Think of this as Volume 11, Number 9 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
One of the smartest things I have written at this blog came from my daughter, Robin. In a 2006 post I compared right-wing bloggers and talk show hosts to hippies from the 1960s.
No, she said. They're haties.
She's right, but the historical comparison remains apt, and I've made it many times. The haties are in the same historical role that hippies were 40 years ago.
The key to understanding the political changes of that time was its rejection of the hippies, then all those who enabled them. It was these people Spiro Agnew was describing in his speeches about liberal elites -- he was extending the public distaste for hippies to those who found anything redeemable in them.
The historical rejection of the hippies is a key to understanding the Nixon Thesis of Conflict, the political assumptions which have dominated America since that time, and which still dominate our media discourse.
The next step, after dismissing the hippies, was to defang them, and in this their supposed supporters in the media were highly complicit.
You can see it proceed throughout the 1970s. First they were turned into cartoons -- Scooby Doo. Then they were turned into suburbanites -- the Partridge Family. By the end of the decade they were merely a laughable stance -- Mork & Mindy. And they were an historical artifact, forgotten, crushed under history's wheel.
This process is just beginning for the haties of today. I would like to urge you to join in.
The process starts with laughter.
Stop fearing Rush Limbaugh and Neal Boortz and Michelle Malkin and their ilk. Laugh at them. Right in their faces. Laugh at them. They don't scare you anymore, they're buffoons, they're figures of fun, they're circus clowns, every single goddamn one of them.
Next, I want you to do the same with anyone who takes them
seriously. Anyone who listens to them -- your boss, your co-worker,
your spouse if you're stuck with one. Anyone who blogs approvingly of them -- don't read that person. Don't take a word they say at face value. Don't
address any of their points. For God's sake, don't argue with them. They're drug-addled, the drug is hate, and until they get off the stuff you just can't see them as fully human anymore. They need an intervention, but you don't have the time until they reach bottom and ask for help.
Laugh at them instead. They're idiots, they're imbeciles, they're useless. Anyone who listens to these clowns must also be a clown.
Next, I want you to go to their enablers. Their advertisers, their employers, anyone who takes them seriously. Let them know that you don't, that you no longer take them seriously, either, because they're keeping this garbage alive. Let them know you're taking your business elsewhere, that anyone who supports lunacy is a lunatic themselves.
This is the real genius of Keith Olbermann's Worst Persons series. Whenever someone called Limbaugh on his idiocy he would claim to be just an entertainer, so he's now Comedian Rush Limbaugh. And Bill-O. And Coultergeist. And all the rest. These nicknames are a way of dehumanizing them, and when you're dealing with demons that's an appropriate stance to take. You can't take them seriously as serious commentators or serious human beings anymore -- they're racists, they're Haties. We don't have time for them and their manipulative games, their phony arguments, their whole way of thinking.
It's a necessary step in a process of change. What we did to the hippies in the late 60s and early 70s we did to Wall Street plutocrats in the 1930s, using the rising media of that time. Movies like My Man Godfrey and It Happened One Night were all about the idea that the rich had lost their humanity, and it was up to the common man to get it back for them. The same plot came to radio through Little Orphan Annie -- Daddy Warbucks needed Annie to regain his humanity. This is how the Roosevelt Thesis of Unity developed in the common mind.
The process a generation before this was more serious and subtle, because it was performed by journalists, mass market newspapers being the rising medium of the 1890s. But the point was the same. Exposing those whom the lust for money had corrupted, dehumanizing the dehumanizers by bringing the disinfectant of daylight to their actions. This is what the Hearst and Pulitzer papers were all about. They called it muckraking.
Again, the same thing a generation earlier, with the slave owners and those they dehumanized. This was the miracle of books like Uncle Tom's Cabin -- the characters were cartoonish but you root for the black characters, hate the white overseer Simon Legree. In that process you're changed. And the mass market book was the rising medium of the age.
In our time, much of the necessary hating on the Haties can be done on this medium, because the Internet is the rising medium of this time. So let a thousand Youtubes bloom, and cartoons, and animations, and blog posts. Spread the word that these people we were once scared of will scare us no more, that they and their ilk and their enablers must be removed from our sight, must never darken our doors, and that one purpose of the government in Washington must be to confront them, to turn the whole culture against them, to show them history's door, and to write-out anyone who says a word in their favor.
But it all starts with laughter. Laughter is the best medicine for the Haties. Laugh, clown, laugh.