We humans are hard wired to be tribal creatures – it is how we survived. This internal programing has historically been used by those seeking power by making us fear “the other” tribe. The tribe can be defined by religion, ideology, race, etc. Joseph McCarthy used fear of the communists in the 50s to increase his own power and ruined the lives of many people in the process. While Joseph McCarthy is dead he is at the same time alive and well in the FOX “news” talk radio Republican party. This is not your father’s Republican party. Not the party of Eisenhower or Nixon – not even the party of Goldwater or Reagan. There is a new and perhaps as powerful Joseph McCarthy and his name is Andrew Breitbart. He has with the assistance of FOX News destroyed the career of Shirley Sherrod. And he is powerful – his posting of comments out of context not only resulted in her forced resignation but condemnation by the NAACP. The NAACP has retracted its condemnation but the damage is done. A few years ago I never would have thought I would be linking to Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs but he has seen the light.
Andrew Breitbart: the heir to Joseph McCarthy, destroying people’s reputations and jobs based on deliberately distorted allegations, while the rest of the right wing blogs cheer. Disgusting. This is what has become of the right wing blogosphere — it’s now a debased tool that serves only to circulate partisan conspiracy theories and hit pieces.
Is there a racist element to the tea party? Not the right question! Is there a tribal element to the tea party movement? Of course there is – and Andrew Breitbart and FOX News are using it.
Ron can also be found at Newshoggers