how do you cope with right wing savagery?

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    undo
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    how do you cope with right wing savagery?

    Post by undo on Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:29 pm

    This happened a month ago.

    I was at the gym and Fox News was on the TV and Tucker Carlson was calling Obama a hypocrite because he doesn't want guns in schools but his daughters get secret service protection from gun-carrying agents. I don't remember his exact words but they were close enough to "if he doesn't want guns in schools, then the agents protecting his daughters shouldn't be allowed to carry them either, it's only fair." I can't find any exact quote of this online but that was the gist of what he said (basically, he was just parroting this). This doesn't raise any alarm and a month or so later I can't find any record of it on the Internet. This isn't really surprising; people say stuff like this on that channel all the time and there isn't enough room on the Internet for people to get upset over all of it. But it really bothered me. Why?

    To become a right-wing TV news commentator, it certainly helps if you have the vicious charisma of someone like Rush Limbaugh. Tucker Carlson does not, but that's not absolutely required for the job. People can still make a name for themselves as long as they can articulate persuasive and/or intelligent-sounding opinions.

    This statement, however, was really one of the dumbest rhetorical arguments I'd ever heard outside of a message board, one that could be utterly destroyed by practically anyone (so long as they don't hate Obama), and as I processed what he was saying I began to grapple with a number of problems that it represented:

    -We live in a country where such poor reasoning actually serves to reinforce the opinions of tens of millions of voters.

    -There were other TV hosts on camera with him and probably at least a dozen other people in the vicinity of the studio. All adults. And that they all were taking what he was saying very seriously.

    -I do not watch Fox News regularly, nor have I watched very much of Tucker Carlson on any channel, but if this segment was any indication, he's made rich living peddling opinions reached through an extraordinarily ignorant worldview and intellectually lazy thought process. And it's not like he's a good-looking or funny guy, so why does he get a platform to say stupid bullshit like this?

    -At that moment, thousands of viewers across the country thought to themselves, "Holy shit, he's right!"

    -People can work their whole lives to study and solve complex social problems, help their communities or serve their country... and the sum of most of their total lives' work will never match the impact on society that this man had in the single minute that he got to lay out this totally ridiculous argument on that day.

    I'm still kind of reeling from seeing this and it's enough to make me wonder, if bullshit messages like this can be wholly accepted without a second thought by millions upon millions of voters, what hope our country actually has.

    I know I'm overreacting to this totally benign occurrence and that I probably didn't articulate what's getting my goat here very well but it's truly haunted me since that day and I need to find some way to deal with the fact that this kind of thinking will always be with us.
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    raj gibson
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    Re: how do you cope with right wing savagery?

    Post by raj gibson on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:15 am

    undo wrote:People can work their whole lives to study and solve complex social problems, help their communities or serve their country... and the sum of most of their total lives' work will never match the impact on society that this man had in the single minute that he got to lay out this totally ridiculous argument on that day.

    I don't think this is true.

    It may feel like a big impact, but I don't think the Tucker Carlsons of the world have much of a lasting influence. This stuff is good for raising blood pressures and revving up the base, and then the news cycle ends and people who don't like Obama still don't like him and people who like him still do and Obama's kids still have armed guards.

    Someone who devotes their life to making real change is survived by that change. What survives a cable news hack? History doesn't condemn these people, it just forgets them.

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