Tuesday, June 27, 2023

So what's the Right Wing up to now? A survey from Poilievre to RFK to Jan 6 to yoga

First, a little Poilievre-bashing, because why not?
Hey, congrats to Olivia Chow, Toronto's new mayor - it's particularly gratifying to see her sailing into office on a tide of Conservative tears:

Moving on the United States, failson Robert Kennedy Jr is trying to make himself look like a credible presidential candidate by getting vaccine expert Peter Hotez to "debate" him. 
But Hotez knows very well how easy it is for jerks like Kennedy to "win" debates by lying whenever they need to. Also, Hotez has ethics - last week, he tweeted this thread about a particularly stupid Ross Douthat column (gift link):
Hotez doesn't hesitate to play whack-a-mole with Kennedy either, to diss him online whenever he pumps up (and yes, I really did mean that as a steroid reference!) A quick reference list of MAGA Republican beliefs, from Adam Kinzinger: What's next? Glad you asked: Hamilton Nolan writes a fascinating piece about how the religious right has damaged American democracy - We've Given Religion Too Much Respect:
The key problem that spawned January 6 was that the crowd believed something that was not true—namely, that the election was being stolen from Donald Trump. If you, for the sake of argument, imagine that that belief was true, then the actions that followed are not particularly outrageous. In fact, I would hope that if a presidential election ever is truly stolen in a brazen conspiracy of coordinated national voting fraud, thousands of angry citizens do flock to the Capitol to stop the certification of that fraudulent election.
... The January 6th crowd was operating on a false premise.... They were deranged, but not confused. If you want to address the root cause of the bubbling right wing extremism that is distressing the political establishment so much, you need to stop obsessing about tactics and decorum and focus on the ideas. The derangement is the thing. And if we are being intellectually honest, we must admit that there is a much bigger locus of derangement than QAnon forums or Trump speeches.
It’s politely referred to as “faith.” Faith! The belief in something just because you decide to believe it. Mainstream discourse has spent years now deriding the absurd lies of QAnon and Stop the Steal and all the lesser conspiracy theories that have enjoyed rising profiles in the Trump and post-Trump era. But all of these things, even the “Big Lie,” are babies compared to King Kong of American faith: religion. It is absurd for the same media that as a matter of course countenances prayer breakfasts and politicians proclaiming their love for Jesus to then denigrate the newer currents of faith that thousands of people followed directly to the Capitol on January 6. The “QAnon Shaman” in his face paint and head dress is no more ridiculous in substance or style than a Catholic priest in his robe and pendant proclaiming the holy liturgy. It’s little wonder that our nation’s press—the institution that everyone expects to shoot down lies of public importance—was unable to fact check our way out of Trumpism, after treating the pervasive mythology of Christianity with hushed respect for the last couple of centuries.
...I do not have the power to rip up the deep social and economic and political roots that Christianity has been sinking in America since its founding, to our collective detriment. I do, though, have the power to do a little press criticism. And we, the collective press, have been patsies on this issue. We have given religion far too much respect in the public sphere. We have allowed a belief in private religious liberty to be weaponized into a long-term campaign to make America a religious state. We’ve let faith become an acceptable answer to questions that it has no logical claim to answering. When, over decades and decades, the public square is not scrupulously tended to, it becomes choked with the weeds of superstition. If we welcome religion into politics as an equal, and never force the religious world to confront its own contradictions, we can hardly be surprised when its adherents sink so deeply into their bizarro beliefs that they act on them. They may be deranged. But they are not confused.

1 comment:

.e.a.f. said...

Thanks for the post and pictures. Really do have to wonder about some of those political types.