Right-wing hate moves into the mainstream

The violence against elected officials by hate groups in the USA this past week was a real shocker. Racism and homophobia are penetrating into the mainstream. “Rage on the Right” is certainly nothing new, it’s long been a part of the right-wing militia movement, the militant wing of the “patriot movement” who say they are protecting civil liberties against a government they see as an enemy (see Rage on the Right, 2003.) But a new study just published, Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism (summary here), shows that various streams are mingling.

Listen to this interview with the author of the new study, Mark Potok, on NPR. A survey on Republican political opinions shows that

  • 2/3 of Republicans think Obama is a socialist
  • 47% of Republicans believe the “birthers'” idea that Obama was not born in the US and is therefore not legally eligible for the Presidency
  • 38% say that Obama is doing some of the things Hitler did
  • 24% say he may be the Antichrist

Today, the face of the government is the face of a black man. That draws the anger, fear and frustration of the white racist militiant right. And coincidentally, the Democrats are losing support among white men. The next Republican presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has the uncanny ability to play to exactly that crowd.

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Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

5 thoughts on “Right-wing hate moves into the mainstream”

  1. Unfortunately this is nothing new, hate has always risen against change.
    I remember when i lived in London how vitriolic the attacks on Ken Livingstone became – he was a socialists well to the left of his party and known for radical ideas and actions.
    If you believed what was said in the media – and many did – he was satan personified.
    He was also my local MP, and during a mass lobby of parliament – part of a campaign against another unjust law – we ended up in a cafe sharing mugs of tea.
    A passionate, committed caring human being.

  2. Obama, I was a little disappointed there for a while, and now he’s remeerged as the hero, he is. I’m so happy about this health care bill – there may be weaknesses – but my goodness he’s moved mountains, already.
    Yes, Ken Livingstone’s another great one.
    These are the positive things to be looked at – and the tea – whatever folks – let’s hope they disappear soon.

  3. Strangely, I look on it as a sign of hope, Anne. I can’t see how the right wing tea party crowd can follow this route without alienating the majority.

  4. Ah, I hope you’re right, Vicki !! Idiots do tend to make a fool of themselves, don’t they, and you’d sort of expect people to notice.
    I just wonder what the more enlightened Republicans make of all of this. I sure hope they, too, are surprized at the new lows in popular political taste.

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