Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am not much of a fan of the New Yorker, but this article does a good job of looking at the Angry citizen and what can sometimes happen. I really liked this paragraph which speaks about a Beck supporter named Pam Stout:

There’s nothing new about Mrs. Stout. She’s a familiar figure in American life, always latent, but coming to the surface in national emergencies. Richard Hofstadter described her mental world in detail. In the seventeen-eighties she lived in Sheffield, Massachusetts, during a period of tight credit and land foreclosures and was sympathetic to the farmers’ uprising known as Shay’s Rebellion that began there. In the eighteen-fifties she was a non-voting constituent of Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. In the eighteen-nineties she was the wife of a Nebraska farmer who joined the People’s Party and voted for William Jennings Bryan and free silver. In the nineteen-thirties desperate poverty drove her to fall for the simple solutions of Huey Long’s left-wing demagoguery, or Father Coughlin’s right-wing demagoguery, which often sounded similar. In the nineteen-fifties she listened avidly to radio personalities like Fulton Lewis, Jr., and Walter Winchell, thought President Eisenhower was a knowing agent of the Communist Party, and was a passionate supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. In 2001 she knew that the Bush Administration orchestrated 9/11. In 2008 she showed up at Sarah Palin rallies.

Pet peeve alert. From the article:

Glenn Beck delivered the keynote speech at the CPAC conference over the weekend. He spoke for almost an hour, and I watched so you don’t have to.

There are many reviews and critiques that contain the "I watched (or read) it so you don't have to." I am not really interested in watching or reading Beck, but if I would if I wanted to discuss him or lambaste him. I am perfectly capable of formulating my own opinions and conclusions and don't need someone else doing that for me. Other that that, it was a good article.

(h/t to Streak for posting this earlier)


Bob 8:52 AM  

When I hear the fascist speech of people like Beck, I cannot help but think about how it applies to my comment in your previous post about gun rights.

When the right calls progressives "cancers", I start to think that maybe liberals should be much more pro-second amendment.

Smitty 9:12 AM  

I'm with Bob. Disagreement is no longer disagreement; it's now an all-out assault on your way of life, and you are compelled to fight me hard for it. War.

That's dangerous shit.

Monk-in-Training 2:02 PM  

I think Smitty has a point, in my opinion modern Republicans are more of a theocratic party than pragmatic politics.

Fundamentelism of about any stripe brooks no dispute. You are not just incorrect, you are morally wrong, and a possible contaminant, to be excised. This seems to be the source of a lot of the current thinking.

steves 5:26 PM  

Fundamentelism of about any stripe brooks no dispute.

I think this is very true and, based on the historical references, isn't confined to a single ideology.

steves 5:28 PM  

FWIW, liberalism and gun control aren't something that goes hand in hand. While there is more support for gun control on the left, there are plenty in the GOP that support it. If you look in the past, there are plenty of progressives that were pro-gun rights.

Streak 8:41 AM  

I just have to say that I like the "I watched Beck so you don't have to." Because I really, really, really can't stand watching him.

Bob 8:56 AM  

I just have to say that I like the "I watched Beck so you don't have to."

I consider it a public service. Thanks.

Streak 9:12 AM  

a public service. Exactly. :) Watching that man makes me angry.

steves 9:57 AM  

I can't stand him either, but I would watch him if I were doing some kind of analysis. For the most part, I don't consdider him worthy of attention.

Streak 10:00 AM  

I disagree, Steve. I think dismissing him is a mistake. Like Rush, not because they say anything that is actually worth listening to, but because of the people who actually do listen to them for guidance. That makes him relevant.

steves 6:15 PM  

I am not discounting his influence, but saying that I don't find him to be all that interesting, intelligent, or insightful. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who care about what he has to say and let his statements shape their view of the world. I am not one of those.

Streak 10:27 AM  

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who care about what he has to say and let his statements shape their view of the world. I am not one of those.

Understood. But those who do are the ones that scare me. The Tea Party people appear to think he is some kind of prophet.

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