One of the things that is so remarkable about folks like Beck is that they always seem focused on government actions that have as little to do with our "freedom" as one could imagine. They're Mad As Hell about the stimulus bill (damn construction projects, taking away our freedom!) but couldn't care less about, say, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. In response to a spate of these warnings about our descent into "tyranny," Jon Stewart had what might have been the best response:I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing. And I feel for you, because I've been there. A few times. In fact, one of them was a bit of a nail-biter. But see, when the guy that you disagree with gets elected, he's probably going to do things you disagree with. He could cut taxes on the wealthy, remove government's oversight capability, invade a country that you thought should not be invaded, but that's not tyranny. That's democracy. See, now you're in the minority. It's supposed to taste like a shit taco.
But that taste is becoming intolerable for some. Even if their taxes have actually gone down, well, they still feel oppressed by Washington. They cried "socialism!" and no one seemed to care. Now they cry "fascism!" and still their words do not cause the whole nation to rise up. It must be terribly frustrating. But that's the thing about democracy -- it can be pretty frustrating, particularly when you lose. What the right doesn't seem to get is that the more extreme and shrill their rhetoric grows, the less convincing they become to the broader public. And the more ridiculous they seem.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Some thoughts on right wing demagogues
Paul Waldman at the American Prospect: