the sky is perpetually falling

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Rick Perlstein writes that "There's nothing new under the wingnut sun," calling out Chicken-Little Conservatism by noting that "for generations we have shared our America with Americans who fear change, fear difference, fear you and me, fear everything falling apart:"

So much so that they organize their lives and politics around staving off the fear--which often entails taking political action that only makes America more fearful and dangerous in for everyone; which destroy the trust and love it takes to sustain communities; and who reinforce one another in their fear to such a degree that the less crazy among them surely play a positive role in spurring the more crazy to the kind of awful acts we see around us now. We need to better understand where that comes from, and why it is not going away.

Perlstein looks back to the early-1960s "Minutemen" carrying on the proud paranoia of McCarthyite anti-communism:

Make no mistake: armed right-wing enclave-defenders aren't just a function of their hatred for Democrats; they are also enabled by Democrats who braid paranoia into the political identity of the nation--Cold War paranoia then, "Homeland Security" paranoia now.

He also notes their Red-Dawn mentality which posits "Enclaves of innocents, always ever threatened by sudden siege by dread unnamed Others:"

There's nothing new under the wingnut sun--only that, these days, you're more likely to find ideas that once upon a time might have got you laughed off as a kook aired out in front of respectable congressional committees.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 3, 2013 11:35 AM.

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