Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Brownshirting of America

Kudos to Paul Craig Roberts for having the cajoles to bring up an issue that I've been noticing myself for quite some time now. In his most recent column, "The Brownshirting of America", Roberts dissects the degenerative discourse skills that plague many of those Americans who fit the label of die-hard Bush supporters. As Roberts states himself within this fine piece:
Bush’s conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country.

I remember when conservatives favored restraint in foreign policy and wished to limit government power in order to protect civil liberties. Today’s young conservatives are Jacobins determined to use government power to impose their will at home and abroad.

Later on, in reference to a book by David Brock, Roberts goes on to say:
Nevertheless, 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.

Scary stuff we're dealing with these days, huh? I have noticed many people who meet this type of description simply within the confines of the interweb and talk radio, the latter being the breeding ground of much of this madness. I luckily haven't experienced much hostility out in the real world yet, although I did recieve a few evil looks on Friday night from people who apprarently didn't appreciate the t-shirt I was wearing, which has the Arabic term for "liberty" on it.


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