We have achieved a moment in which the two polarities occupy two incompatible competing "realities" -- "real," save for the fact that one reality is buttressed almost entirely with made-up facts and "fake news." Oh, and projection. Not difficult to figure out which is which.
This is part ii. Part i is here.
Our Story So Far: July 3, 2007, Ted Nugent writes a vicious screed tossing the entire “60s” generation on the bonfire of his own vanity. I respond on July 3. Joe Farah’s scrofulous WorldNetDaily anonymously attacks me for “waxing my eloquence.”
“As a die-hard musician, I terribly miss these very talented people who squandered God’s gifts in favor of poison and the joke of hipness. I often wonder what musical peaks they could have climbed had they not gagged to death on their own vomit….While I salute and commend the political and cultural activism of the 1960s that fueled the civil rights movement, other than that, the decade is barren of any positive cultural or social impact. Honest people will remember 1967 for what is truly was.” — Ted Nugent, Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2004
Hannity picks up on the column and cribs it (twice). On July 9, Sean Hannity and Brent Bozell attempt, on Faux Nooz™, to paint me as the liberal equivalent of Ann Coulter. Not having kicked me enough, on July 13, noted craven wussy Ted Nugent goes on Hannity & Colmes to weep crocodile tears, claim I’m a “nut case” and belittle the late Alan Colmes. I am accused of FOMENTING civil war and internal rebellion when, clearly, that is what I was warning AGAINST. Rightie projection über alles.
And now, as we come ten years later, the civil war I warned about is much closer to reality than any of us would care to admit.
We begin with MediaMatters:
Right-wing media figures declare “the first shots of the second American civil war have already been fired”
Research ››› June 19, 2017 9:31 PM EDT ››› BOBBY LEWIS
A disturbing new narrative is building across right-wing media that “the second American civil war” is here, “the mutineers have the momentum,” and President Donald Trump must “burn down the Bastille” and “purge the deep state and flog its media collaborators” if his presidency is to survive.
Right-wing media: “Time to burn down the Bastille”
Alex Jones: “The first shots of the second American civil war have already been fired,” […] [Infowars, 6/14/17]
Roger Stone: Robert Mueller’s investigation will “spark a civil war in this country.” […] [Genesis Communications Networks, The Alex Jones Show, 6/15/17]
Newt Gingrich: “We are in a clear-cut cultural civil war.” […] [Fox News, Hannity, 6/13/17]
Pat Buchanan: The US is “approaching something of a civil war,” and it’s time for Trump to “burn down the Bastille.” […] [CNSnews.com, 6/13/17]
Fake News Purveyor BeforeItsNews: “The left is going for the kill — literally” in “the coming civil war.”[…] [BeforeItsNews, 6/17/17]
Trump radio ally Michael Savage: “There’s going to be a civil war.” […][Westwood One, The Savage Nation, 6/13/17, 6/14/17 via WND]
I have stripped the article down to its bare bones. It’s short and well worth reading. But also consider former Red State blogger Erick Erickson’s “The Resurgent”:
Both the left and parts of the right are now all using the Alinsky playbook, which itself was dedicated to Satan. It’s all going according to his plan as we slip and slide toward armageddon [sic]….
This is literally called “demonizing the opposition.” (And note that virtually NO progressives have ever read Saul Alinsky, but that ALL conservatives seem to have written their masters’ theses [in crayon, no doubt] on it.)
Little side note here: the “Saul Alinsky” GOP insider buzz started more or less with the inauguration of that Black Guy, but was originally intended, evidently, for Hillary Clinton as well, who once wrote Alinsky a “fan letter.” Alinsky was NOT a commie, nor a Soviet spy, nor even a socialist, but he WAS a (n agnostic) Jew. For a long time the underlying antisemitic current has not been remarked on, but it’s there. Wikipedia:
According to Alinsky biographer Sanford Horwitt, U.S. President Barack Obama was influenced by Alinsky and followed in his footsteps as a Chicago-based community organizer. Horwitt asserted that Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was influenced by Alinsky’s teachings. Alinsky’s influence on Obama has been heavily emphasized by some of his detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Historian Thomas Sugrue writes, “as with all conspiracy theories, the Alinsky-Obama link rests on a kernel of truth“. For three years in the mid 80s, Obama worked for the Developing Communities Project, which was influenced by Alinsky’s work, and he wrote an essay that was collected in a book memorializing Alinsky.Newt Gingrich repeatedly stated his opinion that Alinsky was a major influence on Obama during his 2012 presidential campaign, equating Alinsky with “European Socialism”, although Alinsky was U.S.-born and was not a Socialist. Gingrich’s campaign itself used tactics described by Alinsky’s writing.
Not so much of a side note after all, since you see a whole strategy, tactic and several techniques of the Reality War™ at play: complex rejiggering of facts to support pre-existing conclusions; exclusion of “uncomfortable truths,” actually MAKING UP facts to buttress pre-existing conclusions and ADOPTION OF THE SELFSAME TACTICS DECRIED (albeit without proof of the latter: “we MUST have zabbajabbajuju bombs to offset THEIR zabbajabbajuju bombs!” the justification of decades of Pentagon budgets).
Mr. Erickson has already gone off the rails* but what’s important is his case for “secession”(?)
[* Alinsky, with mordant humor, invokes a tradition going back, at least to Milton’s Paradise Lost (“Non serviam!) in his last personal acknowledgement in his book “Rules for Radicals”:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.
This is quite a DIFFERENT thing than dedicating one’s book to “Satan” — as Erickson argues. But to turn that jape into a justification for “secession”? And consider that Alinsky’s an AGNOSTIC and the invocation of Lucifer seems much more a literary trope than some committment to a deity that he did not, in all probability, believe in. The infatuation with ultimate evil seems to be coming from entirely within Mr. Erickson’s head. The phone call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!]
We did not secede from them. Slowly, they have seceded from us, beginning in the Seventies, when the Religious Rapture Right created its own media: books and tapes, then radio stations and television stations and networks, and, finally, “Christian Rock” (an oxymoron to any real Evangelical, since they’ve always maintained that rock’s backbeat is Satanic virginity stealing rhythm). And then the Conservatives who took off from and in parallel to that movement, finally succeeding in creating an alternate SCIENCE in which evolution is a satanic hallucination and global warming is a myth even though all their beachfront property is slowly going bye-bye.
THEY seceded from the commons, and from our news and discussion. Not the other way ’round. Remember that.
And try as I might, I cannot see a way back. I have been warning against this toxic polarization for at least 22 years now (as noted and linked previously), and it only gets worse. But soft: Mister Erickson makes his case [emphasis added]:
- A sober analysis of the facts:
At the same time, the left would have us believe that there is more violence on the right where history itself shows that is not true. From Nazism to Communism to progressivism itself, there has been more butchery from leftwing ideologies throughout human history than from the right — and yes despite popular historic revisionism, Nazism is from the left and had an American progressive fan club that included Margaret Sanger, patron saint of killing kids. On college campuses, conservatives are chased away by mobs and the left excuses it. After all, they say, the right deserved it. Steve Scalise deserved it. The Christian bigot needs to bake the cake, but the performer who does not want to perform for President Trump is a saint.
There is only a one way street and the crowd that demands tolerance only wants tolerance for themselves. All others must be silenced. The political left is becoming the American ISIS.
- A reminder of the immediacy of the threat
The situation is getting out of hand and neither side wants to rein it in. Those who do suggest we calm things down are hounded for their own transgressions because neither side shows grace. Because someone did something bad once, he cannot be listened to now. And because someone says something another disagrees with politically, that statement is proof positive of hypocrisy, instead of differences of opinion.
Both the left and parts of the right are now all using the Alinsky playbook, which itself was dedicated to Satan. It’s all going according to his plan as we slip and slide toward armageddon.*[sic: “Armageddon” which literally refers to a battle on the Plains of Megiddo, a place about 25 miles West-Southwest of the Southern terminus of the Sea of Galilee. It is very big in “new” or “heretical” Christian “End Times/Rapture theology. ]
- A rational plan for resolution of grievances:
In our present atmosphere there is no escape from the American ISIS that is the political left. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Evil is now dominant — but the partisan line is blurred.
The only escape is dissolution. We should part ways if we cannot have federalism. We should start talking about secession. If both sides have decided that every hill is a hill to die on and control of Washington means reward for their friends and punishment of their enemies, we need to end Washington. The way to do that is end the union.
- A conclusion that the conclusion just concluded is an INESCAPABLE conclusion:
I am no longer an optimist about the future of this country. This past week has shown there is no incentive for the better angels of ourselves to rise. Both sides are out for blood. The only way to calm the situation is for us to part ways. Frankly, and historically, the only thing at this point that is going to save us from ourselves is either breaking apart our union or a major war not of our choosing that forces us to unite. I suspect the latter is coming, but we should start talking about the former if we are not going to live and let live within the rubric of federalism.
Well, he who lives in glass outhouses ought not throw rubrics.
Hours later, Erickson modified/retracted/spun/Baghdad Bobbed it. No, no no no, said Erickson. The Blue Angel DOES exist and she made me a real boy.
An Encouraging Rejection and a Small Confession
By Erick Erickson | June 19, 2017, 08:06pm
Let me say one thing up front — my piece this morning on secession was written more provocatively than I would have preferred, but it was for a reason that shows me again how much is wrong with our clickbait internet culture. If I had written it as I first intended, it would not have gotten nearly the traffic it got. It got more than twice the traffic a typical Monday morning 5am post gets here. It got traffic from all over. It allowed other people to write equally outlandish pieces linking back to it. It stirred the pot, which was intentional. And that is a bit of a problem. […]
We see that not just here, but in places like the New York Times and Washington Post that run salacious stories only to retract them after they’ve captured the clicks. The internet is doing more harm than good in this area. Having said that, I do maintain that we need a discussion of separation because it is not the preferred solution, but it is the solution we seem to be violently headed towards. I am encouraged by so many people rejecting the idea and that so many did so in respectful disagreement, even understanding….
So the hatespeak was just to get attention for your noble thoughts? Right. At least when I called for Rush Limbaugh’s head, I stated very precisely the conditions under which the offer was good. (This did not stop one reader from completely misinterpreting, AGAIN, my “call to arms” As though all explanation was not sufficient to divert said reader from taking the Sean Hannity leap of inferred malevolence.)
So, because people “respectfully” disagreed, it’s all OK? We STILL need separation, of course, but a CIVIL war, if we can just get those horrible leftists to stop with their violent, thuggish and intolerable demands for health care and keeping social security and suchlike …
[* This is found in the unabridged dictionary under “having one’s cake and eating it too.”]
Now, one more bit worth noting — as I wrote in the follow up post to make clear, no I do not consider the American left to be akin to ISIS. But I absolutely do think there is a virulent, radical strain of American leftism that is akin to it and I do stand by that remark.* I am not painting with a broad brush here, but those activists who would destroy a person’s life because that person does not want to bake a cake for gay wedding or will burn down a coffee shop to protest the President or cheer on the mass assassination of members of Congress have a fervor akin to religious fervor and everyone should denounce them. And let’s not fool ourselves on the right. There are some on the right who are behaving that way too. Members of the alt-right need to be shunned and denounced as much as these virulent radicals on the left.
Ah, well. Then everything’s OK. The left that isn’t ISIS is ISIS, and ISIS makes you bake gay wedding cakes. Oh, and Timothy McVeighs are bad too.
The poison has seeped so far into the cerebral cortex that NO reconciliation is possible. The notion that you can’t operate a business in the commons and discriminate against an identifiable group because your “religion” claims that you must hate them (which it doesn’t, BTW) is not a new one. Substitute “Jew” for “Gay” and reread the story and the absurdity of the “abuse of my religious right to hate” becomes clear.
Make no mistake, this “justification” for secession has been seeping into the collective “reality” of the right for years now:
Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Calls For Open Rebellion Against Federal Government After Obamacare Ruling
By Adam Peck and Josh Israel, Jun 29, 2012
Of all the right-wing meltdowns following yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, this statement put out by the chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party may take the cake:
When a gang of criminals subvert legitimate government offices and seize all power to themselves without the real consent of the governed their every act and edict is of itself illegal and is outside the bounds of the Rule of Law. In such cases submission is treason. Treason against the Constitution and the valid legitimate government of the nation to which we have pledged our allegiance for years. To resist by all means that are right in the eyes of God is not rebellion or insurrection, it is patriotic resistance to invasion.
May all of us fall on our faces before the Heavenly Judge, repent of our sins, and humbly cry out to Him for mercy on our country. And, may godly courageous leaders rise up in His wisdom and power to lead us in displacing the criminal invaders from their seats and restore our constitutional republic.
So if people you don’t like are elected, that’s subversion of “our constitutional republic”?!?? [Er, yes. If you’ve been watching the current electoral cycle, that is.]
But the feelings are already there. That’s my point. And the passions — fueled by exceptionally questionable, but widely accepted World Is Ending beliefs drives the machineries of death forward. Or here, take this litmus test strip dipped into the wellspring of the Collective Obnoxious:
In a first, Texas Boys State votes to secede from Union
By Derek Hawkins June 26
… Earlier this month, a secession bill won overwhelming support from the mock legislature in Texas Boys State, the American Legion’s summer program where youth leaders create and run their own government, as the Wise County Messenger reported Saturday. The vote, held June 15, marked the first time in the nearly 80 years since the program’s inception in Texas that both chambers of the Texas Boys State legislature voted in favor of seceding from the Union…. In 2016, the Houston Chronicle noted that a secession bill won significant support in the Texas Boys State Senate, only to fail in the House by a mere four votes.
My New Mexico Boys State roommates
In other words, since Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 2009 careful dancing around the term and concept of secession, the NOTION has taken hold. Speaking as a former Senator and Minority Leader at the New Mexico Boy’s State (Remember, Bill Clinton was the Boys Nation delegate from Arkansas Boys State, where he famously got his picture taken shaking hands with President Kennedy), this ought to be taken seriously. These guys (and the gals at Girls’ State) ARE going to be the future leaders of Texas. At least, quite a bit more seriously than the Washington Post manages:
If some of the comments surrounding the Texas Boys State 2017 bill are to be taken at face value, it may have been rooted as much in teenage defiance as a sincere desire to see the Lone Star State become a new country with its own constitution.
Tree spotted; forest missed.
The notion that in any sense this was acceptable behavior for AMERICANS (even Texans, where I went to university) is an absurdity. It is a gauge of how far the dissolution of our collective identity has come that “secession” is even remotely acceptable to broach in polite society. Given the Hobbesian choice between two-party offenders, one of whom used the “N-word” and one of whom used the “S-word,” my priority would be to kick the “S-word” lout out. The other fellow might be reformed and set on the path of righteousness once more, but the secessionist is just plain scum.
But worse, we have already begun to separate ourselves out PHYSICALLY. In a recent report, it was noted that there are very FEW purple counties. Virtually all urban areas (save for Fort Worth, Texas, where I went to TCU) went BLUE in the last election. And almost all of America’s rural counties went RED. We are separating into a rural/urban nation and that is NOT a good thing, but the physical separation only mitigates FOR secession/civil war. You read in Sherman’s memoirs how he took his leave of the University he’d helped found and administer, what is now Louisiana State University, or LSU, to head North even as Southerners in similar conditions headed back South.
And it was never PURE. Richmond, Virginia was a Unionist city, and remained so in sentiment, at least, throughout the war. EVERY single seceding state also sent at lease ONE regiment to the Union army during the war. I bring these bits up only to suggest that if you, as did I, believed that civil war was not possible because we’re SO geographically intermingled, well, that’s not exactly true at all.
Finally, I need to point out that this “secession” movement has, at a local level, already been successful in a particularly vicious sort of way: I mean “school secession.”
White, Wealthy Communities Want Their Own Schools[…] [Tennessee] has also embraced a much less publicized education policy – one that makes it easy for communities to create their own school districts, and one that wealthy white communities have taken advantage of in order to splinter off from larger, more diverse and poorer school districts, taking with them millions of dollars in property taxes. Since the Republican-run state legislature voted to enact the law in 2010, six communities have peeled away from Shelby County, the southwestern most corner of the state that includes Memphis. At least four more in other parts of the state are looking to do the same.
Some states allow communities to create their own school districts, keeping property tax dollars in the neighborhood but siphoning funds away from poorer, underserved schools.
US News & World Report
By Lauren Camera, Education Reporter | June 21, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Schools Become Whiter and Wealthier in Communities That Secede From Districts
By Denisa R. Superville on June 21, 2017 12:23 PM
Since 2000, 47 communities have broken away from their old school districts to form new ones—often creating school systems that are wealthier and less racially diverse. And nine others are in the process of seceding from their current school districts, according to a new report released Wednesday … Thirty states have laws that allow communities to break away from their current school districts, according to the report. The secessions were not confined to any one region….
As the SPLC has noted several times, segregation in US schools is WORSE now than it was during Brown v. Board of Education (1954) because, evidently, we’re more concerned with appearances than realities, and much school secession is actively racist. The class stratification issues seem less emphasized than that the dumb minorities are going to screw up our good white schools and their good white ratings. But class plays its role, as well.
“Sometimes, you know, I miss the old-time cross burnings.”
We are also seeing a pulling apart of rich and poor, with the former increasingly in “gated” (e.g. fenced, surveilled and physically guarded) communities. Where I live, their colonies are spreading along the butte-tops south of town everywhere.)
Remember: the USA is not a nation (all races and continents are represented, save Antarctica) but, rather, a NOTION — an idea of the LITERAL social contract binding us, our second stab at it, the U.S. Constitution. And, as the Alter Boys have shown us in a series of devastating (to the basis of social laws) decisions, that social contract seems highly amenable to wildly differing interpretations. Thus stare decisis, “to stand by things decided,” or the doctrine of following precedent.
Right now, that very IDEA — The United States of America — is under savage and unrelenting attack, and because this is considered “abstract” no one notices until a few congressmen get shot, and then, suddenly the Left is “America’s ISIS.”
Like this, but American.
Remember, there is a POINT to demonization: Krauts, Japs, Gooks, Hajjis …
The point is to make the enemy the OTHER, and, therefore, killable. You’re not killing a human being with thoughts, feelings, goals, family, etc. just like you. No, you’re killing a filthy Kraut bastard. Well, note the use of “Leftists” and “liberals” these days. The dehumanization is intentional.
Timothy McVeigh, police artist’s sketch and mugshot (FBI)
I’m not going to bore you with a litany of Right Wing “lone wolf” assassins. Because “but Tommy did it TOO!” has never worked with anyone’s mother in the history of excuses, but which all media questioners are fatally flummoxed by, at least universally for the past 30 years or so. (That’s right, Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine and Rush Limbaugh took advantage of it thirty years ago this year. Someone bake a cake. The peasants are starving, after all.)
And nobody’s simon-pure. The Left has its own problems, as well, as seen in the Berkeley, California demonstrations against Yanno Yannopopolouse (before he shot down his own rising star) or the Portland Antifas (short for “antifascist”) and their violent tendencies.
A New Wave of Left-Wing Militants Is Ready to Rumble in Portland—and Beyond
Redneck Revolt and other groups have pledged to resist right-wing extremists by any means necessary.
MADISON PAULY | MAY/JUNE 2017 ISSUE
One week after two men were stabbed to death while defending two girls from a racist and Islamophobic diatribe on a commuter train, Portland, Oregon, is bracing for more violence. On Sunday, over the mayor’s objection, a right-wing group will hold a pro-Trump “free speech rally,” while anti-fascist activists are preparing to protest the gathering…. Yet joining up with the well-established networks of antifascists and anarchists is a new generation of militant organizers. In Portland, Rose City Antifa’s coalition at this weekend’s pro-Trump rally will include the local chapter of Redneck Revolt, a national network whose outreach has targeted right-wing militia members.
Redneck Revolt is just one among a handful of left-wing groups that have pledged to resist emboldened white supremacists and right-wing extremists through “direct action” that sometimes goes beyond nonviolent protest—including picking up arms. Some see themselves as the heirs of ’60s radicals like the Black Panthers, while others look to the antifa movement for inspiration. Here are a few … [Emphasis added.]
So, ten years later, what I was chastised for and BLAMED for attempting to incite by Sean Hannity, Brent Bozell and scaredy-cat Ted Nugent, is far closer than hoped. My intentionally hyperbolic language has had no effect, other than to serve as grist for Hannity the Manatee (h/t John Cleese) to hate-on on a slow news day. And for Ted Nugent to use as a “promo” appearance to push his CD “Love Grenade.” Clearly Milton must be looking in the rear-view mirror of his Poetmobile.
Our NOTION of a nation is being riven straight down the middle, and we are physically pulling apart. Problem is, in 1865 we didn’t have nuclear weapons. No loser would have been tempted to pull a “Samson” in an act of ultimate suicide bombing. I fear that the same thing will not hold in OUR little scuffle to come. (Remember, no one really took the Civil War seriously at the start. They thought it would be over in weeks, if not days.)
And yet there is no evidence that we are NOT headed there.
We have achieved a moment in which the two polarities occupy two incompatible competing “realities” — “real,” save for the fact that one reality is buttressed almost entirely with made-up facts and “fake news.” Oh, and projection. Not difficult to figure out which is which.
I no longer have dibs on Rush, because I view my ultimate priority as saving my beloved notion of a nation, not in justifiably executing those who gleefully participated in its attempted destruction.
Ten years later, I was entirely right, Nugent and Bozell were entirely wrong, and there is a mild coda I’d like to add, whether you believe it or not:
When Fox News ran that chyron on two separate days identifying me as an “assassin,” that WAS (probably, to a lawyer, certainly to a non-lawyer) libel. When Nugent called me an assassin (and then tried to claim someone else had done so), THAT was slander. Both were actionable, and I knew it. Think about it: you’ve been clearly and wrongly branded in the public mind as an “assassin” on NATIONAL TELEVISION. What would you do?
TIK TIK TIK TIK (insert Final Jeopardy Theme here.)
I decided NOT to pursue it. It might have been a nice chunk of change, sure.
But I know how these things are handled. Loss-Assessment says: “Settle.” And all know that the reasoning is that whether I’m right or not, there’s a good enough probability that a court will find in my behalf that it’s cheaper to pull out the checkbook. But there is ALWAYS a catch.
They want you to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
You see what happened to all the women that Fox News settled with over Ailes’ and O’Reilly’s and now the head of Fox Sports’ sexual harassments?
And, thought I, I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to ever let Rupert Murdoch buy so much as a paragraph of my silence.
Some things are beyond price.
UPDATE: I forgot, sad to say, to mention the proliferation of “open carry” and “concealed carry” guns since 2007. I really don’t need to tell you anything you don’t already know on that score. And the steady uptick in mass shootings. And in riots.
As did I fail to explicitly answer the question “Why does Ted Nugent fear Hart Williams? (by his own video testimony, see part i.)
Because he chose to either wilfully misinterpret or honestly fail to comprehend what it was that I said, the reason Ted Nugent fears me lies entirely between his own two ears.
Or, in the parlance of grade B horror films: “Get out! Get out now! The phone call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!”
This is part ii. Part i is here.
Copyright 2017 The Moderate Voice