The monsters are coming.
I was, at first, horrified and shocked by the violence in Norway, but, while I am still horrified and saddened, I became less shocked as the details came out about the shooter: an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, nationalist, anti-cultural assimilation (that’s a euphemism for an advocate of “white power”) fundamentalist Christian who believed he was on a “crusade” (another of their dog-whistle words) and that this bloody killing spree was “atrocious, but necessary.”
Because he’s white and Christian (and not a Muslim), the papers will say he’s a “lone wolf” and that he’s “insane” – just like they said about Jared Laughner, Scott Roeder, Timothy McVeigh and the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building, the still-uncaught person who sent deadly anthrax to liberal Dems in Washington — and on and on and on.
Yes, Anders Behring Breivik is most definitely murderously insane (that’s a given) – my point is that conservatism as it has evolved (or devolved) these days has created an environment of hatred and fear coupled with the not-always unspoken, but always implied, belief that the white race is superior and is under attack from …the Others (read that liberals and all the brown people – Muslims, Mexicans, blacks, you name the race/color/religion and lots of conservatives are afraid of it and want it dead).
Yes, like these hate-and-fear-filled people everywhere, Anders Breivik is insane – but he is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “lone wolf.” Mr. Brevik and those like him are entering the mainstream of our world-wide political reality. America is not the only nation to spawn a plethora of crazy, hate-filled, bigoted religious Christian fundamentalists who have thrust themselves into the public spotlight and into public office by playing strongly to the fears and bigotries and hatreds of the people. Holland has its own share of crazies, in politicians like Geert Wilders, an avowed anti-Muslim, pro-white “freedom fighter” (his own words) who is out to save the world from Muslims.
Who is going to save the world from him and Anders Behring Breivik?
No, Mr. Breivik is not a “lone wolf.” Mr. Breivik is a manifestation of the soul-sickness that right wing conservatism has become.
If you view the deeds of these “lone wolves” through the lens and the repetitive message of their extreme rightwing conservatism, it makes complete sense: “The others are dangerous. Liberals are dangerous. Muslims are dangerous. Immigrants are dangerous. Anyone who doesn’t look like you is dangerous. Anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as you do is dangerous. They are going to take your freedom, your guns, your money, your daughters, your lives. You must hate them…and you must (fill in the blank with crazy).”
Today, we hear that same theme underscoring the words of the contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. And very few of us blink. The media worshipfully repeats these extreme right-wing talking points; and, in fact, one entire network is devoted to promoting these same ugly talking points 24/7/365 – and an alarmingly large number of Americans are now walking through this house of mirrors, immune to what we would have found shockingly bigoted or even crazy as little as ten years ago. Outright hatred of Muslims, LGBT people, liberals and immigrants has now become the norm in right wing politics.
Herman Cain believes that Muslims ought not to be allowed to build mosques here in America, because it’s a violation of separation of church and state. His twisted reasoning is that because Sharia law is part of the Muslim faith, it violates the First Amendment. Of course, Mr. Cain’s belief that America is a Christian nation that ought to be run on Biblical principles does not violate the First Amendment (that is, of course, different). Michele Bachmann has expressed any number of bigoted and ignorant beliefs, including denial of global climate change and her pigheaded insistence that she will not vote to raise the debt ceiling (after undoubtedly doing just that seven times during the Bush administration) because of the Socialist-Marxist-Kenyan in the White House. Rick Santorum is just a different face, spouting more of the same ugliness.
The others, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman – are all more reasonable men, who unfortunately, are tripping over themselves to pander to the extremists who are now in control of the far right – and the Republican Party. Not one of them has the courage to speak up against this flood of ugly bigotry and to put it bluntly, insanity. Not one.
And we all ought to find that very frightening; you see, ostensibly to counter the threat of Muslim extremism, conservatives have created their own monster. In real life. The conservative monster hates liberals, and believes that shooting a woman in the head at point-blank range or shooting children of liberals at a summer camp is ‘necessary.’
The monsters are coming. And I, as a liberal, a Democrat, an atheist and a woman, am beginning to feel that I have a target on my back – because the monsters from both sides hate me.