Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Ugly Face of the Republican "Base"

by Norman Markowitz

In their desperation, the rightwing "base" that the Republicans have been pandering to is becoming more hysterical and potentially more dangerous. A former student sent me an email mentioning that he and a friend, showing support for Obama in a bar, had a thuggish character turn and say "anyone who doesn't vote for McCain is an N------ lover" and threaten violence. The Internet is filled with the sort of crude big lies and conspiracy theories for McCain that are Hitlerian in their hysteria --Black Muslims, millionaires, Communists, socialists, homosexuals, liberal media,all connected in great web to put Obama in the White House and keep "war hero" and "American" John McCain out.

It does no good to answer such comments with reason and evidence because they have nothing to do with reason and/or evidence.

Anger, serious anger, can be a creative force in history. By that I mean the anger of working people as they become conscious of their class position and exploitation; the anger of people who come to understand that they have been sent to fight and die in wars and occupations by exploiters and oppressors whose only interest is in there wealth and power; the anger of those who come to realize that they have been lied to about the world, their society, and the events of the moment all of their lives by the powers that be. That anger can produce organization and focus that can lead to substantive change, even revolutionary change in specific contexts.

But that has nothing to do with the anger of those who, in a line from the old musical Auntie Mame, have "braces on their brains," who scream "America" the way Adolf Schickelgrubber screamed "Deutsch land" and that is the anger that we see in the McCain rallies, the Palin rallies, on the Internet, and in the streets. It is the anger of political minority
headed searching for scapegoats for the general disaster that its "leaders" have created.

What we can do is stand up to them in a united way, not be afraid of their bullying, and make it clear that it is they who will have to come to terms with the real world unless they want to enter into to turn their "communities" into bunkers and let the the" real America" which is always something that is changing and developing, not their self-hatred masquerading as self love. They are losing and losing badly and they know it. We can and must continue to advance on a broad front and bring about the largest victory possible at all levels. That, in the midst of this continuing economic crisis is becoming more and more probable, whereas a few weeks ago it was possible.