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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where we're headed, if we're not careful

A sobering snapshot of an America in decline from a blogger I've been following.

What a delightful bit of serendipity. Just a short time ago I was writing about the damage resulting from thirty years of right-wing bullshit, and along comes DownWithTyranny, laying this at Ronald Reagan's doorstep. Simplistic, get-something-for-nothing nostrums wrapped in soothing images and syrupy clichés, all calculated to appeal to frightened, insecure and confused people who don't want to deal with reality and its messy complications.

In other words, simple-minded pablum aimed at children. That's pretty well all the right-wing howler monkeys have to offer. False narratives that appeal to emotion and gut reaction rather than straightforward analysis. Hazy references to mythically simpler and more prosperous times, coupled with implicit or even overt scapegoating of some sinister Other – immigrants, feminists, environmentalists, organized labour, or whoever happens to be a convenient target.

Once again: this is not conservatism. Conservatism is a noble, principled and time-honoured philosophical tradition. This is simple-minded atavistic bullshit.

Of course, no one up here is working from that playbook ...

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, our reactionaries are not as organized. Our history is not as mythologized. Sentimentality is not a Canadian trait, to our credit and our detriment. But simple minds always find a way. Canada's media is working overtime and making strides to dumb us down but I believe - perhaps naively - we're made of different stuff. The playbook is still in its infancy and I believe as a society we've already outgrown it.