I found two posts today that I want to share. One is a really beautifully written piece on the DailyKOS. Hunter manages to be funny while skewering the Right over their idiotic obsession with ACORN.
After reading this post, the thing I came away with, besides a general damn I wish I could write like that, was that the Conservative pundits, talk-radio hosts and "newscasters" on Fox and all their talk about socialism, fascism and left-wing radicals really boils down to just one thing. Fear. Fear of the other. Fear of change. Fear of loss of power. The pundits and their ilk are pandering to this fear. From blaming ACORN for the financial melt down for forcing the banking industry to give loans to minorities and the underlying racism that implies to calling everything that President Obama does a step on the road to (fill in the blank); this kind of fear mongering brings out the worst in people. The fear-mongering of Fox News is outrageous. It seeks to inspire hatred and fear in its viewers for the sake of ratings. But they are not alone. There's a long list of Conservatives that seek to stir that pot in an attempt to retake power.
The other post is on a blog called Orcinus. This post goes into some really thorough detail on the current use and misuse of the term fascism and in particular Glen Beck's general level of idiocy. It's well thought out, well researched and thoroughly takes Beck to task for his reinterpretation of history. The Right has thrown about the terms socialism and fascism a lot lately. Not only that, the Republicans seem intent on spinning our history in such a way that seems to have little or no resemblance to reality. When Glen Beck can say that Theodore Roosevelt started the US on the path to fascism by adopting Progressive positions that betrayed the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, there's a real problem; in part because so few people remember enough of their history classes to realize just how idiotic that statement is. I encourage you to read Orcinus and the history lesson he provides to clarify the situation.
Taken together, the two posts are a glorious explanation of the times in which we find ourselves living. On one hand we have the psychological explanation of Hunter on the DailyKOS and the other is Orcinus and his political science lesson. Together, they make clear the dangers of what we face.
In my opinion, one the worst things about this entire situation is that the mainstream media will not refute what Fox and their Conservative "experts" say. In their desire to present both sides of the story they've chosen to ignore reality. Some of the issues we face are so complex that their reality is difficult to see, admittedly. Yet, why is it that the best journalism in this country is not found on CNN or in the pages, real or virtual, of the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal but instead on Comedy Central and on the many websites large and small of the Internet? Why? Because the MSM has abdicated their responsibility under the guise of fairness. And that is the real reason why they're dying. Not that I advocate a newspaper endorsing political candidates or a news channel spinning the news. Instead, responsible Journalism is about reporting the truth and making complex issues understandable. It doesn't assume that two competing viewpoints are both factual and give them equal weight. It seeks to reveal the agendas of the newsmakers so that we can form our own educated opinion and doesn't simply tell us what to think. At least, that's what I was taught when I got my degree in Journalism.