CSotD: Hate of the Union

In a sane world, Gary Huck‘s cartoon — perhaps transformed into bumperstickers and T-shirts — could be a game changer. They knew. They lied. They played their audience for suckers.

In a sane world, the backlash would do more harm to Murdoch’s empire than any penalty handed down in the Dominion lawsuit, as furious MAGA adherents realized they’d been made to look like fools.

Kinda makes you wish we lived in a sane world, don’t it?

JD Crowe suggests, however, that MAGA people are addicted to the lies that Trump and Fox News have been serving up. It’s a deeply cynical take, but sometimes cynicism is the lens through which vision is best focused.

If you contemplate the metaphor, it even leads to the question of whether they hate the addiction but need the rush, or whether they genuinely accept and embrace the whole thing.

Then again, that only takes us as far as Samuel Johnson’s comment:

If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards.

Johnson’s context is important: He was in a discussion of how we can debate things we don’t much care about in a friendly manner but become less detached — and less prone to pity those with whom we disagree — when it matters to us.

I will dispute very calmly upon the probability of another man’s son being hanged, but if a man zealously enforces the probability that my own son will be hanged, I shall certainly not be in very good humour with him.

So you can laugh at Marjorie Taylor Greene’s proposal that red states retreat into a state of complete legal isolation, but only if you don’t care very much about the future of the nation.

Otherwise, as Johnson prescribes, you need to put your immediate efforts into opposing her harebrained secessionist ideas, particularly since, in case you haven’t noticed, she has gathered a fair amount of political power and influence, despite her Jewish space lasers and peach tree dishes.

As others have said, we’re talking about clowns, yes, but clowns with flamethrowers.

As for her MAGA shock troops, Kevin Kallaugher (Counterpoint) points out the futility of debating with, and of providing information to, people who have already staked out their territory and declared themselves.

It’s not an issue of logic but of loyalty. Sportswriter Charley Dresden famously described the ever-flailing Washington Senators baseball team as “First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League,” but few fans walked away because of their losing record.

And it was indisputable that the Senators were losers: The standings were there in mathematical certainty. You could continue to attend the games and wear the hats but you couldn’t simply will them into the World Series.

It is considerably easier to ignore and deny the obvious in political matters.

Clay Jones disputes Kal’s take, not on the basis that people will ignore the facts but on the basis that they will never hear the facts.

It’s not as if Fox is going to admit on the air that they lied to protect their ratings and stock price. And it’s not as if their fans will see it anywhere else.

A year ago, we learned of a study in which Fox viewers were paid to watch CNN for a month, by the end of which they had become more open-minded and willing to question rightwing dogma.

But, that Guardian story reported, there were limits to the long-term impact of the experiment:

Most of the CNN switchers stuck to the length of the task, according to the study. But once it was over, and the $15 an hour was taken away, “viewers returned to watching Fox News.”

Which leaves us here: As Ward Sutton notes, loyal MAGA followers are convinced that they are beset by wokeness because they’ve been told they are beset by wokeness. They can’t define it except that it represents “otherness,” but that’s enough.

It’s about “them,” not “us” and therefore, whatever it is, it’s very bad indeed.

Similarly, they have been told that socialism is bad and that communism is worse, and they don’t know what either of those terms mean, either.

Bill Day points out that Ron DeSantis has punished Disney World for criticizing his “Don’t Say Gay” policies with governmental control.

For people who hate communism and who believe in free markets, this should be another turning point. This is textbook communism, a system under which the Central Government dictates corporate policy.

But, again, that assumes they are listening and that they want to know what “socialism” means, and what “communism” is, rather than just caring about which team you are on and whether you are one of “us” or one of “them.”

If they were property owners in the counties involved, they’d care, because their property taxes would rise by tens of thousands of dollars. But that’s a local issue and one the Florida legislature has addressed in order to blunt the impact of DeSantis’s power grab.

Meanwhile, as Bill Bramhall says, they are lining up with Vladimir Putin, taking the side of Russia against Ukraine, not because they favor communism, and not because they endorse war crimes and the invasion of peaceful nations, but because Joe Biden is against those things.

We used to joke that Obama should advocate breathing so we could watch the Republicans asphyxiate themselves in knee jerk opposition, but it’s not so funny when it involves bombed out buildings, murdered civilians and kidnapped children.

If slaughtered schoolchildren in our own country don’t shake loyalty to the team and force changes in our gun laws, why would murdered people in a whole other country matter in judging our foreign policy?

Dr. Seuss made the point some 75 years ago, and little has changed but the name on the book cover: They even still use the term “America First” to put a patriotic spin on their willingness to let children die rather than betray team loyalty.

Perhaps we should, indeed, pity their minds.

Maybe afterwards.

We have other priorities now.

One thought on “CSotD: Hate of the Union

  1. I made certain to watch Fox’s Media Buzz to see how
    they handled the biggest media story of the week.
    Complete silence.
    There’s a reason they dumped Eric Burns.

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