Friday, October 15, 2004
The Brownshirting of America
UPDATE: Also of interest is the links page at Counterpunch. Not my usual web fare but I like getting a swift kick in my beliefs in erratic doses. Some of these sites are, mmm, challenging. These are Counterpunch's "favorite websites. We've picked sites that we've found useful, amusing and, occasionally, outrageous. Not all of them mirror our politics, of course. But most display a certain energy and zest that make them worth a serious look." A few of the links seem to be outdated or dead.
Nevertheless, [David] Brock makes a credible case that today's conservatives are driven by ideology, not by fact. He argues that their stock in trade is denunciation, not debate. Conservatives don't assess opponents' arguments, they demonize opponents. Truth and falsity are out of the picture; the criteria are: who's good, who's evil, who's patriotic, who's unpatriotic.
These are the traits of brownshirts. Brownshirts know they are right. They know their opponents are wrong and regard them as enemies who must be silenced if not exterminated.
Some of Brock's quotes from prominent conservative commentators will curl your toes. His description of the rightwing's destruction of an independent media and the 'Fairness Doctrine' explain why a recent CNN/Gallup poll found that 42% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 terrorist attack on the US and 32% believe that Saddam Hussein personally planned the attack.