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The Sunset Gun: One Nation, Under the Influence of Hate

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/23/sunset-gun-one-nation-under-influence-hate

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Waste your whole life trying to excuse white people if you want but there is never a valid reason for anything the usa has ever done or what it is doing or what it is going to do.

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The Tea Party was the revival of the KKK under the cover of the Gadsden flag. For over a decade hate has been flung around in the name of patriotism and those who truly love this country are rightly sick and tired of it. We are owed an apology that will never come because a cult has formed and cult members peal away in remarkably low numbers; most will await a new “visionary” to bring back a nirvana that never was.

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Well, “radical love” and “the kind of love that condemns a broken system and not its broken people” is a luxury of the old man. When at least half the nation is armed and itching for a bloodbath, it’s absolutely irresponsible and self-defeating to think let alone believe in “love” as the answer. Ultimately yes, but in the heat of the fight, b.s., old fella. I grew up in the mountains alongside those broken people who became RedMAGA fascists. Was there a love based protest during WWII? Of course. did they accomplish anything? Absolutely not. I’ve never been sickened by such a well-intentioned and completely ignorant op-ed in my life. Total #okayboomer moment.

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The people in this documentary were transformed from hating – through love:
"Love Wins Over Hate" 57 min: (explores the personal transformations of six individuals who went from agents of anger and bigotry to advocates for empathy and inclusivity).
If people experience injustice, inequality or trauma, they are vulnerable to groups and propaganda that direct their pain upon other targets. Yes, we must defend against violence – and also change to a system of government that works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. We must be vigilant and speak out against any dehumanizing actions if we are to avoid collapse as a society.

I have to agree with you. I just came here from a different thread where I puzzled, wondered, and berated the people that support this new racist, greed based cult following of the right.
Who, or what loving person is going to embrace this right-wing partisanship?
Not me. I’ll ignore politics the rest of my life first.

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I am perfectly willing to help anyone, even the trump supporters. But they reject any idea that would help other people. They are so worried that the ‘other’ will get something that they bite off their nose to spite their face. So good healthcare for all is bad, even though it would help them, because some ‘other’ would get it also. So raising the min wage is bad even though it would help them, because of the ‘other’. Etc, etc, etc. it goes on for anything that would help the people who need help, even when they would get te same benefits.
I have roots in the city and rural. And I have trouble understanding the hate given to urban people by the rural. Diversity is bad, multi-cultural is bad, they reject so many other people because they are different.
Sure some on the left do hate, but the majority of us don’t. We are tired though of the hate directed at us. And it has made many angry about the way they treat us.
You can only push someone so far before getting a response. I am a patience man, but I am tired of the nasty name calling by those on the right.

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I think if everyone who could, pulled their weight a bit more enthusiastically there would be less of this perception by the those on the right of those on the left as being unmotivated/lazy. I think if those on the right understood and accepted the fact that some people simply can’t work for reasons beyond lack of motivation such as physical or mental illness and thus do require State help to get by. Certainly, to survive we all need to reach back into the Spiritual principles on which this nation was founded: One nation under one and the same Great Creator/God. This of course means believing that God exists and that life, with a Just reward for each of us extends beyond the grave. And no, I’m not talking about strict adherence to any religion.

That’s a good article. It captures my own mood.

It’s not uncommon for such thoughts to cross my mind: “Either I am right and a catastrophe will occur, or it won’t and I’m crazy. In either case the outlook is not so good.” But one suspects both are true and that it’s not the sanity of an individual at stake, that catastrophe will occur precisely because craziness has become the norm.

This then leads one to “wonder if this isn’t just a prelude, to “wonder when the Big One will arrive, and what form it will take.” I can’t recall how often I’ve expressed such sentiments or when I first started thinking that way. Having grown up on the post-apocalyptic movies of the 1980s, I maybe was prone to such dark thoughts from a young age.

The framing of hate and violence as an addiction is perfect. Addiction as a key factor has made sense to me for many years. And my sense is that psychological addictions are inseparable from substance addictions, including dietary addictions. I’m willing to bet that those addicted to outrage and dehumanization are more likely to be on unhealthy high-carb diets.

Only one part of the article I might have written differently. The author writes that, “It’s true that many Trump voters are well-off, even prosperous, as professionals and business people.” That is no minor point. It’s not merely that many Trump voters aren’t poor. The fact is only a minority of Trump voters that is poor, not to dismiss those that are.

There is absolutely zero evidence that more poor whites are voting for Trump than are voting for Biden or not voting at all. Implying otherwise does a disservice to the actual poor, including the typically ignored non-whites who are disproportionately impoverished, who are economically segregated, isolated, abandoned, and ghettoized to a extreme degree.

It’s also not clear that “liberal contempt and hatred seems to be reserved for the impoverished.” That is true of some liberals, but I don’t know it’s true of most liberals. The fact of the matter is most liberals are not wealthy. In many states, the majority of those identifying as liberal and/or holding liberal views are working class. Conflating all liberals with the DNC-aligned political and media elites is not helpful. This is yet another disconnected caricature that dismisses the lived reality of the average American.

That said, the basic message is true and valid: “Some of those Trump voters are experiencing a level suffering that is unimaginable to outsiders. Opioid addiction is devastating (I have lost a close family member to it). The opioid and meth epidemics have devastated many rural communities, just as other addictions have devastated urban communities for decades.” But that is just one part of the whole picture.

In following the media, even much of the ‘alternative’ media, it’s easy to forget that some of those Biden voters are also experiencing a level of suffering, including devastating drug epidemics, that is unimaginable to outsiders. And it’s easy to forget that large populations of non-whites (Native Americans, Hispanics, Blacks, etc) remain in rural areas. The mainstream narrative that all poor rural people are white is yet another disconnection and dismissal. In some regions, the majority of rural residents are not white.

Shouldn’t we at least acknowledge the existence of these people, as if they matter? Why is it that all of the obsessive attention from both sides is narrowly focused only on poor rural whites? It makes no sense considering that even most poor whites live in urban areas, primarily big cities, metropolises, and other areas of concentrated populations. Why don’t poor urban whites matter? And what about the invisible poor whites, like poor minorities, stuck in deindustrialized inner cities? Don’t they count?

That aside, let me make a quick note. He writes that, “Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.” I sort of agree, but we shouldn’t call it centrism. That is a false and deceptive label. This may be the ‘center’ of the corporatist elite in Washington DC, Wall Street, and Hollywood. But it is far to the right of most Americans, the silenced majority. Let’s be absolutely clear about that basic fact and never forget it. Centrism didn’t give us Trump. Rather, lies about ‘centrism’ gave us Trump. Referring to this right-wing capitalist realism as the ‘center’ is gaslighting.

Now I really liked the following bit: “A 2018 political science study concluded that growing numbers of marginalized people felt “extreme discontent” with “disliked elites,” and were spreading “fake news” for reasons the authors described in striking terms: to “unleash chaos,” to ‘‘burn down’ the entire established political order,” to “disrupt the entire established democratic ‘cosmos’ and start anew.” […] The authors claim that up to 40 percent of Americans share these feelings.”

That is exactly what I was saying during Trump’s first presidential campaign and in the early years of his administration. I may have written about this in comments earlier on, but the first time I put these thoughts down in a post apparently was in 2017 where I wrote the following, a good note to end on (from the post “The Fantasy of Creative Destruction” in my blog Marmalade, 11/20/2017):

“This is similar to Karen Armstrong’s interpretation of Islamic jihadis. She has pointed out that the 9/11 terrorists seemed to intentionally flout Islamic law, as if they were demanding Allah’s attention and forcing the Divine Hand to intervene. They were trying to call down apocalypse, not unlike American evangelicals hoping to incite violent attack on Israel as they believe must happen prior to the Second Coming. It isn’t mere nihilism.

“Some would argue that a similar attitude is held by Trump supporters. Not even those who voted for him, according to polls, thought he would do what he promised. But the one thing that he could accomplish was to destroy a corrupt system. Electing Donald Trump as president was like lobbing a grenade into a bunker. It may be an act of desperation, although it makes perfect sense as an all too human motivation. Studies have shown that individuals are willing to punish perceived wrongdoers even at great costs to themselves. It is what morality becomes when morality has been denied for too long.

“In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth describes the Joker in saying, “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” But that isn’t quite right. In his own words, the Joker explains himself: “Introduce a little anarchy – upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos – it’s fair.” Exactly! It’s fair. Death and destruction is the last refuge of fairness, what is necessary to bring on justice, even if it is the justice of a mad man’s chaos. The slate must be wiped clean. Then something new can emerge from the ashes. An apocalypse is a revelation.”

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The wisdom of Richard Eskow has flown right by you. Humans are the same all over the world. It just happens that our system is based on racism against black and brown people. In China, the Han Chinese oppress the Tibetans, Mongols and Uighur Turks. In Africa, the rulers in Khartoum, Sudan oppressed people in Darfur and, before independence, in South Sudan. Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi have massacred each other in the hundreds of thousands. A Rwandan-Uganda invasion of DR Congo has led to 5-6 million deaths. You are just reacting to the particular form of “othering” and racism that exists in this country, and turning that form into an eternal principle.

The point is to stop people, wherever they are and whatever they look like, from singling out others and harming their life chances. And part of that is to change an economic system that prioritizes profit and whose players will do anything to achieve that, including provoke mass death. But part of that is for us all to change our consciousness, so that we see other people as more important than goodies. Labeling whole groups doesn’t get us any closer to that goal.

I wonder if we simply have not reached a necessary point in time where favorable change for us may at last occur?
Has anyone an accurate idea of when the Age of Aquarius may commence? Is it imminent? We are desperate now to know this. Let it not, we plead, of necessity be preceded by yet a great bloody war.

And what to do with your unprepared conservative neighbors when you’re the only prepper in the area?