UPDATE: To learn what you can do about this scourge check out our latest post on the Dirty F'ing Haties.
Liberal bloggers are getting their undies in a bunch over the Far Right's hate campaign against their man Barack Obama.
There are lots of charges you can make against liberalism, and by far the worst is their assumption of defeat. They're constantly Charlie Brown before the football, absolutely convinced it's about to be pulled away, because Lucy always gets away with it. (To the right, Cincinnati bloviator Bill Cunningham, of the McCain rally. Give him one back.)
Oh, and the American people are stupid enough to fall for it, say the libs fretfully. Again and again and again. They'll never learn. They're sheep.
It's this assumption of American stupidity I find most alarming. If Americans are that stupid, then maybe democracy is a mistake, and maybe we should have government of our betters, by our betters, for our betters.
Problem is, Mr. Liberal Jackass, you think you're our better, but you're not. Our better is always the ruthless one, the man who best harnesses our base fears. It was true in Latin America for decades, true in Europe before that. True in Africa today. You're not ruthless enough or twisted enough or evil enough to be our better.
Our better is giving you the finger.
That's what talk radio hosts think they are are. That's what right wing bloggers think they are, too. Being our better means assuming you're our better, assuming that you can twist our fears, identify an other, turn us into a lynch mob, make us burn the witch. And never catch on. (That's right-wing blogger Bill Hobbs to the left. A big upraised middle finger to you too, Bill.)
In a transactional age, in the era we're now leaving, this worked because we didn't really care that much. What they did to Kerry, and to Gore, and to Clinton during the Lewinsky nonsense, to Dukakis and Mondale before that, is what they are trying to do now. It's how they roll. It's what they are.
But if you believe in democracy, small d, then you have to believe that, at some point, people reject intimidation, they reject fear, and that bloviating eventually blows up on the bloviator. Look at that horse's ass at the top of this post who went on-and-on about Barack Hussein Obama the other day for Mr. McCain in Cincinnati. He looks like he's had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers. He's a damned joke. Laugh at him.
Same thing with that asshat Hobbs. He's a paid operative of the Tennessee GOP. He thinks he's a big man. He's not. He's a very little man. I've met him. He's short. And he makes himself smaller every day.
Here's the thing. In a transformative time you can perform jiu jitsu on fear. We did it against the South in 1860. We did it against Fear Itself in 1932. This is such a time.
Want to make some power for yourself? Turn the radio off when these assclowns come on. If you hear it where you do business, demand it be turned off or take your business elsewhere. Don't read Hobbs' blog. Reject the hate, and the hater. Don't be their monkey anymore.
Take power over your own environment, over your own eyes and your own ears, and confront those who refuse to do so by ignoring them in the future.
It's like one of the later scenes in 12 Angry Men. In the classic movie version, Ed Begley Sr. (second from right in this picture) goes on-and-on about "these people," a real racist rant. One by one, the other jurors turn away from him, physically turn away, they face the wall and wait him out until he's the only one left ranting, except for one man (played by E.G. Marshall, second from left) who he considers his ally. And that man tells him to shut up.
You have the power to ignore this garbage. You have the power to reject those who peddle this garbage. That's what democracy is really about. It's your opportunity to confront fear, and to reject the fearmonger, once you choose to do so.
Will you do it? That's what this election is all about. The future of democracy as a system of government hangs on your answer.