Fear, hate, violence

Violence Caused by Far-Right Extremists Has Surpassed That Caused by Domestic Jihadists, Study Says By Alice Speri, March 2, 2015  

Deep Anger: We need to rediscover something we lost along the way By Darren Fleet and Stefanie Krasnow / adbusters.org…In this world, when push comes to shove, most of us are too comfortable to care, too polite to speak out. With so much at stake we need to rediscover something we lost along the way: our anger…Dr. Glen Coulthard of the Yellowknife Dene, [and member of radical First Nations scholars] delivered a paper saying that folks on the front-lines of land, climate and environmental battles in Canada are tired of being told not to be angry; that given the ongoing process of colonization, theft and exploitation, anger is not only a natural response, but the only moral response. What he hinted at was a resurgent anger. Deep Anger…In our culture, anger is seen as impolite, brutish, violent and indulgent. It’s politically incorrect. It makes people squeamish. We’re afraid of anger like we’re afraid of obsessive passion and overt eroticism. Anger is dark and dirty, but Deep Anger is a form of empathy, care, even love…despite our civilization’s claim to reason, there is a deep irrationality, a fatal blind spot blocking out emotion and sanity. We’re so deeply in denial about what is happening to our planet that we’re risking our own extinction. Unless humanity breaks through the denial, unless we start to get angry…then we won’t ever be able to accept the challenge at hand…

Confronting the Politics of Paranoia and Narcissism: An “Old Europe” Alternative By Thomas J. Scott, Truthout, April 17, 2015 …anger has emerged with a passion as the Republican candidates for the 2016 election gear up for the party’s presidential nomination. The US public will be increasingly exposed to what [Richard] Hofstadter called the “paranoid style” of politics: discourse associated with “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness and conspiratorial fantasy.”

Scientific Studies Prove Some Right-Wingers And Rich People Really ARE Psychopaths (VIDEO), reverbpress.com by Elisabeth Parker, April 2, 2015…Recent scientific studies reveal that some right-wingers — and the rich CEOs they serve — really ARE psychopaths…The psychopath can have a variety of destructive and antisocial traits, but they always have one thing in common: Lack of empathy, and lack of remorse for the harm they cause. Dictionary.com defines the word as: “A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. […] Also called sociopath: a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts” Furthermore, there’s a particular type of psychopath who shows what is referred to as the “Dark Triad” of negative traits: Narcissism (a big ego), Machiavellianism (will do anything to get ahead, no matter how evil), and basic psychopathy. Because, seriously, there’s no other possible explanation for how right-wingers can deport children, cut food stamps, destroy our natural resources, deny couples the right to marry, force women to bear children against their will, and expect millions of their fellow Americans to work for slave wages, and still sleep at night. Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) is what makes Some Right-Wingers so mean…why these extreme right-wing positions so often seem contradictory, hypocritical, and crazy to the rest of us…“the defense of hierarchy is what conservatism’s all about,” …“The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.” [says John T. Jost, New York University]…Wikipedia explains, SDO is “a measure of an individual’s preference for hierarchy within any social system.” They add that this includes the “domination of lower-status groups.” Extreme right-wingers, of course, tend to have high SDO scores, believe in a “dog-eat-dog” world, and are hence more inclined to encourage — or at least accept — discrimination against women, people of color, LGBTs, non-Christians, immigrants, the poor, and even the merely not-rich. As explained in Wikipedia, people who fit the RWA profile are more inclined to obey people in power without question — but only when they’re seen as “legitimate” and not from Kenya — and to punish those who do not conform. “Right-wing authoritarians (RWA) are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.” That’s why they forgive the never-ending transgressions of those they see as their superiors, while piling on perceived enemies for far lesser crimes (#BENGHAZI!). The majority of RWAs are highly conventional as people, and more inclined to follow orders and go along with their crowd.

Violence Caused by Far-Right Extremists Has Surpassed That Caused by Domestic Jihadists, Study Says By Alice Speri, March 2, 2015  

Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ By ERIC LIPTON, OCT. 30, 2014 — Richard Berman, a political consultant, said oil and gas industry officials … must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,”

The U.S. Is Number One — But in What? By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network, October 13, 2014  No. 1- weapons exporter; violence and preparations for violence; more guns and gun-related deaths than any other country; capacity for violence

Right-Wing Militias Are Thriving — and the Media Won’t Talk About It by Paul Rosenberg, Salon, posted on Alternet.org, July 22, 2014 

How Conservative Radio Creates an Echo Chamber of Hate

America Can Be a Violent, Hateful Place: One Group Is Fighting Back By Frank Joyce, AlterNet, June 19, 2014    …Not In Our Town has evolved into a national movement to stop hate, address bullying and build safe, inclusive communities for all. NIOT harnesses the power of film and online media to change hearts and minds, and engages local communities on the ground in sustainable, long-term action. Racial, religious, ethnic, and gender divisions can undermine democracy and prevent people from participating in civic life. NIOT works to surface these issues and create community-wide solutions….

Americans Are More Likely to Be Killed by Right-Wing Terrorists Than Muslims—But the Media’s Afraid to Say It By CJ Werleman, AlterNet, May 20, 2014  … you are far more likely to be murdered by a far Right-wing American than a Muslim American, but the term “terrorist” remains reserved exclusively for acts of political violence carried out by Muslims. If terrorism is defined as violence against innocent civilians designed to advance a political cause, then all racist murders that occur in the U.S. are also acts of terrorism, because the perpetrators commit the violent act to send a political message to minority communities (i.e. intimidate them into a subordinate status.).. In the years 1990 to 2010, there were 145 acts of political violence committed by the American far Right, resulting in 348 deaths. By comparison, 20 Americans were killed over the same period in acts of political violence carried out by Muslim-American civilians…. our conception of the terrorist threat is shaped more by ideology than objectivity… The Southern Poverty Law Center calculates there are 939 far right-wing hate groups across the country today, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, border vigilantes and others…The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012. The number fell to 1,096 in 2013,” the SPLC calculates. Yet terrorism and racist violence are not considered to be equally significant threats by the U.S. government and the mainstream media……Like the violent acts we normally think of as terrorism, racist violence not only takes the lives of its immediate victims, but also sends a larger message of fear to the wider population… The growth in far Right extremism is fueled not only by a right-wing echo chamber that legitimizes false propaganda about immigrants and other minorities, but also, in part, by liberal timidity, which is why Sen. Reid’s use of the term “domestic terrorist” is an important step forward in dealing with the threat of far Right extremism. I mean, terrorism.

The politics of hatred by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, The Washington Post, June 11, 2012 -  …I believe the worst legacy of Richard Nixon is the soul-destroying hatred that he himself described and that he bequeathed to the nation…Nixon saw he had destroyed himself, but he also bequeathed a politics of hatred to the country that is still destroying us at the most fundamental level. This is a soul-destroying hatred of one another; the idea that it is not enough to simply achieve one’s policy aims in politics, it is necessary to obliterate the other side. I believe that nations, like individuals, have souls.…Nixon attacked our most cherished national value: the rule of law…Nixon was a master of playing off one group of Americans against another…Nixon realized that political power in an enduring sense could be gained from making Americans permanently resent and even fear each other…Anger that is “profound and long-lasting,” however, is best described as hatred. Hatred is a deep-seated aversion to either individuals or groups that goes well beyond anger, though it is born in anger..Soul-destroying hatred is too high a price for any nation to pay for political power…We should therefore judge our political candidates and political parties on whether they pursue a politics of love and justice, or a politics of hatred. Then, and only then, can we as Americans finally escape the legacy of Richard Nixon.

Have They No Shame? By Sally Steenland, Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress posted on HuffingtonPost.com, 10/02/2013

Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Movement Expands for the Fourth Year in a Row, SPLC Intelligence Report  By Mark Potok,  Alternet.org March 7, 2013…Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify…

We Need a Little Fear by Jonathan Haidt, New York Times, November 7, 2012 How will our still divided government deal with our mounting threats and challenges? Shared fear can help. A national election focuses our attention on a single level of competition — political party versus political party…Since the 1990s we’ve been stuck at one level — party versus party. Partisanship is not a bad thing. We need multiple teams to develop competing visions for voters to choose among. But when so many of our leaders can’t even occasionally place national interest before party interest, we’ve crossed over into hyperpartisanship. And that’s a very bad thing, because it amplifies other problems like the debt crisis, the absence of a rational immigration policy and our aging infrastructure. We the people bear some of the blame for what’s happened in Congress, for we, too, have become more angrily partisan. So what can we do to pull ourselves up to that higher level? How can we unite not just with our brothers and sisters, but with our cousins? One way is to focus on common threats, rather than on common ground… It’s only the threat of the stranger that brings the extended family together… We’re in big trouble, and anyone who does that hyperpartisan stuff now should be ashamed — or kicked out of office

Anger Can Be Power By THOMAS B. EDSALL, New York TImes, October 8, 2013 These are extraordinary times. The depth and strength of voters’ conviction that their opponents are determined to destroy their way of life has rarely been matched, perhaps only by the mood of the South in the years leading up to the Civil War…They lack the power to control their own government. But they still have just enough to shut it down. Animosity toward the federal government has been intensifying at a stunning rate. In a survey released on Sept. 23, Gallup found that the percentage of Republicans saying the federal government has too much power — 81 percent — had reached a record-setting level. The movement to the right on the part of the Republican electorate can be seen in Gallup surveys calculating that the percentage of Republicans who identify themselves as conservative grew between 2002 and 2010 by 10 percentage points, from 62 to 72 percent. During the same period, the percentage of Republicans who identify themselves as moderates fell from 31 to 23 percent. These trends date back to the 1970s.…pollster Stan…Greenberg’s premise is that “you cannot understand the government shutdown unless you understand the G.O.P. from the inside.” Greenberg puts Republicans into three categories: evangelical and religiously observant voters (47 percent); libertarian-leaning Tea Party supporters (22 percent); and moderates (25 percent).…One of the key factors pushing Republicans to extremes, according to Greenberg’s report, is the intensity of animosity toward Obama…the base supporters are very conscious of being white in a country with growing minorities. Their party is losing to a Democratic Party of big government whose goal is to expand programs that mainly benefit minorities. Race remains very much alive in the politics of the Republican Party. Voters like this, according to the report, are convinced that they have lost the larger battle:… Republicans see a president who has fooled and manipulated the public, lied, and gotten his secret socialist-Marxist agenda done. Republicans and their kind of Americans are losing… They believe this is an electoral strategy — not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. “These voters think they are losing the country,…The evangelical and Tea Party wings of the Republican Party combine into a clear majority of Republican voters...Big government, Obama, the loss of liberty, and decline of responsibility are central to the Tea Party worldview….A determined minority can do a lot in our system. It has already won the battle for the hearts and minds of the Republican House caucus. That is not a modest victory.

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