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Right Wing Hate

There’s an old story about Nova Scotia political hackery that’s just Bluenose enough to be perfectly true, but even if it’s not it illustrates the point.
A bag man for one breed or another of trough feeders was visiting Ontario on political business. At the time, there was a by-election being held to fill a vacant seat. The Upper Canadians had staffed their phone banks with eager young volunteers who were busily calling registered members of the party, especially senior citizens, to ensure they had a ride to the polls on voting day.
The Nova Scotian watched for a few minutes and then said, “What the fuck is wrong with you idiots? Don’t you know how to win a by-election?”
The Upper Canadians, who pride themselves on knowing everything, asked what he meant. “Look,” he replied,” you’re wasting your time calling our own people. Get a list of members of the opposing party. Call them and tell them you’re from their party, and want to arrange to take them to the polls. If anyone else offers them a ride, they’ll say they’ve already been taken care of. On election day, DON’T go get them. Either they don’t vote, which helps us…or, if they do manage to get to the polls, they might be so pissed off they vote for us, which helps us.”
I don’t know who won the election, but with some asphalt and a few bottles of rum such things were settled in Nova Scotia for decades.
Which brings me to the larger point. The right wing in America has demonstrably been hijacked by crazy, ignorant fuckwits. Racists, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-health care, pro-gun, fundamentalist Christian, very poorly informed and very angry blithering idiots who consider Glenn Beck a source of wise and sober insight.
Those to the left, which comprises the vast majority of citizens despite the insistence of Fox News to the contrary, have been calling on the leadership of the GOP to reject those shrill, shouting voices and make some effort at tamping down the ill-informed, unrestrained hate that carries signs reading “Obama’s Goal = White Slavery” or “Go Back to Kenya Marxist Monkey!”
While no sane Republican (perhaps an oxymoron) is going to endorse such things, neither will they lift a single finger to reject it. Every single one of those signs represents an impassioned, committed vote for their side…and they are perfectly willing to take any vote they can get. They will also seek to disenfranchise legal voters by demanding ID cards, proof of residency, electric bills, voter roll purges…anything that will assist in keeping poor, transient, immigrant and/or minority voters away from the polls.
There is, however, a hidden sting in playing politics this way. Should the GOP ever manage to pull together a mishmash of underhanded methods, inflamed base passion, hate, frustration and lies to actually regain something resembling power, they will find themselves beholden to those raving lunatics – a gang of slathering anger that will demand fealty to the “American principles” which, in their stunted, myopic minds gave birth to the country they want to take back. Failure by the GOP to push back against such tactics is not only a tacit admission that their party no longer represents anything beyond a desperate longing for an imaginary past; a return to a fantasy time that never really existed, but is a certain recipe for madness and doom. Sadly, for a party that has abandoned reason and good will, no other path is available.

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