richard Hofstadter, Harper’s Magazine, November 1964, pp. 77-86. It fills in a few more details and adds to the storyline -- from a 1964 point of view -- that this right wing hyesteria is nothing new. I would say that between these two pieces we can safely assume that our present day wingnuts, teabaggers and assorted fringers are of a garden variety and really aren't anything new nor do most of them present a real threat of physical violence. An abortion doctor here, Capitol policeman there, and then before you know it some guy rents a Ryder truck and kills a whole lot of people. But those loud, obnoxious assholes shouting down Congress critters and their fellow citizens aren't the ones you have to worry about. It's the guys who watch carefully and listen closely in order to see what they want to see in these events. Every move the government makes is confirmation of their own paranoid fantasy.

Here is a link to a page dedicated to the McVeigh trial. It's fairly comprehensive. Read the trial transcript excerpt of the testimony given by McVeigh accomplice Michael Fortier. His description of their beliefs and attitudes toward the government should sound hauntlingly familiar. Most of these guys don't have the guts to carry through most of the fantastical plots they devise. Sadly, it only takes one of them to take the last step. That last step that kills hundreds, or more, of there fellow citizens.
Q. Did he ever talk to you about being at war or declaration
of war during that period of time?
A. I remember one statement he made to me driving in his car.
He was driving me back to Kingman to my house and he said that
he thought the U.S. Government had declared war on the American
public and that they were actively taking our rights away.
Q. Do you recall any plans you had for the 4th of July that
A. Yes. Tim had made a flyer of his thoughts and ideas and
collections of quotes from our Founding Fathers. He condensed
it all into -- onto one piece of paper; and I had photocopied a
bunch of them at work, and we were going to pass them out on
the 4th of July. We never did, though, because Tim got called
away. He went to Buffalo. Something was the matter with his
grandfather; and I didn't have no interest in doing that by
myself, so it never came to be.
Q. And you were going to hand these fliers out where?
A. At the 4th of July, the fireworks.
Q. Where?
A. Oh, at Centennial Park.
Q. In Kingman?
A. In Kingman, yes.
This is what we are up against. Mark my words somewhere in this country these conversation about America "losing it's freedom" is being held right now. I just hope the Feds can stop the next guy who rents a Ryder truck to use for nefarious purposes of getting even with the government.

But the villians who will not even make the list of unindicted co-conspirators are Feedom Works and the other astroturf group funded by wealthy individuals or large corporate interests.

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