Since the mass murder of little children last Friday, I have seen so many angry, articulate rants about the gun culture in America, and the broader lunacy of the right (and, yes, there is something very frightening about the ability of the right to ignore real hard facts, and their use of divisiveness and anger to turn the gullible against our government and against everyone who opposes them).
I've tried writing about how I feel but find that others do it better, so I'm turning to Dennis G. at Balloon Juice:
Like most, I’ve been stunned and shocked over the last few days.
The pattern is tragically clear. In the wake of the latest mass shooting, we have a conversation about mental illness (mostly, in ways to avoid talking about guns). Yes, there are always some who dare to suggest that it might be time to talk about new gun laws, but that conversation is quickly shut down out of political fear of the gun lobby–especially fear of the NRA.
What we do not do–ever–is talk about all the political organizations on the Right–like the NRA–that fuel paranoid delusion and the manufactured outrage 24/7 as their core reason for existence. And yes, I said “Right” as I can not think of a single organization of the “Left” that uses delusion, lies and endless attacks on reality as their prime organizing tool and I can hardly think of an organization on the “Right” that doesn’t. This isn’t a both-side-do-it moment. Conservative thought in America is broken. They sell crazy talk, anger and fear. They have created a space where every paranoid sense of persecution is justified–and even honorable. They sell the idea that any extreme action taken in response to these political delusions is a virtue.
The relentless wingnut attack on reality–where every conspiracy theory is valid and all anger about your pet delusion is justified–is not harmless. Lives are damaged, blood is drawn and people die. It is a feature, not a bug of a War on Reality. From the NRA to Americans for Tax Reform to the Koch Brothers to the Heritage Foundation to Fox News to the Birthers to well, any of them, the modern conservative movement has mainstreamed paranoid fantasies and the manufactured anger required to support them. I am not at all surprised that media and cultural acceptance that the endless stream of political-based paranoid delusions should be treated as justifiable reason for rage and extreme actions would inspires some random nut case to act on his private iteration of rage and crazy.
The gun culture and the growing number of horrific mass shootings is just one manifestation of the many ways conservative policies have turned us into a country going downhill fast since the Reagan era began. Fortunately, that era appears to have ended with this election and the people finally caught on to the many deceptions the right has been guilty of, and fought back at the polls.