Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How Appealing the Naivete?

Last night I participated in a forum on the mid-term elections on my campus at Morehead State University. My contribution was to emphasize the importance of next Tuesday's elections for determining the strength of the right-wing.

But the audience had other ideas. They wanted the conflict between the right-wing and the rest of the country to be over. A couple of the African-American students talked about reconciliation and healing. It's an appealing naivete. The students want an America that is more hopeful and less vicious than the one we have right now. They just don't understand the extent to which that better world has to be fought for.

Much like the Confederates that so many of them admire, the last thing that people on the right want is any kind of reconciliation with liberals, African-Americans, feminists, gay rights activists, or even moderates and traditional conservatives. For prominent media figures on the right like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Gordon Liddy, a slashing viciousness and vindictiveness is their preferred way fo life. The same was the case with Tom DeLay. Moreover, that's precisely what their followers admire in them. If there were any kind of genocide in the U. S., they would all be eager to pick up their NRA-protected weapons and start shooting.

It's precisely because of their relentless aggression that the activist right will remain a dangerous force even if they lose their power in Congress next Tuesday. And they will remain dangerous until they no longer control the Republican Party.

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