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I'm sure we all have our right wing relatives and friends who we used to pal around with, even though we both knew that deep down we did not share much of the same views on life.  Political debates never got nasty nor did one side enter into a trance where they started reciting strange talking points and ideas you never knew anyone with any sort of education or even just basic humanity would ever say out loud.  It's becoming more apparent that as time goes on, the internet has offered so many avenues for self indoctrination that it's taken people on the right and galvanized them into this form that no one, not even their own relatives, could ever recognize.  Slavoj Zizek was right.  When the left fails, the far right flourishes.  I know that there has to be equally batshit right wingers of many varieties in the Nordic countries, in S. Korea, and Switzerland, but the people of those countries seem to have a lid on them somehow, mainly because much of what the left has to offer is successful.  Why fix what isn't broken?

I'm saying this because a lot of my friends are radicalizing, and they are in the under 30 crowd.  The anti-government religion (and a religion it is, in all of its illogical glory) is strong with them now.  This doesn't bode well for the future, especially in a sea of Ron Paul worshipers, who are libertine for social issues, but utterly intractable for anything else.  I've had friends who were once Democrats become super religious and are now single issue anti-abortionists and others who admire wealth and aspire to be criminals-in-suits libertarians of the Grover Norquist mold.  It also makes talking with them about anything other than puppies and sunshine impossible, especially when they conflate I-pads with health care or start saying that rape is somehow God's gift.  They react to accusations that were never levied at them, arguments that no one made, and are incredulous that you don't think amorality is a viewpoint that should be legislated.  "Liberals always say that our policies are racist," to which you ask them for a concrete example and they stare at you blankly.  There's always a glimmer of human emotion, a splash of human sentiment that tells them that when they say a hospital should let someone die if they cannot pay, something is wrong with their morality.  Usually, this dies away once they start going on about some story about an authoritarian figurehead (or God if they happen to be Christian).  

To those of you who travel the Right Wing media circuit, and read the articles and comments...is there some mesmerizing quality to them?  What could take clearly educated people and make them think that having no co-pays for birth control pills, even if it were just for purely medical purposes, was somehow morally wrong, and that somehow it isn't being used as a political wedge issue?  I have a few ideas for why some of my friends have reached out to the right.  Life didn't go their way.  They're smart, but when push comes to shove they have to depend on parents, academia, or other friends and take wholly different life paths from what they started with.  Some had really traumatic personal events like a divorce or death in the family, and then they wholeheartedly jumped into the world of libertarian Jesus, never to look back.  I can see how failing to live up to what you were supposed to be would deflate your ego, but I have it worse than most of them, and I didn't give into fear and I most certainly won't accept the Darwinian cruelty of life without a fight.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, djbender

    Santorum/Bachmann 2012

    by sujigu on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 12:05:46 AM PDT

  •  actually, not really (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AsianAfricanAmerican

    My mom's family is near universally left wing, considering how many of them are Jewish or labor activists.  My father's family used to be progressive Republicans, then in the 70s when my dad became old enough to vote he left that tradition, and the rest of his family has either passed or followed him to become Democrats.  Only a couple branches of the family that we don't have much contact with are conservative.

    And despite growing up in a rural area, most of my closest friends from where I grew up are not conservative, though some are religious.  And I went to college in Eugene, Oregon, so no dice there, either.

    Don't get me wrong, I know conservatives and Republicans.  I'm fairly conservative myself, though I'm a Democrat.  I just don't have many in my family or among friends.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 01:29:36 AM PDT

  •  these people think they had a slice of the pie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, James Allen

    previously and that changes in society means they are being cheated out of their share.  They accept the RW meme that the reason that their slice is smaller is because women and minorities are getting a bigger slice or a slice at all.
    Reality is that the 1% is hogging the pie but to face the 1% takes guts and risk; beating up women and minorities takes little guts or risk or brains so they take the easy way out.

    An earlier diary was about taking pics of Koch Bros employees queuing up for a free lunch.  Immediately there was a cease and desist from a Koch Bros corporate lawyer.  Much easier to beat up on those beneath you instead of facing those who maybe can take away your little slice of pie.

    Short answer is those folks are economic cowards      

  •  I don't know about RW transformations (0+ / 0-)

    all of the people whom I knew went to religion had severe problems they weren't able to work out, whether it was a break up, drugs, alcohol, failure to manage their lives, some mental issue or depression.

    Once they did, they got so screwy I ended the associations.

  •  I haven't had a conversation... (0+ / 0-)

    ...with a reich-wing person (newly-minted or otherwise) in at least twenty years. That may be the case because I socialize exclusively with folks who are poor, queer, sex-pigs, dopers, sex workers, undocumented immigrants and atheists and these folks traditionally don't have the luxury of sticking an inhumane selfish stick up their asses.

  •  Levels of shallowness that (0+ / 0-)

    sounds pretty par for the course.Why do you say that these folks changed?What deeply held beliefs have they exchanged for their FOXian libertarianism or RWingery?

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:13:51 AM PDT

  •  "Those people are lazy and don't want to work". (0+ / 0-)

    Their argument really starts to ring hollow when there aren't enough jobs. Have you seen any empty shelves in any stores lately? Had any trouble finding people to supply services at a reasonable price? The "free market" is obviously not providing enough jobs. The government has to step in.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:44:09 AM PDT

    •  a slight re-definition of the problem, if I may (0+ / 0-)
      The "free market" is obviously not providing enough jobs. The government has to step in.
      The problem is defined as "There aren't enough jobs." You have asserted that the government must solve this problem. I disagree that the government is automatically the best and only source of solutions. That may be the case, but let us not limit ourselves this early in the problem-solving process.

      I submit a re-wording. "Our society has to step in. One of our society's best tools to solve this might be our government, along with many other tools at hand."

      Less "WAAAAH!", more progress.

      by IndyGlenn on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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