Just got done reading a teaser for a book by Thomas Frank Called “Billionaires Are The Victims” in which he chronicles the Republican strategy of “victimhood”. This is their ultimate fallback position, their Plan B, wherein if they can’t make a cogent point in support of their position and/or are asked for any kind of corroboration of whatever outrageous claim they have been trying to make, they launch into this weird little self pity drone state wherein they whine incessantly and “sorrowfully about how this nation of moochers and looters persists in making snippy remarks about the successful”. While he refers mainly to the rich themselves, those of us who don’t have direct access to those types still deal with this “cult of victimhood” any time we let ourselves be conned into any kind of conversation with their lesser turdminions at any level.
I know that anyone of you who has ever attempted to engage a far right wingnut in anything resembling a meaningful debate on the issues know that without fail, issues will go out the window and it will eventually come down to them playing the victim, usually claiming that you’re stifling their right dissent by refusing to give credence (or space as the case may be) to their ideas and opinions or some such folderol but until now, none of the mainstream pundits and surprisingly few bloggers have taken the time to look at this aspect of their agenda. The simple fact is that
Marie Antoinette Ann Romney isn’t unique in her belief that she and others like her are being victimized or persecuted by the hordes of unwashed commoners.
If you’ve been long time readers at They Gave Us A Republic then you might remember a couple of us quoting from various satirical posts by Jim Hightower bout how tough the filthy rich have had it during these trying times but even those, while wholly accurate, have been more in the humorous vein than attempts at serious discourse about the the fact that the victim card along with the calculated failure to observe any of the niceties and amenities of formalized or even mildly civilized debate… much like Mr. Romney failed to do last night… is an integral part of any conservative’s portfolio of debate or discussion tactics and will invariably be brought out any time they feel that they are falling behind on “points” or otherwise are losing control of the proceedings. Remember Pat Nixon’s cloth coat? As Mr. Frank puts it:
I admit that I was impressed at first by the unconflicted way in which these proud voices of the strong—these hymners of Darwinian struggle, of the freedom to fail, of competition to the death—advanced their war on the world by means of tearful weepy-woo. But then I started to get it: self-pity is central in the consciousness of the resurgent right. Depicting themselves as victimized in any and every situation is not merely a fun game of upside-down; it is essential to their self-understanding.
Indeed, there are few political or cultural situations in which the right doesn’t instinctively reach for the mantle of the wronged, holler about bias, or protest about how unfairly they’ve been treated. It goes on even in the most improbable precincts. Army generals must be consoled. And former majority leaders of the House of Representatives need your sympathy.
And it carries right on down to the most lowly little Twitter or Facebook political trolls. As long as they’re allowed to run rampant, saying anything that pops into their pointy little heads no matter how far from factual it might be, they’re happier than pigs in mud. But just challenge on of them on the sources of their material or ask for some real verifiable numbers that support whatever hyperbolic generalization they’ve just hacked up and spit out or just simply disagree with something they’ve said and all of a sudden the entire tenor of the exchange changes and now you’re bullying them, the usual accusation being that you’re somehow “not allowing them to state their opinions” or at best refusing to take them seriously.
I don’t do it anymore. I refuse to allow these type of people access to my Twitter timeline and I’ve pretty much hidden or blocked most of those on Facebook who regularly post at worst, outright lies and at best, unsupported claims and or innuendo with little or no basis in fact mainly because at my age, life’s too damned short to be playing fifth grade he said/she said games. If I’m going to engage, then I want to see facts, numbers, and links to raw data unfiltered through someone else’s idea of context and the LAST damned thing I want to hear about is how mistreated and picked on you are because I had the flipping gall to challenge some bullshit statement you made on MY dime.