Thursday, April 16, 2009

How To Manufacture Outrage.

It was pretty obvious from the start. I heard the whispers originally and picked up a couple key words. “Conservative” “DHS” I piqued my ears a bit. One guy was discussing how DHS was going to come after conservatives. My first thought, was “Obama's been in office two-and-a-half months and the conservatives are afraid of a department set up by Bush? How ironic. I could have told you this would be a problem 7 years ago. Never set up a department that you wouldn't want run by your idealogical opposite.” I left it at that, with the thought that it's near lunchtime, Rush Limbaugh's show is on, he must be talking about DHS. About a half hour later, I overheard it again, from someone else. “The DHS is targeting conservatives.”

I'm thinking, Yup, Rush must be on a tear today. He's managed to get people thinking that a department of 200,000 people who've been managed by Republicans for seven years to come after conservatives just after two-and-a-half months. I'd love to see the internal memos that DHS is getting:

January 19, 2009: Today's Target is the Cheese-eating Surrender Monkey. They are a cowardly lot who side with Terrorists! God Bless America!

January 21, 2009: Today's Target is the Fat, White Neoconservative Wingnut. Approach with caution, comrade, they have guns. Death to the Capitalist Pig-dogs!

I'm not one to discuss politics much in polite company, but I do love reading about it. So of course, I set out to see what the fuss was about and it turns out, There Is A Memo!

I was rather disappointed, though. It's all about the usual racist hate groups getting pissed that a black man was elected president and that he was going to take their guns and that some of them like to get military training to prepare for the eventual Race War. Really, it's an extremely obvious memo to anyone who paid attention the last 30 years. Racists Hate Black People And Are Pissed That One Is In The White House. Boring.

Race War!

I could not figure out how Rush could get pissed off at this besides the term “Right Wing” being attached to domestic terrorism. Sorry, Rush. It's a sad fact that right wing terrorists like to collect guns, blow up federal buildings and bomb abortion clinics. It doesn't mean all right-wingers are bad, just the violent, racist ones. But it turns out, Rush was really pissed-off that it was released in time for Tea Party day.

The problem is, he equates the entire memo with conservativism as a whole. The word conservative (or even a synonym) is not mentioned in the document even once, whereas a term like “white supremacist” is mentioned eight times. In Rush's eagerness to go after the current administration, he's decided that when they are talking about white supremacists, they are talking about him? Sure, plenty of people like to point out Rush's racism, but now his need for victimhood has driven him to self-identify with racists, neo-Nazis and the KKK?

There is also the point that the memo supposedly demeans military vets. Once again, upon reading the memo, my independent thoughts were that extremists were targeting returning vets to recruit their ranks. A pretty obvious conclusion, as the Army provides free combat training and an opportunity to go overseas and shoot brown people (sidethought: I love the Army and know they do much, much more than that, but I'm talking about what a militant racist seeks to gain from joining the Army. Militant racists play Call of Duty 4 because they get to shoot brown people. Militant racists bake gingerbread men because they can then bite the heads off of brown people. But I digress). The top domestic terrorists of the last 20 years have all had Army training: Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, John Allen Muhammad and even Eric Rudolph.

It seemed obvious to me that vets suffering from PTSD may, instead of seeking the help they need, be approached by racist groups who will put the blame of their issues onto brown people. The two most egregious domestic terrorists, McVeigh and Muhammad, both served in the Gulf War. Is it so outrageous that they may have suffered from some unaddresed mental issue which led McVeigh to hate Jews and Muhammad to hate white people? But no, according to Rush, showing concern for the mental well-being of combat vets equates to calling them right-wing extremists.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm living in Bizarro-world. Is it any wonder the GOP has lost touch with the average, moderate voter?



My point is that you should always read releases from the source and come to your own conclusion. Don't let people tell you what to believe (even me) because they may twist it around in order to manufacture outrage. That's what Rush does, manufactures outrage. It's how he gets ratings and how he rakes in his millions.

“They” aren't necessarily out to get you. Even if you do like teabagging.


Uncle Meat said...

Also, follow the money of the publisher that published. Great article.

Monoman said...

I liked it... thanks!