The Ugly Face of “Conservatism”

To employ a hackneyed rhetorical device frequently utilized by our friends on the Right, I can’t for the life of me seem to recall a deranged shooter murdering people owing to a deep-seated hatred of “conservatives and straights” — can you? Perhaps having Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore on one’s bookshelf doesn’t have quite the same homicidal effect on “leftards”… But then, I don’t recall “liberal” talk radio hosts like Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow ever calling for the obliteration of an entire U.S. city like say Dallas because of its predominantly “right-wing” political culture either, nor do I think Bill Moyers ever regretted that the building housing Fox News hadn’t been leveled by maniacal terrorists simply because of their differing worldview.

Dr. Dawg has a highly commendable post on this subject from yesterday that raises some quite legitimate points about the “American conservative cult of death” as he refers to the elminationist rhetoric that pollutes the Right to an alarming degree and how the “blood on the hands of America’s conservatives” can’t easily be “washed off by bogus appeals to our sense of humour.”

It should also be mentioned that the almost unbroken collective silence of “The Blogging Tories” regarding this incident certainly hasn’t gone entirely unnoticed either. Make of that what you will. Perhaps the lives of people alleged to be “liberal” are simply too picayune for them to exercise any of their more usually evident outrage that kicks into overdrive every time there’s a killing involving a shooter that’s part of an ethnic minority group.

28 Replies to “The Ugly Face of “Conservatism””

  1. I can’t for the life of me seem to recall a deranged shooter murdering people owing to a deep-seated hatred of “conservatives and straights” — can you?

    Oh, they’ll dig up examples, I’m sure. Dawg’s trolls…er…interlocutors…were doing as much yesterday.

    This is all tied to the “conservatives'” issues with freedom of expression. No matter how much you highlight how generally vicious, defamatory and eliminationist and frankly murderous the rightist rhetoric is, coming as it does from the most public and well-known opinion leaders from the Right, it won’t matter.

    Their usual silence certainly says a lot about their commitment to challenging hate speech with more speech.

    I’m listening to David Brock’s The Republican Noise Machine this week. Something has to be done about the media plutocrats.

  2. Good point about the “eliminationist rhetoric” of our “conservative” friends. Unfortunately, it’s a symptom of all kinds of fundamentalism. If you kill everyone else who supposedly denies the “truth,” then you alone and your friends alone carry the truth, and the truth will triumph without pesky impediments such as human life etc.

  3. I just don’t “get” the so-called conservative “sense of humour” I guess. But then I’m not the sort of person who finds jokes about the Holocaust, the murder of civilians or lynching all that funny either. Nor do I find anything particularly amusing about the prospect of turning a nation of 100 million people into “glass” with nukes… These however are the subjects of side-splitting hilarity for many on the right it seems.

    What the hell is wrong with such people?

    On a semi-related note, I posted a comment over at SDA on a thread that was mocking Cherniak for his post about an unpaid position working on Liblogs noting that The Western Standard had for years relied on the labour of unpaid “interns” at its office in Calgary and this was one of the comments that followed from someone named “Grind a Grit”:

    I see Red Tampon haunting the BT sites these days (Now he shows up at ‘headquarters’ SDA…How brave!)…It is known in military circles that when the enemy is capitulating they try to befriend their foe before it’s too late for them (The cowards anyway).

    Charming. That thread and others is, of course, littered with the most hateful and derogatory kind of references to “liberals” — this from the same people who presume to lecture about “civility” and laughably claim that only “leftards” (or is that “faggoty progressives” as the person calling himself “real conservative” calls me?) engage in horrid “name-calling” and “disgusting mudslinging.”

  4. Red: Did your savaging at Small Dead Animals prompt our little Wild Rose from Delisle to step in and moderate?

  5. No, of course not. Nor would I have expected her to.

    It certainly doesn’t encourage a return visit though, but then I suppose that’s the idea. They do so prefer their little circle-jerks to be uninterrupted by “enemy” interlopers.

  6. What I find interesting about these avid (or rabid)conservatives, is that generally they do not have a sense of humour. When they do try to make a joke, it’s really, really not funny, and tends toward vicious. I think this comes from spending your life “protecting” what is yours and always believing that “someone” is going to take it away. (This group tends to wait for the black helicopters to swoop down.) For them, corporate welfare is good, but don’t you dare offer assistance to someone a little down on their luck.

  7. If they had a sense of humour perhaps they’d realize that the biggest joke of all has been at their expense; in particular at having been duped into voting against their economic self-interest for the past 30 years to the point where now we have a new “gilded age” of the obscenely ultra-rich and the vast majority of people in what’s laughably called the “middle-class” that are working longer than ever before just to stay afloat and make ends meet.

  8. RT,

    Nice spin. Clearly only “conservatives” are vile, violent monsters and pointing that out to your readership was your good works for the day.

    If you weren’t an atheist, I think you would have pretty much sewn up your place in the Unitarian Universalist Heaven.

    I believe it is also known as Apartment 12B in one of the City of Toronto Housing Developments.

  9. Clearly only “conservatives” are vile, violent monsters and pointing that out to your readership was your good works for the day.

    How do you stand this, Red? It’s like he wilfully ignores how vicious “conservative” rhetoric is, right from the very top of the “conservative” elite just to make a puerile and pointless snide remark.

    And he’s a not child, either.

  10. Yes, it’s all a big “joke” isn’t it, Tomm? Har, har. I would have said something like it’s funny until someone gets killed, but then it’s still funny to “conservatives.” Go figure.

  11. I can’t believe how vicious and mean spirited you’ve become.

    Its like some of the blog sites have become the internet version of the night of the living dead.

    Give your head a shake, and ask yourself if this is not how conflict escalates.

    I see nothing in your piece that implicates the conservative blogosphere with a vioent nutbar in Tennessee, excepting your over the top title and photo that smears folks based on association.

    Sorry, I guess I don’t cruise around to the right sites or something. My mistake.

    And quite frankly, no its not a joke when a guy goes into a church to shoot people up, and its not a joke to plaster him on others by some sort of warped association you’ve found.

    We, all of us, including you, should be better than that.

  12. Ti-Guy,

    You said:

    “…How do you stand this, Red? It’s like he wilfully ignores how vicious “conservative” rhetoric is, right from the very top of the “conservative” elite just to make a puerile and pointless snide remark.”

    Can you please explain what you are talking about?

  13. Can you please explain what you are talking about?

    Check out this post and note the fact that this lunatic’s house was filled with books by Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage.

    I don’t care anymore whether “conservatives” think there’s nothing about hate speech that we should be concerned about. There is.

    And we’re going to stop it.

  14. Tomm — Do you even read right-wing, so-called “conservative” blogs? It seems your take on the situation is woefully uninformed.

    And with regards to your remarks about the attacks from the right being of a teasing, good-natured sort… what fucking planet are you living on?

  15. Ti-Guy,

    I saw it. How does that implicate me? McCain, or Harper?

    Does some Muslim fanatic strapping a bomb to himself and blowing up a bunch of innocents implicate my Muslim neighbor?

    Just because some nut, self identifies, you can’t pretend it smears a whole group.

    And RT is correct, for every violent nut that identifies as a conservative, I am fairly confident we can find one for pretty much every political stripe, color, ethnic group, and creed.

    Mental illness and violence can turn people into radical and reactionary loners, it doesn’t turn them into “conservatives”.

  16. RT,

    I obviously don’t get around like you do. I stay close to home when I check out political sites. I’ve even stopped going to SDA. Too much “settled science” for my taste, and some of the posters are a little crude.

    Attacks from the CPC have been good natured. Attacks from right wing bloggers have probably been as ugly as those from left wing bloggers.

    CPC corporate hasn’t really said anything beyond what Mercer uses to lampoon politican’s. CPC supporters may think Dion is a dope but I sure haven’t been around sites where they are saying the level of violent ugly things being said about Harper. The LPC corporate site actually called Harper a liar. CBC posters say all kind of ugly nasty things.

    If I’ve badly mistaken what’s been going on, its just my “hear no evil, see no evil” charm.

  17. Tomm — If you haven’t done so already, then I’d strongly suggest you read that article by Dr. Dawg that I referenced and linked to in my post. He sets out the indictment against the likes of Hannity, Coulter, Savage, O’Reilly, etc. in more more detail than I did here (no point in reinventing the wheel and all that).

    After reading that I think you’ll have a better appreciation for where I’m coming from and why your arguments ring more than a little hollow with me.

  18. Attacks from the CPC have been good natured…

    Asserting that Liberal critics of the CPC’s Afghan policy are working for the “Taliban intelligence agency”, as Peter Van Loan once did, may be considered “good natured” to some. It is considered despicable where I come from.

  19. I thought it was de rigueur these days to call “liberals” troop-haters, terrorist-sympathizers, and treasonous back-stabbers. Very few so-called conservatives seem to think twice about impugning the patriotism of people with whom they disagree.

  20. RT,

    Sorry but I just don’t put these things are par with each other.

    It is fashionable to say ugly things about the CPC but only fashionable to say lampooning type things about the LPC.

    Just the way I see it. Perhaps we’re both guilty of expecting too much out of the media.

    I sure wish they would start asking tough questions of people other than the CPC.

    For example, why haven’t I seen Dion on TV have to answer questions about wealth distribution effects of the Green Shift? Trade implications? Real Costs?

    Why hasn’t Szabo been forced to justify his shutting down the CPC witnesses, but allowing Pablo to ask an unrelated question of Brian Mulroney?

    The CPC never gets an easy ride on Linda Keene, Bernier, O’Connor, or Kyoto, but the LPC never gets tossed the ugly ones when they drop their pants in public.

    Just the way I see it.

  21. “I sure wish they would start asking tough questions of people other than the CPC.”

    Well, these things happen when you’re the elected government. People tend to be more interested in your business as you are supposed to be in charge of things.

    “For example, why haven’t I seen Dion on TV have to answer questions about wealth distribution effects of the Green Shift? Trade implications? Real Costs?”

    They might after next election… or during… but as he’s the leader of the opposition, it’s not front page news.

    Also, it’s amazing… these comments… seems like there WAS a point… and now it’s being moved about… um… what was the original point of this post?

    http://drdawgsblawg.blogspot.com/2008/07/conservative-cult-of-death.html

    Oh yeah! That was it!

  22. In his efforts to evade the point of the post, or at least his refusal to confront it, I’m afraid that Tomm has gotten things off track and sent it veering into the realm of boo-hooing about how the media isn’t fair to the poor widdle Conservatives. Typical. The imagined victimization and persecution complex of many of those on the Right is never far from the surface of their thoughts it seems.

  23. Pfft. The mainstream media doesn’t ask ANYBODY hard questions “left” or right. Except to Julie Couillard, maybe.

  24. Welcome to George Bush’s America. Take away the jobs and insert radical ideology. Even better to hand the man a gun. Its not shocking that we have dead people in the streets.

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