The country is not benefiting from the fraction of the population idolizing a number of loud mouth, right-wing celebrities. They sell stupidity to stupid Americans; it makes the idols rich and powerful. It does nothing to make the country better for all its citizens. by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In trying to understand how so many Americans adore people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh I have come to this critical understanding: Poorly educated, terribly informed, intellectually deficient and downright stupid people need idols. They feel angry, frustrated, ignored, cheated and disillusioned by so much going on in American society. They find the emotional, political and philosophical rants by talk show, loud mouth celebrities matching and justifying their feelings. Of course, those celebrities work hard to fan the flames of all that unhappiness and discontent, and also perpetuate ignorance. They sell stupidity to gullible dummies, teaching them who to blame for their misery.
I am no conservative or liberal and I know I sound terribly condescending and will be viewed as an elitist by those dummies, not that they read much by those they do not idolize. However, I have spent considerable time following what these demon idols say and write to seriously investigate whether I might be missing something of value. But all I see are huge quantities of totally incorrect and distorted information, absolute nonsense, outright insanity, abuse of logic, exaggerations, toxic half truths, intentional disinformation, racism and bigotry, and extreme political views that have no connection to reality and offer no workable solutions to the nation's complex problems. Slick sound-bite slogans push propaganda substitutes for verifiable facts.
How to understand how so many people can listen to such celebrities and not feel as nauseous as I and so many other Americans feel when listening to them? Clearly we must accept the disturbing fact that there are many millions of suffering Americans that are mental midgets, a sign of the dumbing-down of America. No surprise really when you remember there are millions of people wasting their money on gambling, lottery tickets, cons and scams, junk products and unhealthy foods, or unable to qualify for decent jobs because of a lack of knowledge and skills. Either they were born stupid (a harsh but true statistical reality) or the many ups and downs of life have robbed them of any critical thinking ability to see through the idiocy that these purveyors of poison peddle while making obscene millions of dollars.
Consider recent Pew Center Research poll results that showed 18 percent of Republicans do not know that the Democrats control the House of Representatives and 35 percent do not know who the Vice President is. Research has found Fox News butchers facts and its devotees are the most ignorant, and in recent years Republicans have overwhelmingly gone to Fox to get their news and information. Note: 80 percent who regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch Sean Hannity are conservative. I'm not saying that "No truth, just spin" should be the Fox motto, but it sure fits.
I can easily relate to the many people treated unfairly, unjustly and even brutally by the political and economic system. But those who have drifted over to the dark side of the right-wing, conservative arena and become addicted to the rhetoric of delusion have nothing in common with those that once made the United States a noble nation worthy of respect. Their idols talk a lot about the Founders and Constitution, but share none of the fine qualities of those that created our republic. They also pick and choose what parts of the Constitution to adore, mocking the rule of law.
As an independent, I too am extremely critical of the political and economic system and how the middle class has been purposefully harmed by a rich and powerful Upper Class that has turned the nation into a plutocracy serving the greed of individuals and corporations. I want revolution and true reforms. I condemn both major political parties and see elections as useless anachronisms.
I too feel disenfranchised, full of dissent and disgust with broken government, broken educational and health care systems, crumbling inadequate infrastructure, widespread corruption and dishonesty, and an economy dispensing inequality and injustice. Yet, try as I have, I cannot see any merit in what these powerful right-wing demigods dish out, all done to pump millions of dollars into their pockets and pump up their egos. They sell themselves as the defenders of the downtrodden and abused, but this is just a con game designed to keep millions of dollars coming to them and their fellow fat cats. When their supporters vote for Republicans they vote against their own economic interests, unless they are rich.
These false populists are fundamentally no different than the evil elite forces that this fraction of the population despises. Perversely, they have become a part of the ruling class they routinely condemn. They are the worst kind of idols, manipulating and soaking their audiences and admirers. They pitch poisonous and addicting fast food rhetoric, words as pleasing as salt, sugar and fat laden foods and as eagerly gulped down. This results in mental capacity becoming as clogged as the arteries in overweight and obese Americans.
What is evil? Right-wing hypocritical hucksters pitching messages of values, morals, freedom and patriotism crafted to sucker the least informed, emotionally stressed and unintelligent Americans for the sake of power and money. These idols live like royalty (for example, Limbaugh makes $60 million a year and Beck $35 million) while their loyal fans treasure fantasy expectations and block out information that would cause too much pain by piercing the delusions they have succumbed to. By putting their faith in false idols they become unknowing victims of the media corpocracy profiting from these idols.
What a culture, where so few can take advantage of so many and make fortunes doing it. The real goal of the demon idols is to further divide the nation, not fix it and make it better. Why? Because divisiveness is what sells and makes them big money. Shame on them. Those who worship them need more worthy heroes if they really love their country and want to make it better for all its citizens. The rest of us need to ignore the false idols and their followers, showing them no respect whatsoever, condemning them at every opportunity.
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And I'm one of those ignorant folk who just believes what you say as well?
Regardless of his opinionated moments, he also gives facts; information I can check for myself. I haven't met anyone who listens to/watches Glenn Beck (in particular) and then repeats Beck quotes as if they're fact.
Beck doesn't have a cult of personality like Obama did (and does, in some cases) during the 2008 election with a lot of idiots spouting "Hope" and "Change" while not being able to intelligently debate policy.
You may call yourself an independent all you want, but I don't believe you're bring fair. "Insert media here" will always be biased in someone's eyes. MSNBC doesn't lie? CNN doesn't? They aren't biased in some way? Yes, Fox News is a conservative channel with self-proclaimed conservatives. This is simply a part of freedom. A world with all neutral (what does that mean, anyhow?) media that brown-noses the government is not part of a free society.
"When their supporters vote for Republicans they vote against their own economic interests, unless they are rich."
I love that arrogant phrase. I'm not rich, but I certainly prefer the Bush tax cuts over the Democrats extended Welfare State. As a libertarian, I understand Republicans are not serious about spending cuts to entitlement programs and "defense", but let's be honest for a moment. You look like a Democratic campaigner, bashing Republicans like this. Democrats have far worse economic policy, and if you can sit there with a straight face and say it's in the poor-average income families' "best economic interests" by all means, do.
Without including your thoughts on Democratic economic policy, your message is very...incomplete.
Posted By: Bentree
Date: October 6, 2010 08:23:12 PM
I think that besides the contents of your spleen splashed everywhere maybe an iteration of just what lies Rush and Glenn and any other "conservative spinster " in your opinion, are disseminating and the facts to counter these dastardly conservative equivocations emanating from these obviously confused biological units.
This Constitutional conservative would very much like to know what it is "exactly" you are talking about or referring too. The word generalities is a word that ordinarily I would not use because often generalities are conversational short cuts used to eliminate redundancy of information in conversations that assume a bench mark of knowledge and or cogent thought. Now you may be right in your assessment, but I think in your case we may need to begin at the beginning.
Posted By: Roy Ellis
Date: October 7, 2010 11:59:34 AM
One of your better articles, Joel. I've no understanding of why people would spend their time with Hannity and Limbaugh. Both seem to be yelling just to hear their head roar, IMO. I do watch Beck at times as he has done a super job of calling out George Soros and his socialist cronies. I believe there were very few who realized the circles Obama was running in during his campaign and later as President.
Well, I vote for Ralph Nader every chance I get as he is the only candidate with a platform calling for the abolishment of corporate personhood law. Under CP the two parties have been bought lock, stock and barrel. Yet, many voters/taxpayers seem to believe that roses can grow in cesspools.
Have you noticed that it’s what doesn’t get said that is often as important as what does get said? In the Pres. election there was something like 20 mentions of China but none of ‘trade’ or ‘trade deficit’. In the Pres. primaries immigration was not mentioned or debated. Currently, the Repub’s won’t discuss the ‘Pledge’ and so on.
There are numberous ‘reforms’ that the Corpocracy could implement that would improve our lot but no action is being taken in that regard. Why? The corporations are on a roll, a win-win through globalization, monopolization, Supreme Court rulings, abundance of cheap labor, falling wages and govt’s more than willing to do their bidding for a little ‘support’.
A few reforms that would restore the solvency of the nation and bring our trade deficit to balance or near balance:
Abolish Corporate Personhood – The Supreme Court created this severe imbalance of power between the gov’t, corporations and the people. Thus, Supreme Court action will be required to right the wrong.
Implement campaign finance reform – Removing the money influence from politics will allow the voters to solve any political problem, which was the intent of the Founder’s and the Constitution. Let all donors contribute to one election kitty. Then let politicians take to the stage and may the best candidate(s) be elected by popular vote.
Implement the VAT for foreign trade – As have 153 other nations to keep the playing field level. A VAT would, by itself, bring the US trade deficit to balance or near balance.
Implement a flat income tax – The current income tax policy serves as a political tool for politicians to make winners and losers of people and corporations. Better said, it is a way for the Federal gov’t to micro-manage control of people and commerce. Businesses and residential taxpayers will spend some 7.5 billion hours on reconciling their tax records in 2010. For individuals, their time and cost involved in tax preparation will be $103 billion.
Improve education – Abolish tenure, keep teachers who excel and remove those who don’t. Adopt a college preparatory level of curricula for high schools. Bring retired professionals, volunteer or part-time, into the science and math classes for some number of hours weekly. Establish a dialog between college and high schools officials as to ‘how are we doing’. Establish a dialog between high schools and parents as to ‘how are we doing’. At the college level, abolish tenure, hold foreign student participation at 10%, foreign graduate students returning to teach must demonstrate fluency in written and spoken English. Build the infrastructure to host Internet classes using full duplex audio/visual technology.
Enforce immigration law – There is something like 10% of the Mexican population living off the land in the U.S. while some 25% of U.S. workers are unemployed or under-employed. Some 28k Mexican citizens and others have been killed in drug violence over the past few years. If that were to happen in Burundi or Bulgaria the UN would be on the border post haste. Taking control of the Southern border would squelch drug and human trafficking.
Now, find one suggestion that the Corpocracy would implement. Zero, I believe. That’s why REAL reform can only come about through a 3rd party such as the Republic Sentry Party. Hopefully, some relief will come through voting large numbers of incumbents from office this November and in 2012. Otherwise, the political noise and the gnashing of teeth will continue to be just that.
Posted By: Joel S. Hirschhorn
Date: October 7, 2010 12:19:28 PM
Bentree raises the issue of examples of the hate, idiocy and stupidity that the right-wing idols use; I thought a lot about whether to include these in the article, but keeping article length reasonable is always a goal of mine; plus, specific examples always bring out emotional responses that avoid the core issues I wanted to focus on. Today, as an example, I listened to Limbaugh equate consumer protection advocates to anti-capitalism forces, which is total nonsense; to have capitalism that does not run amok and harm individuals government must protect consumers. The core problem in the US is that corporate interests have taken considerable control over the government and public policy, perverting both capitalism and the economic system in favor of the rich and corporate interests. The right-wing nuts routinely make it seem that their political enemies are against capitalism and for socialism, which I think is total crap. Other examples of the nutty idols idiocy is their attacks on Obama as a non US citizen or a Muslim; as my many articles attest, I am no supporter of Obama, but attacking him on those points just reflects the unhinged stupidity of the false idols and their supporters.
Posted By: Garth
Date: October 7, 2010 05:04:08 PM
Joel, just accept you are a liberal and you lean statist. It is apparent in your self aggrandizing, from on high rederic. Everyone is stupid,......except you and people that agree with everything you say. Spoken like a true statist.
Then you write a whole article, laced in name calling, usually reserved for the play ground, with not one piece of evidence, let alone EXAMPLE, to back up what you are saying.
You must be young, because in response to the last comment referring to Limbaugh, talking about regulation; you just stated your opinion, with no point whatsoever, just tired leftist’s talking points. Then again with the birth certificate; because you believe what you believe the other side must be stupid. NO self introspection or critical thought, just the belief you opinions are divine somehow. This is arrogance, something you don't see much on libertarian posts.
Just to add some real discussion; I am an Accountant, and I have been working under Sarbanes-Oxley for five years. If you believe "consumer protection" is an inherently good thing, just because the words "consumer protection” are used, you are just the fool I think you are. You have no idea how many tedious tasks are mandated under SOX. It costs an estimated $10 million in additional compliance costs to my company alone, 10-40% of my day is spent on compliance, all due to an overreach of government in response to Enron. You are the fool Joel, it’s because you are part of a group think mentality, and no ability to think independently or critically. Maybe you need to listen to more Rush.
Posted By: Joel S. Hirschhorn
Date: October 7, 2010 09:42:10 PM
Garth, I never said that everyone is stupid; a fair and more accurate statement might be that everyone adoring and respecting the right-wing celebrity idols is stupid. And maybe also someone who uses the word "rederic." Or to be more charitable, just poorly educated. No, I am not young; I am 71 and can document a mountain of academic, professional and activist accomplishments that demonstrate my critical thinking skills. If you read my last book Delusional Democracy or my hundreds of published articles you would see that objectively speaking I am no liberal. Proof of that might be countless articles attacking the positions and policies of actual liberals and Democrats. Apparently you are part of that right wing segment that does not understand just how brutally corporate interests have harmed ordinary Americans and, therefore, why government consumer protection activities are critically needed. Enjoy your corpocracy, I want to remove its domination of our Republic, just as some of our Founders and great thinkers warned us against (lots of quotes in my book). Why not tell everyone which of the nutty celebrity idols you adore, and also whether you think Obama is not a citizen and whether you think he is a Muslim.
Posted By: Garth
Date: October 9, 2010 12:50:41 PM
I believe you are misrepresenting yourself. As a libertarian I am concerned with defending individual liberty. If you were a libertarian, I would assume you are also interested in defending individual liberty, but your article creates a merry-go-round effect to the discussion, instead of moving it forward. It’s internally destructive to our cause, which I believe is intentional on your part.
I think you’re a liar because of your misunderstanding of markets and your distrust with individuals making their own decisions, something that seems to be inherent in all statists.
FOX news cannot force anyone to watch their newscasts. This whole idea that FOX is in it to make money, and they only succeed because they report false information, is based on the idea that people are too stupid to tell the difference between what is false and what is true. I guess in your mind these “mental midgets” are unable to make intelligent decisions. Your arrogant mindset here reeks of statism. (You also mentioned your extensive academic career; I couldn’t care less about where you went to school) First of all, how dare you marginalize millions of Americans into a “mental midget” category; secondly, I don’t see how a true libertarian can have such a disdain, and distrust for so many free thinking individuals.
If you were truly on the side of liberty, you wouldn’t be wasting time on attempting to discredit those who are advancing the fight for liberty against statism. I don’t “adore” anyone that isn’t family, but I do appreciate Rush. If you find he is on the other side of the fight for liberty from where your standing, I think you need to do some serious self reflection.
Would you prefer a complete monopoly of media by the left? Why not write an article denouncing the mainstream media? No, you chose to denounce the only media outlet on the right….very suspicious. Would you prefer these “poorly educated” masses to watch the alternative MSM? (“Poorly educated” …are your serious…what arrogance. Is this considered misinformation, being that you have no idea the education level of the people that watch FOX?)
Serious question; do you consider yourself more a Noam Chomsky Libertarian Socialist, or a Milton Friedman Libertarian? Also, I am extremely interested to read an article you wrote that would have me believe otherwise.