The Echo Chamber of Hate

The Echo Chamber of Hate

The nutjobs are out there.

I live in a university town, and while I don’t head toward campus every day, the students there are going about their business of classes, relationships, and cheering on the football team as they wait around for basketball season to start. The campus is active but active with the normal goings-on of university life. My point is that I’m not seeing or hearing about massive protests over healthcare or the environment or the various wars our troops are involved in.

Spending time at the local Borders on a Friday afternoon and I see a wide variety of ethnic and age groups, all sharing a love for the latest Dan Brown or overpriced coffee. There is no climate of weariness in our political process, no loud conversations about how Obama is a secret Muslim. I don’t see people walking around in a daze over high unemployment or being depressed by the economy.

I think if I asked the couple in their 70s sitting at a table or so over if they thought the President was a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya, they’d roll their eyes at me. They may be worried about the future or their social security and maybe a grandson serving in the armed forces, but not the lunatic fringe assertions that our country has slipped into Soviet-era socialism or has a sleeper agent in the White House. If I asked the Asian girl doing her economics homework across the way if she thought her job prospects after graduation were bleak, she’d probably agree and then tell me her long-term plan.

Still, I know the nutjobs are out there. They’re on my television screaming nonsensical and bewildering reckless commentary such as Obama is a terrorist or racist or wants his healthcare plan to take care of illegal immigrants. These assertions have no basis in the truth. The intelligent person hearing these ridiculous claims dismisses them. Of course, many people openly believe these ideas. You can’t debate these individuals or set them straight with facts. They feed on the echo chamber of hate and misinformation presented as “news” by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.

Recently, a right-wing website named NewsMax suggested a military coup just might be the right thing for this country. How is that anything less than treason? It sounds like neo-Nazi propaganda or maybe the local militia members’ newsletter. Will the Republican Party rebuke them publicly? I doubt it. There is no Republican Party leader. At least one who acts like a leader.

I don’t know who the “leader” of the Republican Party is. The rest of the American population is like me. I’ve done zero research, but I would bet money if I asked my Republican friends who the leader is of their party, they’d say Limbaugh or possibly old white guy and presidential loser John McCain.

Limbaugh isn’t a leader, he’s a voice. Consequently, because there isn’t a strong elected Republican voice, he’s who the base turns to for their political meat. Never mind, he often speaks half-truths, calls individuals and groups by pet names like “Feminazi,” and hasn’t been elected to represent any state of the union. He’s an entertainer in the loosest definition of the term. He’s also thrice divorced, a drug addict, and has sex with underage girls. What a role model.

Republicans as a political force are non-existent. They have circled the wagons around the fringe elements of their party and are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. It is a decision that will keep the Republican Party a Southern-only regressive group of old whites bemoaning their lot in life while they continue to lose elections.

However, one thing they are very good at is being extremely loud. The dwindling hoards of scared white people scream their catchphrases of Obama being a Communist or Marxist or Socialist or Nazi or, my favorite, a combination of all of them. These idiots don’t know anything about anything. Not even a cursory look at Wikipedia or a Google search among them. There’s an old term for these walking wounded of the mind: sheeple.

They don’t have a brain cell between them. They aren’t worried about political points of view or the greater good. They fear a black man in the White House. Pay no attention to the overwhelming majority of Americans (white, black, yellow, brown, and otherwise) who voted that same black man into the White House. They will continue to chant Obama is Hitler to each other like it’s making a difference. To everyone else, they just come across as rather pathetic.

The sheeple fear intelligent thought. They actively contradict it. To them, anyone who is smarter than them is a “commie libural.” They lack all common sense because common sense would destroy their vast conspiracy theories. They cite made-up facts and dismiss experts. They support “authorities” who are profiting from them and ignore everything else.

To paraphrase Bill Maher, not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are almost certainly Republican. There is a tinge of racism among these sheeple. It isn’t the fuel of the fire, but it’s there. Anyone watching these morons protest will notice a distinct lack of color. My guess is Republicans have lost a majority of blacks and probably all Hispanics in this country. Their base has shrunk to the religious wackos, conspiracy theorists, Ku Klux Klan members, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and I’m not so sure the Terminator wants to be a Republican anymore.

The mainstream media is finally coming around to laying out the case that these demonstrators and town hall shouters, birthers, truthers, and teabaggers should be treated with contempt or at the very least dismissed out of hand. They should be called out when they bring loaded guns near the President, when they create polls regarding whether the President should be assassinated, and when they shout like petulant and unruly children on national television.

I live in a university town with plenty of white-collar jobs and maybe a larger percentage of college graduates or at least college-educated individuals, so maybe the slings and arrows of the sheeple haven’t really dented my lair of intellectualism and progressive ideas. Maybe I just live in a typical mid-western town with typical mid-western ideals. I’m sure there are extremists on both sides living here too. Still, looking out my window, I don’t see the loonies with their misspelled signs protesting something that will help them in the long run. I don’t see the crazies.

But I know there out there.