Ignoring Teh Crazy

I don’t have the energy to go through all the ways I disagree with “Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One.” Short version: Blame liberals for the ascension of right-wing crazies. From his experience as a guest punching bag on Hannity’s show, the author concluded,

This, to be blunt, is the tragic flaw of the modern liberal. We choose to see ourselves as innocent victims of an escalating right-wing fanaticism. But too often we serve as willing accomplices to this escalation and to the resulting degradation of our civic discourse. We do this, without even meaning to, by consuming conservative folly as mass entertainment.

This is something like clap-for-Tinkerbelle in reverse. If we stop enabling righties by paying attention to them, they’ll go away.

I would like to say that I don’t feel personally victimized by escalating right-wing fanaticism. Most of the time I feel more like a helpless bystander watching barbarians sack my country.

Later, the author writes,

But the real problem isn’t Limbaugh. He’s just a businessman who is paid to reduce complex cultural issues to ad hominem assaults. The real problem is that liberals, both on an institutional and a personal level, have chosen to treat for-profit propaganda as news.

Um, no, nitwit. Most of us are the ones who have been saying for years that Faux Nooz and Limbaugh and the rest of the rightie media echo chamber is propaganda masquerading as news. The ones who treat it as real news are (a) the rest of the media, and (b) the mouth-breathing baggers, racists, and reactionaries who are regular consumers of the for-profit propaganda.

See also Ed Kilgore, Ryan Cooper, Erik Loomis, and the Booman.

14 thoughts on “Ignoring Teh Crazy

  1. Interesting how the article assigns all responsibility to the liberal side, but takes the political vandalism of the right as a law of nature. “You failed to stop them, so it’s all your fault”.

  2. Pingback: Ignore the Man Screaming in Front of the Curtain « Sky Dancing

  3. Well… here’s what I will say.

    It is possible to react too strongly to right wing noise. It’s also possible to respond too strongly to something too small, even if it is provocative. It’s also possible to waste your energy thinking about the latest right-wing outrage, and forget the end game, which isn’t to beat down the right, but to build a more just society.

    But people tried ignoring the right, and, unfortunately, it just doesn’t work. A big fight is news, and the news media will report on a big fight, even if it’s invented, so long as enough people treat it seriously. And that will lead to righties grabbing the news cycle and forcing a response.

  4. Hurrah! White Guy with a Job is here to tell us liberals spend too much time arguing the right victimising them. Whaddaya mean “us”, white man?

  5. Yes, if ALL we millions of Liberals could only stop jonesin’ for our daily Rush fix, and stop watching FOX from rosy-fingered dawn, ’til blackening night, these Conservative people would all calm down – after all, THEY’RE putting on a show for US, and NOT for themselves

    Those are programs BY them, FOR THEM!
    And individual Liberals, and Liberal groups, monitor their programs, to know what their new memes are going to be – since the MSM is sure to pick-up on them, and spout them verbatim for the next few news cycles – and sometimes for years.

    And it’s not ‘Liberals who are ruining this country’ – and I KNOW BECAUSE I AM ONE!
    Are YOU?

    Are YOU?

  6. If the author has no beliefs worth defending, and it does not sould like he holds his beliefs/ideas that dearly, he should start looking for real estate. And by real estate, I mean a corner to hide in and STFU. Whinging navel-gazer.

  7. At the risk of maturity, it does seem there is serious risk of developing the same sort of entrenched resentments as profit Limbaugh et al on the opposite side (Schultz and Cenk do come to mind). It does seem there’s a moral in there somewhere struggling to get out.

    • semi-adult — excellent point. There is a lot I could say from the perspective of a long-time Zen student about attachments, although little of it would make sense, I fear. The basic Zen Theory of Attachment says that in order to attach, there have to be two things — an attacher and an object to attach to. However, this is an illusion, because nothing is actually separate from everything else. We “attach” to things out of the delusion that we are separate from them. Put another way, attachment can be defined as any habit of mind that maintains the illusion of separateness.

      If attachment is defined as any habit of mind that maintains the illusion of separateness, then avoiding things is also a kind of attachment. So in a sense, people who keep a distance from party politics because they want to stay “pure” are just as attached as party activists. The key word here is “equanimity,” not being jerked this way and that by attachment or aversion. This is way hard.

      If we come to realize that we and everything else are not-two, as zennies say, then a whole lot of the craziness evaporates. It’s hard to explain why, exactly, but it does.

  8. If attachment is defined as any habit of mind that maintains the illusion of separateness, then avoiding things is also a kind of attachment.

    Do you know how old that idea is (just because I’m curious)?

    I’m asking because it’s an idea in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and it might also be in cognitive therapy. I saw it best explained in ACT, where it basically says if you’re afraid of the panic attack, or of the grocery store where you might have the panic attack, you’re empowering the panic attack (and, in fact, the grocery store). So, the goal is to accept the possibility of a panic attack – not to make it the basis of whether your day is good or bad. The goal (the “commitment” part) is to get your groceries, *not* to not feel anxious or even to avoid the panic attack. If you go to the grocery store, have a panic attack, *but* walk out of there with your groceries, you “win” – you did what you wanted.

    Usually, if you don’t fear the panic attack, you make it less likely, but the problem is, we’re exactly clever enough to say “I’m not afraid of the panic attack because that means I won’t have one” – trying to be not-afraid to avoid the panic attack re-energizes it, because you’re still attached (if I understand what you’re saying correctly). So, a person has to learn to not fear the panic attack for its own sake, not in hopes of avoiding it.

    Anyway – it’s a fascinating thing, and I’m glad that some folks in psychology are studying it.

  9. This is more of the “false equivalency” nonsense that the right uses to hornswaggle stupid people into thinking that both parties suck. It’s really the right wing fascists that really suck and are destroying our democracy and need to be called out and beaten down! Ask Mann and Ornstein if you don’t believe me!

Comments are closed.