13 October 2013

Real Americans

The tribe of Americans we currently call the Tea Party believe that they are the only real Americans. When they wail that “our country is being taken away”, their conception of “us” does not include people who are not in their tribe.

Matt Taibbi in The Truth About the Tea Party:

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

Mike the Mad Biologist points to the proto-fascist note here in Misunderstanding Palin and ‘Palinism’: It’s the Politics of the Blood:

Her policy ignorance isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Palin is conceptually and intellectually poor because her politics are not about policies, but a romantic restoration of the ‘real’ America to its rightful place. The primary purpose of politics is not to govern, not to provide services, and not to solve mundane, although often important, problems. For the Palinist, politics first and foremost exists to enable the social restoration of ‘real’ Americans (think about the phrase “red blooded American”) and the emotional and social advantages that restoration would provide to its followers (obviously, if you’re not a ‘real’ American, you might view this as a bad thing…). Practicalities of governance, such as compromise and worrying about reality-based outcomes, actually get in the way. Why risk having your fantasy muddied by reality?

Robert DeNiro's film The Good Shepherd:

Let me ask you something. We Italians, we got our families and we got the Church. The Irish, they have the homeland. The Jews, their tradition. Even the n****rs, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Carlson? What do you have?

The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.

Update: Billmon on herrenvolk democracy.

In a U.S. context, I take “herrenvolk democracy” to mean the sacred principle that all white people (or at least, white men) are equal.
But key insight I finally had about US herrenvolk democracy (& why our politics is so peculiarly poisonous) is: it's not just about race

To the populist right wing, liberals — like blacks, Hispanics, gays, Muslims, etc. etc. — aren't “white.” Not part of the volk. Not “real Americans.”

Which means that for the populist right wing, democratic rule by a liberal president (really, any big D Democrat) is a contradiction in terms.

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