Friday, February 17, 2012

Mitt Romney and the GOP: “ Where Nonsense Becomes Truth “

By Tom Schimmeck
Translated By Ron Argentati  for
13 February 2012

Edited by Louis Standish          Original ( In German )

The Republican primaries are proving that many Americans live in a bizarre world. A cultural war threatens.
They're calling Mitt Romney a “moderate” again. He's middle of the road — a centrist. If the rest are all zombies, then Dracula wins the beauty contest.
The battle to become the Republican presidential nominee has raged for months. That's a convincing argument, first of all, for the fact that the Republican Party has degenerated into a pack of raving fundamentalists, and secondly, it signals a severe decline in the level of discourse. The first point is no issue at all; for them, loony has been normal for ages. This is a group that has become increasingly excitable and thus increasingly dimwitted. It's not just the poisonous darts from talk radio hosts, not just Rupert Murdoch's notoriously hyperventilating Fox News moderators that are dragging the level of American politics ever lower. It looks like all the various arch- and neoconservative, libertarian, evangelical and chauvinistic elements in the United States are coalescing into a new cosmos of extremists.
The cultural warriors of conservatism see the world thus: Health insurance for everyone is socialism. The right to have an abortion is mass murder. Environmental protection is dictatorship. Climate change is all a lie. But of course the military is sacrosanct and the right to private weapons ownership is inviolable. The rowdies on the right indulge their political furor, slavering every few days over a new liberal issue. They gnaw at it as if it were a juicy bone. They still believe they're fighting against some liberal mainstream and never realize that they themselves are the new mainstream. They're always at their enemy's throat; they're on an eternal holy crusade.
Those identifying with the tea party movement have truly proven to be the most useful idiots. They helped divert the anger against Wall Street onto the Washington political establishment, onto politics in general. Government sucks. Politics is crap. They find their own government repugnant — the “federal government” (pronounced as if they were spitting out a piece of gristle). Such rhetoric is mortally dangerous; it causes democracy to self-destruct.
Think that's too extreme? Just listen to Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul. Evolution? What the hell is that? Ah, you mean God! Financial crisis? That wasn't caused by greed on the part of bankers, it was due to over-regulation by the government. They wallow in a torrent of nonsense, in a fiery, hyper-patriotic, ultra-bizarre idiocy. They trot out theories and “facts” that Josef Joffe buries in clauses and the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper would reject; stuff even the tabloid Bild newspaper wouldn't dare print. German Christian Democrats in favor of a social safety net would be called communists in their United States. The entire spectrum there is skewed to the right. It's a nation of people who dwell in a completely different reality. And they rant and they rave.
Can it be that reality is just whatever insanity happens to be most socially popular at any given moment? That may sound a bit too cynical but we're talking about a nation that is the cradle of democracy, the world's leading capitalist country and the nation that also accounts for a major portion of the popular culture the rest of the world consumes.
Multimillionaire Willard Mitt Romney acts as if he hates politics. He constantly reminds us that he has never worked a single day inside the Beltway. But he wants to allow gays to hang on to a few rights enjoyed by straights — already treason to many Republican zealots. And he's not entirely against the minimum wage — enough to get a radio agitator like Rush Limbaugh screeching. Romney has even pointed out that “Islam is not an inherently violent faith.”
That REALLY set them off ...