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We're currently reading Bill O'Reilly's "Culture Wars," and his work is revealing, to say the least. On the one hand, there are the "secular progressives," a group of atheistic people in the media along with the ACLU and similar such institutions funded by George Soros and Peter Lewis, with George Lakoff being the brains behind the show. On the other hand, there are the "traditionalists" like him who watch FOX News for a "fair and balanced" look at the world today.

According to Bill O'Reilly, Soros, Lewis, and Lakoff are architects of a grand conspiracy to ruin the traditional American way of life dreamed up by the Founding Fathers and passed on for the last 230+ years. They allegedly have allies in the ACLU, who relies on left-wing activist judges to bypass the will of the people. And other allies include key media figures like Rather, Brokaw, Moyers, and Cronkite, the latter who sprung the then-secret P-C agenda on this country during his time as an anchor in part by giving more critical coverage to Nixon than Johnson and covering up for Kennedy.

The book was written back in 2006, when a Democratic wave was tanking Bush's popularity and taking back control of the House and Senate. The problem is that a lot of his arguments are built on straw men and faulty assumptions that don't hold water.

We reject O'Reilly's frame that this is somehow a culture war between the "progressive secularists" and the "traditionalists." Personally, I don't care if someone lives a "traditional" way of life, marries one wife for better or worse, has two kids, works 9 hours a day, goes to church every Sunday, and pursues health and wealth. The book was written in 2006, but now that Barack Obama is President, I can safely say that nobody in my Deep Red neck of the woods has gotten a call from the White House, the FBI, or the Secret Service telling us to stop our way of life or else. I am sure everyone here feels the same way.

The problem comes when people try and force that way of life on others. Therefore, I reject the frame that O'Reilly posits. Instead, I see this as a battle between the police state mentality that pervades too many governmental, political, and ideological interests, and the 99% of us of all economic classes, races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations who simply want to live our own lives without Big Brother standing over us and telling us that our lifestyle is somehow immoral and destroying this country.

What O'Reilly misses is that there are some things that are thought of as sinful by the church, but are not appropriate for the government to regulate. Should the government regulate sexuality because the Bible proscribes adultery in both the Old Testament and the New? Should the government ban Islam because they don't accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior? Should the government force you to wear a recorder on your body so that they can analyze your speech and determine if you are lying or not? After all, lying is prohibited by the Bible.

O'Reilly claims to occupy the middle ground between the extremists on the right and the extremists on the left. Yet most of his criticisms in the book are directed at the left, and not the right. The latter criticisms are there, but not as prevalent as the ones at the left. While the Police State mentality that is infesting our country did not originate with George Bush, he enacted the most draconian rollback of civil liberties in our country's history following the tragic 9/11 attacks. People like Russ Feingold who stood up and said that this was wrong were too far and few in between.

One of the things he constantly decries is the work of the ACLU, which he claims makes a mockery of our political system by bypassing the will of the American people. But he can't even get his facts straight on basic Civics 101. Our country has checks and balances and three branches of government so that one group doesn't get too powerful. One of those branches is the judiciary. Furthermore, the First Amendment grants the people the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. That is why open access to the courts is always practiced. The ACLU's actions are completely in accordance with the Constitution.

Furthermore, while public opinion is important, protecting the Constitution is not a popularity contest, which the ACLU understands and O'Reilly doesn't. The Constitution was designed to protect this country against the tyranny of the majority, which is why we eventually got Brown vs. Board of Education and subsequent rulings. Even if they were not the popular thing to do, they were the right thing to do.

And while O'Reilly decries what he sees as attacks on Christianity and Christmas in favor of the Big Bad Commies, Christianity organized a socialistic system of governance in which everyone had everything in common 1800+ years before Karl Marx thought up Socialism. Your salvation was measured by how well you provided for the poor among whom you lived, not whether you called Jesus "Lord." The notion of Universal Salvation was common in the early church for the first four centuries.

In one section of his book, O'Reilly scaremongers about how society will fall apart if drugs were ever legalized. This was written in 2006. Now, in 2014, pot has been legalized in Washington and Colorado, and the sky has not fallen. In fact, crime dropped in Colorado.

Besides the straw man that we are somehow out to get the Traditional American Family, another one of O'Reilly's straw men is the notion that we somehow believe in equality of result. That is not true either. But what we do know is that no society with an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor can sustain itself in the long run. It may be 100, 200, or 400 years from now, but such a society is doomed to fail and collapse at some point.

The police state that was sprung on us by the Bush administration and promoted by O'Reilly and friends has two parts. The first is the loss of civil liberties. But the other part is the loss of economic liberty that our forefathers organized, fought for, and died for during the turn of the 20th century. Certain governmental, political, and ideological elements would like nothing more than to force us all to work 16 hours a day with no time for family and friends because we're all drowning in thousands of dollars in debt and because we're all making substandard wages. That's the sort of thing that would make the high-priced law firms that the right says they're against happy.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wouldn't screw O'Reilly with (7+ / 0-)

    either of my gay exes on either side, and one of them was a Republican.

    Puts his sqarely in the middle, no?

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:11:21 AM PDT

  •  Billo's middle ground (9+ / 0-)

    It's about an inch to the left of Beck.

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:48:07 AM PDT

  •  O'Reilley is at best... (7+ / 0-)

    A relic of a bygone era, a bombastic broadcaster in the style of Paul Harvey, Joe Pyne, and Alan Burke, who ruled the roost on the radio and "Mad Men" era TV before Limbaugh et al gave their schtick the overtly partisan cast it has now.  I've seen mediocrities like him come and go on local stations across the land.

    The church and state separation thing is difficult for many to understand and thus easily exploited by cheapshot artists like O'Reilley.  

    Thanks for the commentary. I'm glad you read this dreck so I didn't have to.  

    Oh, and one footnote:  I worked with a kind of clueless, about many things, African-American who previously held ministerial positions in a conservative but multiracial denomination.  He was a pleasant fellow but tended to keep to himself.  He never displayed a picture of his (white) wife and multiracial children and was I suppose understandably sensitive about that.  I gathered that, from seeing what he was reading duirng his lunch hour, that he was probably under the influence of some right-wing mentor.  Well, a couple of years back, I drew his name to be his "Secret Santa" and as such got his wish list which was for a certain Contemporary Christian CD and O'Reilley's book about Lincoln (which was said to full of inaccuracies).  I had no probelm getting the CD for him but I seriously contemplated to instead give him a better book.  In the end I decided to go ahead and give him what he wanted and he was grateful.  Hey, at least it wasn't Glen Beck, huh?  

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:51:11 AM PDT

  •  "Attacks on Christianity" = preposterous (8+ / 0-)

    Any time I see variations on that meme I basically write off almost anything the purveyor is saying.

    Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

    by Jon Sitzman on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:58:30 AM PDT

  •  Bill Oreily cannot find a whore in a Whorehouse (3+ / 0-)

    He found out the hard way that his wife was whoring around with his best friend

  •  " Yet most of his criticisms in the book are (10+ / 0-)

    directed at the left".

    That's it in a nutshell. Religious types mutter darkly about the Apocalypse and how everything points to God finally being fed up with our sins and unbelief and visiting disasters upon us. Sermons are delivered, books are written (and I get offers for them via email), etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall this sort of thing happening when Republicans are in control. I left a church I'd attended for 10 years when our new pastor said that if we didn't vote for the pro-life candidate (that'd be W), we'd answer to God. He saw nothing wrong at all with the Glorious Eye-rack Adventure, while simultaneously holding Bill Clinton personally responsible for every abortion during his presidency. Got that? Abortions: damnable. Sending kids to death and worse for a lie: Perfectly OK.

    There were no pastors warning that God had had enough and was going to pull the plug on the universe when the Son of Poppy and His holy cabal were in charge.

    •  "Stop being someone I don't understand... (4+ / 0-)

      ...or we will all be smote!"

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

      by The Termite on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:57:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, they always happen (3+ / 0-)

      even when Reagan was in the White House. But under the Republican administrations we hear "thanks and praise" exhortations to do more on the "Christian" agenda, vilification of those governmental agencies, persons and structures that stand in the way of the godly president, and much glossalalia.

      Reagan was the president the last time I went to a "charismatic" church. The Reverend then spoke about the "real Holocaust" (and we all know what that is, don't we?)

      I left after the sermon, profoundly disturbed, and have never been back.

      Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

      by JrCrone on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:54:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do so get a charge out of Republican Christians (4+ / 0-)

        who think they're being persecuted (and secretly would like to be.) Kos wrote a good diary on that subject and I'm sure there have been others.

        Actually, they bug me. People who think Christianity is persecuted ought to go to China, or some other country where it really is persecuted...and get back to us when they're released in 15 years.

        Wasn't aware this sort of thing happened under the GIPPER. I've mercifully blotted out most memories of the time. But I haven't forgotten that chucklehead in the crowd behind me who exclaimed "Praise you, JESUS!" when Shrub took (in both senses of the word) office.

        •  Even before ole Ronnie was in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rashaverak, thanatokephaloides, wlkx

          I recall one Reverend praising God that not one, but TWO of the presidential candidates were Born Again Christians (back when the Evangelicals still specified between types of Christians) These days, if you aren't "born again in the Spirit" as a Christina you do not count. Catholic but not baitS? Nope. Any other Christian denomination but not baitS? Nope.

          Oh, that was an aside....

          Anyway, this Reverend praised God for Jimmy Carter's being a man of faith.

          Ha ha. When was the last time you heard that from those in that Evangelical crowd? ;)

          Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

          by JrCrone on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:00:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  my eyeballs thank you (10+ / 0-)

    For sparing them.  One of my older relatives keeps trying to convert me to the Cult of Fox. She keeps giving me copies of O'Reilly's and Beck's books (gag).  I want to feed them into the woodstove.

    Billo and the rest have to keep their disciples distracted and afraid, otherwise they might start to think things through and figure out that they're being had.

    "History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark."

    by upstatefrantic on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:38:56 AM PDT

  •  O'Reilly is really easy to understand (7+ / 0-)

    He is like any other "intellectual" conservative in that the axis of every argument he makes is himself. In other words, pure projection.

    His self-identity or ego forms the backbone of what he thinks society should look like, and from there he is free to associate groups and subcultures and blocs and movements with himself (those are the good ones) and with those he doesn't understand (those are the bad ones).

    Every single argument he makes -- I don't mean most, I mean every single one -- starts here. You are either with Bill O'Reilly or you are against Bill O'Reilly, and if you are against him you are morally suspect and probably broken.

    It is an excruciating and gut-wrenching way to look at the world but there you have it.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:56:10 AM PDT

  •  I just hate it when the great Satanic conspiracy (5+ / 0-)

    gets exposed by eagle eyed Bible warriors like O'Reilly.
    He's practically like John the Baptist
    At this rate we'll never take over the country, except for Hollywood, and we'll never be able to feed all those dried up Christians to the lions in the Bronx Zoo. This just ruins my whole day.

  •  This: (8+ / 0-)
    O'Reilly claims to occupy the middle ground between the extremists on the right and the extremists on the left. Yet most of his criticisms in the book are directed at the left, and not the right.
    Everyone I know, irrespective of their actual political persuasion, from far-left to far-right and everywhere in between, "claims to occupy the middle ground between the extremists"; everyone I know claims to be "centrist," "moderate," "independent," "non-partisan," equally disdainful of "both parties" or "both sides," and so forth.

    Yet I should note that most of the people I know who describe themselves this way are right-wingers, particularly those whom O'Reilly has programmed to mimic him. These are people whose cynicism and disdain are directed almost exclusively at Democrats, liberals, progressives, the "Left," and the various Democratic and/or liberal constituencies; they carry water for the Republican Party constantly, consistently and exclusively, mainly by believing, repeating and arguing based on all of Fox News' and the GOP's talking points, viz., things that are only true, valid, reasonable and/or being discussed inside the right-wing media paracosm.

    Sometimes when one of these folks claims, for example, that "Fox News is fair and balanced," I ask them to name three things they've seen or heard on Fox in the past month that made President Obama look good. They can't, obviously, and their excuse is "Well, he hasn't done anything good, so there was nothing good for Fox to say." It's a cognitive feedback loop from which they can't escape.

  •  So O'Reilly is calling his hustle "culture war" (7+ / 0-)

    Joan Walsh has named this grift for what it is: Race Hustling where she has written a piece called:
    Rush and O’Reilly: Race hustlers, Inc. - Jul 23, 2013

    Limbaugh, Hannity, Bill-O and other right-wing white-grievance mongers are stoking racial tension for cash - Joan Walsh

    Bill-O himself is a consummate race hustler and grievance peddler, pushing the drug of racial grievance to white people, making himself rich by worsening racial tension. He’s second only to Rush Limbaugh in terms of spewing ignorance to a vast, frightened audience.
     [snip]
     race baiting is an old racket on the right – but the extent to which conservatives are now comfortable telling white people they’re the new victims, in danger of being unfairly prosecuted like George Zimmerman when they should actually be thanked for ending slavery, is unique and brazen and dangerous. We need more Republicans, as well as more media figures, to call it what it is: a race hustle.
    Joan Walsh does a good job of unmasking O'Reilly's attempt to redefine his so called investigation into race relations and "gangsta culture" as nothing but his own culture war and his own race hustling

     - with a huge portion grievance peddling on the side
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thank you Eternal Hope for thoroughly de-bunking this grifter/ hustler

  •  O'Reilly is NOT that stupid. (3+ / 0-)

    People keep acting like "relax, they're just dumb."  No way in hell, you have to really work to come up with crap like that.  O'Reilly is an incessantly LYING piece of shit, as are they all.

    A media that reports issues fairly and intelligently, and that holds power accountable, is an inherently liberal institution.

    by Dinclusin on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:13:31 PM PDT

  •  Funny how none of their predictions come true! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, thanatokephaloides

    Or even comes close to coming true!

  •  They’re all Jews! Soros, Lewis, and Lakoff. (3+ / 0-)

    They’re all Jews! Soros, Lewis, and Lakoff
    It’s the same old grand conspiracy: Jews control the media
    The same old culture War: Jews are out to destroy Christian values…  

    O'Reilly claims to occupy the middle ground between the extremists on the right and the extremists on the left.
    Yeah, anti-Semitism
  •  sustainable society (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson
    Besides the straw man that we are somehow out to get the Traditional American Family, another one of O'Reilly's straw men is the notion that we somehow believe in equality of result. That is not true either. But what we do know is that no society with an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor can sustain itself in the long run. It may be 100, 200, or 400 years from now, but such a society is doomed to fail and collapse at some point.
    Let's see:

    The Western Roman Empire
    Tudor Britain
    Turn of the 19th Century French Kingdom
    British India
    Late 19th - Early 20th Century United States of America
    World War I Imperial Russia

    Have I listed enough examples? (smirk!)

    "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

    by thanatokephaloides on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:56:44 PM PDT

  •  "Political Correctness"-Wildly Antisemitic Theory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wlkx

    Self proclaimed Nordic White supremacist Anders Breivik said he was fighting "Political correctness" ihundred of times in the terrorist manifesto of where he explains why he killed 77 children.

    Pat Buchanan is the main theorist explaining the decline of the White Race in his 2002 book where he really got out to an early lead warning about the dangers of multiculturalism, creeping Sharia, and, yes, Political Correctness.

    "Political Correctness" is supposedly one of those examples of "Cultural Marxism" which is some sort of cosmically powerful Jewish wizardry by which a handful of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany literally conquered civilization without much of anyone noticing.

    These Jewish Sociologists  of the "Frankfurt School" escaped Hitler, and it's sort of implicit in the conservative view that Hitler just wasn't tough enough.

    Feel free to google these phrases and especially "Cultural Marxism"  for batshit antisemitism.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri May 09, 2014 at 04:23:37 AM PDT

  •  Billo Represents middle ground between Franco and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wlkx

    Mussolini

  •  Billo's bitch is that people just won't act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTwister

    the right way.  Women, gays and minorities just won't shut up about their rights.  Damn them for wanting any.  

    Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone just recognized the superiority of, and supported white, Christian, males?  

    Wouldn't everyone be happier if we just didn't challenge his privilege?  

    Can't we all just get along, and do as he says?

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:49:44 PM PDT

  •  Egotistical gasbag (0+ / 0-)

    Loves to hear the sound of his own voice despite the fact he's as hidebound as a an armadillo.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:50:10 AM PDT

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