How much does right-wing rhetoric contribute to right-wing terrorism?


Goober
+1
#1
How much does right-wing rhetoric contribute to right-wing terrorism? (external - login to view)

Yesterday, a man and a woman shot two police officers in a Las Vegas restaurant after saying, “this is a revolution.” Then they draped their bodies in a Gadsden flag. According to reports now coming in, the couple (who later killed themselves) appear to have been white supremacists and told neighbors they had gone to join the protests in support of anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy. It was one more incident of right-wing terrorism that, while not exactly an epidemic, has become enough of a trend to raise some troubling questions.

What I’m about to say will raise some hackles, but we need to talk about it. It’s long past time for prominent conservatives and Republicans to do some introspection and ask whether they’re contributing to outbreaks of right-wing violence.

Before I go on, let me be clear about what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that Republican members of Congress bear direct responsibility for everything some disturbed person from the same side of the political spectrum as them might do. I’m not saying that they are explicitly encouraging violence. Nor am I saying that you can’t find examples of liberals using hyperbolic, irresponsible words.

But what I am saying is this: there are some particular features of conservative political rhetoric today that help create an atmosphere in which violence and terrorism can germinate.

The most obvious component is the fetishization of firearms and the constant warnings that government will soon be coming to take your guns. But that’s only part of it. Just as meaningful is the conspiracy theorizing that became utterly mainstream once Barack Obama took office. If you tuned into one of many national television and radio programs on the right, you heard over and over that Obama was imposing a totalitarian state upon us. You might hear that FEMA was building secret concentration camps (Glenn Beck, the propagator of that theory, later recanted it, though he has a long history of violent rhetoric), or that Obama is seeding the government with agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. You grandfather probably got an email offering proof that Obama is literally the antichrist.

Meanwhile, conservatives have become prone to taking the political disagreements of the moment and couching them in apocalyptic terms, encouraging people to think that if Democrats have their way on any given debate, that our country, or at the very least our liberty, might literally be destroyed.

To take just one of an innumerable number of examples, when GOP Senator Ron Johnson says that the Affordable Care Act is “the greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime,” and hopes that the Supreme Court will intervene to preserve our “last shred of freedom,” is it at all surprising that some people might be tempted to take up arms? After all, if he’s right, and the ACA really means that freedom is being destroyed, then violent revolution seems justified. Johnson might respond by saying, “Well, of course I didn’t mean that literally.” And I’m sure he didn’t — Johnson may be no rocket scientist, but he knows that despite the individual mandate going into effect, there are a few shreds of freedom remaining in America.

But the argument that no sane person could actually believe many of the things conservatives say shouldn’t absolve them of responsibility. When you broadcast every day that the government of the world’s oldest democracy is a totalitarian beast bent on turning America into a prison of oppression and fear, when you glorify lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy, when you say that your opponents would literally destroy the country if they could, you can’t profess surprise when some people decide that violence is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.

To my conservative friends tempted to find outrageous things liberals have said in order to argue that both sides are equally to blame, I’d respond this way: Find me all the examples of people who shot up a church after reading books by Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, and then you’ll have a case.

In our recent history, every election of a Democratic president is followed by a rise in conspiracy-obsessed right-wing populism. In the 1960s it was the John Birch Society; in the 1990s it was the militia movement shouting about black UN helicopters, and during the Obama presidency it was the Tea Party. Some of those movements are ultimately harmless, but alongside and around them are people who take their rhetoric seriously and lash out in response. After these killings in Nevada, and the murders at a Jewish community center in Kansas, and the murders at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and multiple murders by members of the “sovereign citizens” movement in the last few years, it’s worth remembering that since 9/11, right-wing terrorism has killed many more Americans than al Qaeda terrorism.

And I promise you, these murders in Nevada will not be the last. It may be going too far to say that conservative politicians and media figures whose rhetoric has fed the deranged fantasies of terrorists and killers have blood on their hands. But they shouldn’t have a clear conscience, either.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1 / -1
#2
It's like the Hulk. They don't create crazy, they just aim it.

It's only fair. We had the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Brigades, the SDS. It's the right wing's turn.
 
Goober
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

It's like the Hulk. They don't create crazy, they just aim it.

It's only fair. We had the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Brigades, the SDS. It's the right wing's turn.

SDS, how many deaths|?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

SDS, how many deaths|?

Cherry-picking? Baader-Meinhof, Red Brigades, SLA, Black Panthers, how many deaths?

Unless your logic is "the SDS didn't kill anybody, which proves no left-wing group ever killed anybody!"

Is that your argument?

Hey! Here's a notion. Let's count up left-wing killings and right-wing killings, and you can use that to "prove" whatever point you think you have!
 
Goober
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Cherry-picking? Baader-Meinhof, Red Brigades, SLA, Black Panthers, how many deaths?

Unless your logic is "the SDS didn't kill anybody, which proves no left-wing group ever killed anybody!"

Is that your argument?

Hey! Here's a notion. Let's count up left-wing killings and right-wing killings, and you can use that to "prove" whatever point you think you have!

No, you used 2 known groups that killed, and one that did not. My I am just a DDH, kinda slow and all on the uptake.
And no that is not my argument.
I posted an OP.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post


To my conservative friends tempted to find outrageous things liberals have said in order to argue that both sides are equally to blame, I’d respond this way: Find me all the examples of people who shot up a church after reading books by Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, and then you’ll have a case.

Sure, soon as you demonstrate the connection between Glenn Beck and right-wing murderers.

Quote:

In our recent history, every election of a Democratic president is followed by a rise in conspiracy-obsessed right-wing populism. In the 1960s it was the John Birch Society; in the 1990s it was the militia movement shouting about black UN helicopters, and during the Obama presidency it was the Tea Party. Some of those movements are ultimately harmless, but alongside and around them are people who take their rhetoric seriously and lash out in response. After these killings in Nevada, and the murders at a Jewish community center in Kansas, and the murders at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and multiple murders by members of the “sovereign citizens” movement in the last few years, it’s worth remembering that since 9/11, right-wing terrorism has killed many more Americans than al Qaeda terrorism.

Demonstrated any connection between those and Rush Limbaugh or Ted Cruz? No? OK. Bafflegab on, then.

This is way stupider'n your usual, Goob.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#7
I think the question any party (Left or Right) should ask themselves is whether they should be drawing a connection between extremism and political leanings. It is silly to do so. It's generalization and it's the old glass house reference. You could say Glen Beck, they say Senator Bird. Glen Beck is anything but a republican, he is a Libertarian with ties to the Tea Party Movement, but more so he is an opportunist who thrives on polarization. I'd agree that the gun laws in the US are ridiculous, but that does not make lawful gun owners tantamount to the idiots that carried out this attack and drawing a connection is short sighted.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#8
Thenk yew!
 
Goober
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Sure, soon as you demonstrate the connection between Glenn Beck and right-wing murderers.


Demonstrated any connection between those and Rush Limbaugh or Ted Cruz? No? OK. Bafflegab on, then.

This is way stupider'n your usual, Goob.

Stupid, well yes I can be.
Missed, of course there are things I miss.
Me perhaps more than others.
I miss my hair, I also miss my slimmer waist line.
My sanity, but on occasion it returns.
My humor, never missed, as it is always there.
Friends I have lost, miss them dearly.

But I do not think I missed the point he was making.

The point is rhetoric, allegations and intensity, is it not. Or have I missed the intent of the column?
 
taxslave
#10
I don't see any difference between right wingnut terrorists and left wingnut terrorists.
 
gopher
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

It's like the Hulk. They don't create crazy, they just aim it.

It's only fair. We had the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Brigades, the SDS. It's the right wing's turn.



Actually, the right wing KKK was America's original terrorist group and they've been around for a long time.
 
Walter
+2
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by gopherView Post

Actually, the right wing KKK was America's original terrorist group and they've been around for a long time.

And they were founded by Dems.
 
gopher
+1
#13
and today are mostly - well, you know what ...

... besides, there's always this to consider:


 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

And they were founded by Dems.

Quote: Originally Posted by gopherView Post

and today are mostly - well, you know what ...

Case in point. Neither the Dems or the Republicans are KKK, but some will go to great lengths to tar the other.
 
gopher
+1
#15
neither party is but individual members are such as David Duke who left the DP and is now GOP
 
Kreskin
#16
Masquerading as news organizations I primarily blame MSNBC and Foxnews for the sad state of idiocy.
 
BaalsTears
+2
#17
What happens when the rule of law breaks down? Fear grows. Frightened people are in a sense wounded. Wounded creatures are dangerous. Who is causing the rule of law to break down? People in power who ignore the law or who enforce it arbitrarily and capriciously. Does that sound like anyone we know?
 
Kreskin
+2 / -1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by BaalsTearsView Post

What happens when the rule of law breaks down? Fear grows. Frightened people are in a sense wounded. Wounded creatures are dangerous. Who is causing the rule of law to break down? People in power who ignore the law or who enforce it arbitrarily and capriciously. Does that sound like anyone we know?

It broke down when George Bush lost his marbles. Now we're dealing with the aftermath of that idiot.
 
mentalfloss
+1 / -1
#19
Funny, I can't find 'Moncton terrorist' anywhere on google.

Maybe if he was wearing a turban instead of an army outfit he might get the nod.
 
taxslave
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by BaalsTearsView Post

What happens when the rule of law breaks down? Fear grows. Frightened people are in a sense wounded. Wounded creatures are dangerous. Who is causing the rule of law to break down? People in power who ignore the law or who enforce it arbitrarily and capriciously. Does that sound like anyone we know?

Junior bush. But he has been gone for a while now but others may have drank the water at his place.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Funny, I can't find 'Moncton terrorist' anywhere on google.

Maybe if he was wearing a turban instead of an army outfit he might get the nod.

Thats because he is white. Whites can not be terrorists. Only raving loons with firepower.
 
EagleSmack
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by gopherView Post

Actually, the right wing KKK was America's original terrorist group and they've been around for a long time.

Democrat to the core.
 
BaalsTears
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by KreskinView Post

It broke down when George Bush lost his marbles. Now we're dealing with the aftermath of that idiot.

Has Obama improved the situation or had he made it worse?
 
EagleSmack
+2
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Case in point. Neither the Dems or the Republicans are KKK, but some will go to great lengths to tar the other.

The (newly) late Sen. Byrd

Senate Democrat and former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK



Quote: Originally Posted by KreskinView Post

It broke down when George Bush lost his marbles. Now we're dealing with the aftermath of that idiot.





Nothing to see here...move along
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by gopherView Post

neither party is but individual members are such as David Duke who left the DP and is now GOP

Again case in point. Scoring shots. The Bird vs Duke argument does not reflect either party, but I will concede that there are a racial elements in both.
 
gopher
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Democrat to the core.



The party of Washington & Jefferson.
 
tay
#26
After only one day Fox News has already eliminated coverage of the Tea Party Cop Killers in Las Vegas who went on a murderous rampage Sunday. On Monday, Fox's primetime programs (Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity) were silent on the subject except for four sentences on Kelly's show.


On Tuesday morning's edition of Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes failed to mention Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda. Later, on Happening Now, Fox ignored the story entirely. Outnumbered also declined to report on the Millers, despite having guest co-host "doctor" Keith Ablow who has psychoanalyzed every criminal (external - login to view), politician, and other public figure this century (without ever examining, or even meeting, any of them).


Fox has replaced the Sunday massacre with older stories about the Bergdahl prisoner swap, the Veterans Administration, and Hillary Clinton's book release and presidential aspirations. The producers and editors at Fox News have never been shy about reporting acts of alleged terrorism, even before any evidence has emerged. But for this story they have refused to even refer to the crime as terrorism (external - login to view).


There are some obvious reasons why Fox would skew their reporting and ultimately remove this story from their news coverage. And all of them represent biases that are a long-standing part of what can be called the Fox News Creed: Racism, Guns, Anti-Government, and Tea Party.


First of all, the perpetrators are not who Fox's racist producers typically profile as terrorists. Rather than being brown-skinned, Muslim, foreigners, the Millers are white Christians from Indiana. So not only would it run counter to Fox's philosophy to implicate the Millers in terrorism, it would offend their 90% white, right-wing audience.


Secondly, the issue raises concerns about access to dangerous firearms. The NRA constituency at Fox is loathe to focus on such events that make the public uncomfortable with the wild west society that is favored by the gun fetishists and right-wingers who program and watch the network. Fox avoids or downplays most stories about gun violence, but jumps on any report that they can frame as an Obama attempt to repeal the Second Amendment.


Thirdly, Fox is well known for promoting some of the very same political ideologies as the Millers. They have featured guests who advocate secession from the United States, as well as armed resistance to federal law and authorities. An example of that is the recent Cliven Bundy affair where Jerad Miller just happened to show up threatening to use "the language of violence" against representatives of the Bureau of Land Management. Fox has also hyped Republican leaders, like Texas governor Rick Perry, who have made public statements that come just short of declaring secession.


Finally, the Millers' association with Tea Party groups is something that Fox will work vigorously to excise from the public discourse. The Millers were supporters of the biggest Koch brothers-bankrolled Tea Party organizations (Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks), and openly espoused their anti-government views. It was only a matter of time before people who came to rallies with signs that said "We Came Unarmed - THIS TIME," would keep their promise of violence. Of course, Fox News also supports the same groups and views, and has been instrumental in creating and promoting the Tea Party. In fact, there would be no Tea Party without Fox News. Consequently, Fox is not going to risk alienating such a critical part of their audience.




Fox News Has Ceased Coverage Of Las Vegas Tea Party Cop Killers | News Corpse (external - login to view)
 
DaSleeper
+1
#27
And now they are Tea Party Member?.....Any Proof?
 
mentalfloss
-1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

And now they are Tea Party Member?.....Any Proof?

Is the fact that they are bat**** insane not good enough for you?
 
DaSleeper
#29
Explain this...
 
taxslave
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Is the fact that they are bat**** insane not good enough for you?

No because that would mean that all btes hit insane crazies would have to be Tea Partiers. Ican think of quite a few who fit that discription but would never belong to the Tea Party. David Suzuki and Paul Watson come to mind.
 

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