Looks rather cancerous, doesn't it?
(Image by Google Images w/caption by Rev Dan) Permission Details DMCA
The United States We're Not
With all the hoopla from the Left about the populace supporting gun control and DOMA being "doomed", a look at the country's problem of polarization might put things in a different (if not proper) perspective: there are a multitude of elements that want to stop the U.S. from where they think it's going. And if they can't stop it, they'll fight it. And if they can't fight it, they'll just break away. Maybe violently.
The elements of revolution are there because the extremes are there: rich vs poor, pro-life vs pro-choice, 2nd Amendmenters vs gun control, pro-gay vs anti-gay, big government vs small government, socialism vs capitalism, and yes, still, white vs black. At times it may seem that the elements coalesce in certain states and into Left vs Right, Democrat vs Republican, but those views would be dangerously simplistic: pockets of each element exist everywhere, creating not a gray (or purple, red-melded-with-blue) America, but a bizarre portrait that at times looks cancerous.
Last week's headlines, while dominated by marriage equality and gun control, still point to a division of love and hate in varying degrees:
Slick, Paranoid Tea Party Video Aims for Violent Insurrection
Pat Robertson Claims Homeland Security Is Stocking Ammo To 'Attack Us'
Conservative Group Calls Science Behind Sexual Orientation "Nazi" Propaganda
Men With Loaded Rifles Intimidate Moms Gathered At Gun Safety Rally
26 guns at home of man accused of threats toward Sen. Leland Yee
Perkins: 'Revolution' Possible if 'Court Goes Too Far' on Marriage Equality Cases
Texas takes step toward secession with Rick Perry's plan to hoard gold
Steve King: Idea That Diversity Strengthens America Has 'Never Been Backed Up By Logic' Southern States Form Near-Solid Block Against Obamacare
Fox News: Second American Revolution On The Horizon?
Leader of Southern Baptist Convention links North Korean threats to gay marriage, Boy Scouts
Law Enforcement Officials Gunned Down In Possible White Supremacist Plot
And there will be more in the offing this year: abortion laws, voting rights, immigration, unions, and more will continue to create opposites in the nation's future.
Persecution Complexes and Paranoia: Do They
"Long trains full of armored vehicles, personnel carriers with armor, what are they for, the army going into battle against the enemy? They're used by Homeland Security against us," Robertson ominously warned. "Imagine what Homeland Security is doing is just awful and we're going to talk about how much ammunition they're stockpiling: who are they going to shoot, us?"
Garlow: If same-sex so-called marriage is established as the law of the land, many of the people who are listening to my voice right now, not maybe immediately but at some point in the future, if they are followers of Christ, will be forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.
"The only relationship in natural law that can produce consumers," Hagee declared, "is the relationship between a man and a woman. When you create a society that does not recognize this relationship as the foundation of its existence and you cease to produce what is required to sustain your economy, you will not survive"
And paranoia can cause a backlash with
"The notion that we are just one of many among equals is
nonsense," Huckabee said. The United States is a "blessed"
nation, he said, calling American revolutionaries' defeat of the British empire
"a miracle from God's hand."
The same kind of miracle, he said, led California voters to approve Proposition 8, which overturned a state law legalizing same-sex marriages.
Voters "did it because some things are right and some things are wrong and they had to make a stand."
November, Huckabee told right-wing radio's Bill Bennett that Prop
8 did not ban same-sex
marriage. "That's not what those efforts did," he said, adding,
"They affirmed what is. They did not prohibit something.")
Pockets of persecution are everywhere, fueled by media pundits like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, organizations like NOM (National Organization for Marriage), the NRA and Family Research Council.
Coalescing Under The Christian Right
It may be argued that states like Texas, Tennessee, and Mississippi come closest to having all the elements coalesce: 2nd Amendment, anti-gay, anti-abortion factors are prevalent, especially in the halls of their state congresses. And behind these factors the strong, guiding hand of the Christian Right is evident: pastors like Robert Jeffress and Harry Jackson hold enough sway to influence legislation. It seems, in fact, that the Christian Right may be the strongest glue to disparate parts of the extreme Right, with the prominent Southern Baptist Convention still tolerating white supremacists in various districts and overtly endorsing 2nd Amendmenters (e.g., Pastor Gary "You can't be Christian and not own a gun" Cass), encouraging survivalists, opposing the ERA, and banning abortion and marriage equality. And fulminating revolution are icons related to the Christian Right: Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Glenn Beck, FOX News Mike Huckabee*), and Rick Perry.
Without Christian Right support and ideology, in fact, hate groups such as the Family Research Council** would have little credibility. They're hate depends upon CR hate, especially Southern Baptist Convention hate.
Now that issues like marriage equality and gun control are heading for limited federal laws, leaving the states some lee-way, the elements of revolution and, in particular, the Christian Right will need to start concentrating on states, and as in the case of our own Civil War, some states may be easier than others to coalesce the elements: Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi are seemingly ripe for revolution, but with the exception of Texas, these states are not economically solvent enough, not even together. The Christian Right and organizations like the NRA may have to go deeper and depend upon influential regions in other states, giving rural voices more ground than FOX News can.
Fringe Is Fringe
All of the above may, to some, sound like a conspiracy theory put out by a left-wing organization, but the fact is that the fringes of the American socio-political landscape are POWERFUL fringes, concentrated and volatile and their once hollow-sounding rhetoric has teeth: Christian Right leaders are calling for "rising up" and leaving the Republican Party because it has become too centrist in their viewpoint.
Of course, the problem of America's extremes in ideologies is that some of them overlap: not all gun freaks are rich, not all of the Christian Right are white supremacists, not all homophobes are misogynist. Some areas of the country might be considered fifty shades of purple.
So just how many rich, white, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, Christian Right, gun freaks are out there? Enough to be coalesce and cause a very real Civil War? Or enough to merely pile into Texas and shut the door?
We should only hope for the latter.
* Kansas is considering quarantining HIV+ patients, a piece of legislation with which Mike Huckabee would be VERY pleased.
** Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has been involved in the unethical use of David Duke's mailing list, and has spoken to white supremacist groups.