In my innocent youth -- my time of naivety about how the world really works -- I was more or less surrounded by howling packs of intellectually-challenged emotional morons, blatantly bigoted racists, quasi-neo-nazis and sheet-on-the-clothesline members of the KKK.
Mostly they were a squalid lot, a rabble of tarpaper-shack-dwelling semi-toothless goons with chronic white-lightnin' breath, tobacco stains on their chin-whiskers and family trees that looked like telephone poles.
But when I considered them, I thought two things that turned out to be problematical:
(1) These assholes were all old -- at least to my young eyes -- and how much time did they really have left to spew their bullshit anyway, and who would listen to it?So, obvious conclusion, all we had to do was basically wait it out until the old fuckers died off, and their attitudes and beliefs died along with them, and then we'd be free. Free at last. Yes, great gawdamighty, we'd be free at last.
(2) None of the younger generation -- my generation --shared their beliefs, not even their own children.
Except it didn't quite work out that way. Here it is, nearly 60 years after I arrived at those faulty conclusions, and this is what I observe now:
(1) They might have died off, but their ideas remain vibrant.Of course, looking back (in retrospect, which is the best way to do it...), I realize that even at that young age I would not have included in my circle of friends anyone who thought that way, which left me with a self-limiting sample, in statistical terms a bad thing.
(2) The younger generation that I knew personally was, apparently and evidently, an insufficiently diverse sample from which to draw any conclusions.
Which brings me to the news today, that the new president of an outfit called the Young Republicans is one Audra Shay (R-Deluded), who, at nearly 40, stretches the definition of "young", and who is just as racist and bigoted and psychotically paranoid and homophobic as those old geezers I knew 60 years ago.
Shay is actually little younger than Sarah Palin (R-Quitter), and it is just a little odd that someone who is approaching the age of 40 could be a leader of the YOUNG Republicans, but there she is, Audra Shay, now famous for her racist rants and her Bachmann-Beck-induced trumpeting of an impending Obamanation Meltdown.
In the meantime, our old friends the Freepers over at the so-called Free Republic website, are insulting the Obama daughters (children!) thusly: "A typical street whore ... A bunch of ghetto thugs ... Ghetto street trash ... Wonder when she will get her first abortion." (See the exposé of this over at The Political Carnival and brace yourself -- it's pretty ugly stuff). But this is really nothing new for the party of hate, whose spokesman and chief motherfucker Limbaugh said many years ago that Chelsea Clinton was the White House dog...
All of which goes to depress me some, knowing that I was wrong -- REALLY WRONG -- way back in the day. But that's not so depressing (if I started counting up everything that I've been wrong about in my life, the numbers would outlast the days I have left until my biblically-allotted threescore and ten...) as the fact that this shit is still with us, and it seems to be getting more virulent.
And in the famous words quoted from William Shakespeare by Edward R. Murrow when he was basically the only person to stand up to Joseph McCarthy: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves."
In other words, we let this happen. We let people like Audra Shay and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin and Michael "Savage" Wiener and the hundreds of other raucous voices braying Big Lies over a public airway at an uniformed populace without break, without end, and without correction.
I'm for free speech as much as anyone, but in the words of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., free speech does not extend to "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre".
And no, I don't have any immediate solutions. But these people have an immense amount of psychological power over their sheeple listeners and they need to be dealt with somehow. I'm not so much in favor of silencing their voices (except on a personal level -- after all, I did challenge Limbaugh to a wild-west shootout...), but I do like the idea of boycotting their sponsors.
If anyone can provide a comprehensive list -- hell, even a semi-comprehensive list -- of the sponsors of hate-talk/lie-talk venom, including Faux News and the manifestly-misnamed Excellence in Broadcasting Network (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rush Limbaugh), I'd be glad to promote it.
One of our biggest problems over here on the left is that we lack the Nazi-like organization, the Gestapo-like regimentation, and the blind willingness-to-follow-any-orders-at-all that the right wing has been perfecting for years, and that lack of lock-step skills has left us in the lurch so many times. The very fact that I can't seem to find a comprehensive list of the sponsors of hate talk illustrates this.