Twitter Cults: Thin Skins and Short Memories

11 Aug
Disclaimer:  Some people who read this may feel insulted by it.  That’s not my intent.  I don’t know how many members for the Democratic party fit into the category of Democrat I’m going to be talking about here.  That’s a number I have no way to determine although I would guess just from what I read on my Twitter timeline that it’s probably a sizable one.  If you feel insulted by anything you read here then you probably are one.  If you’re not one then there’s nothing here you should feel insulted by.

Had a bit of a confrontation yesterday with one of those folks on Twitter who like to call themselves “libs” in their profiles but who exhibit a whole lot of the same symptoms of Tea Party Foot in Mouth Disease you see displayed by RWNJs as a simple matter of course, chief among them being the assumption that their little world is the ONLY little world out there and that everyone faces exactly the same ups and downs in their daily lives that they do.

No need to go in to any detail  He and I are basically reading the same book even if we’re on different pages and as far as I’m concerned, no real harm was done. But it did set me to thinking yet again about the paradigm shifts… always to the right by the way… that have taken place in what’s called “left wing” thinking these days and one indication that arose quickly was that a lot Of Democrats are like a lot of Republicans in considering any disagreement with some statement they may have made as some kind of personal attack and that’s not the only similarity between their “debate” techniques.

What used to be a simple and ultimately healthy battle between ideologies has, with the advent of real time social networks, become a battle of individual personalities where everything is taken personally and simple disagreements become personal attacks.  Everyone is so busy fending off what he or she believes to be attacks on their very character that almost invariably, any attempt at a true discussion of issues degenerates into a litany of name calling and character assassination.

None of this is new to anyone.  The core practices themselves were instituted by Wall Street’s right wing turdminions in the mid/late 90s when the extent to which the Internet was going to dominate life in America became readily apparent.  Those same practices are still serving the Masters of the Universe well as a stopgap until complete control of the networks can be assumed and they work mostly by keeping us divided and at each other’s throats.  That’s a bait no modern day leftie can resist since one of their favorite things in the world is beating up other lefties..

There’s no question that the right wingers are far more adept at manipulating public opinion among the “unwashed masses” than is the left… or what passes for the left these days.  Their rockbound control over the GOP through the organ that they invented solely for that purpose, the Tea Party. is unprecedented in world history.  All that’s left for them to do now is to complete their takeover of the left and move it to the right sufficiently as to eliminate any truly organized resistance to their ongoing coup.  Hmmm.  Not far to go on that one either.

The tactics they used against the ignorant and uninformed among their right wing core required some modification and experimentation in order to work on the Blue State denizens who consider themselves more educated and therefore more intelligent than BillyJoeBob and his toothless wife/cousin, but not a lot.  Today’s Progressives love to think that they are somehow immune to being manipulated but really, it’s simply a matter of finding the right combination of buttons to push.  I have buttons, you have buttons, everybody’s gotta have buttons.

With the “ignorant rednecks” it was basically self interest, perhaps the basest self interest of all, one based on an innate feeling in many, if not most of, white Americans of European descent that they are somehow intrinsically superior to every other race on the planet.  This constitutes much of what makes these folks so inordinately proud of being ignorant, unsophisticated in the ways of the world and unschooled.  They’re white; they don’t need to be smart or educated or wise or anything else to be superior.  Why waste their time learning about other countries and other people and all those useless things when none of them matter in the face of the supremacy of the white race?  The only problem they’ve run into is finding a way to force the rest of the world to recognize that supremacy.  Of course, it ain’t gonna happen But Wall Street is more than happy to help them keep trying.

A center/right Democrat’s superiority button on the other hand is intellect, not race and the same crudities won’t work so It’s a little trickier with your average c/r Democrat who belongs to the Democratic party not because it’s still the “party of the people”… hasn’t been anything like that since at least 1980, as witnessed by the fact that both of the Democratic presidents elected in that period have been center right if not outright conservatives and been instrumental in numerous actions that have played directly into the Wall Street/Right Wing agenda… but because it’s considered the party of the “smarter” set.

It also becomes pretty apparent when you look at congress and it suddenly strikes you that of the 535 members of that august body, you could count the number of actual liberals (by the old school definition of the term) on the fingers of one hand and have your thumb left over to play switch with.  Liberalism today has devolved into nothing more than a label you hang on yourself to get them to vote for you or your candidate, a throwaway you can immediately dump once it’s served its purpose.  Then you go back to competing with the RWs to see who can find the foulest epithet to apply to liberals.

It was bad enough when we still had two separate parties and two distinct ideologies to choose from.  At least the differences were unmistakable then.  Not so today.  Today we don’t elect on the basis of red or blue but what shade of purple paint we can slop on someone and make him/her appeal to both “sides”.

As far as I’m concerned, electing a president not on the basis of “Which one is going to do the most good?“ but of “Which one is going to do the least harm?” is a goddamned stupid way to run a country but it’s what we’ve had for thirty years and for many of today’s voters it’s all they’ve ever had which I suppose, is what makes it OK with them.  It’s not OK with me.  In fact it’s one of those Things That Really Piss Me Off but even I’m intelligent enough… if only barely so… to realize nobody gives a rat’s ass what I think.

So today’s “leftie” thinks one of the things that makes him a leftie is his innate intellectual superiority to the average right winger, an attitude that can’t help but spill over into his dealings with other Democrats, especially actual liberal Democrats.  Anybody remember that thread where a couple of guys we’ll call  Bolitical_Pill and Shilt Mook (names changed for no particular reason) were discussing their patriotic duty to “educate” other progressives in the proper way to conduct themselves as true progressives?  I do.  Blocked both of them right on the spot just to save wear and tear I can’t afford to undergo anymore.

The point is not that they were being a couple of pompous blowhards and egotistical jerks… Twitter is an ego inflation thing after all and that’s what guys like them do on Twitter, why they’re there in the first place.  The point is that in spite of being Twitters political version of the Festrunk Brothers, they were able to con a lot of people into going along with Pill’s decidedly pro right wing pronouncements and Mook’s constant diatribes against what remains of the real left in this country.  All either of them had to do was toss a “GOP=Bad Guys” tweet in there now and then and they were instantly anointed champions of the left and got to be cult figures with their little bands of groupies hanging on every word of every tweet.

A major thing for the “intellectually superior” types that have assumed the mantle of the left that has come down from my old 1960s days is the need for not just leaders but gurus or cult style figures they can anoint and worship at the feet of.  We had all kinds from JFK to  Mahareshi Yogurt or whatever including people who performed crappily in a couple for crappy movies and got offed in a car accident and rock stars who snuffed themselves with drug overdoses.  There was always something or someone for lefties to build a cult around.  That mentality may be the only thing that has survived from the days when activists had to actually get off their couches and go some where and… well… ACT on something.

Twitter is just like that only on steroids.  While the various cult figures might have varied over the years depending on your demographic, the need… not for people whom we can simply respect for doing a having done a good job… but for someone upon whom to lavish slavish adoration and full blown hero worship  has remained throughout, having come full circle and returning to its political roots in the 1990s.  We saw it then with Bill Clinton who remains a bit of a demigod even today in spite of having signed into law a crapload  of highly onerous right wing sponsored legislation that exceeds some of his Republican predecessors in terms of negative impact on the country.  None of that mattered because he was Bill Clinton, the BIG DOG by god.  I myself still get a kick out of watching him do his “aw shucks” shtick but I never bought that “I feel your pain” routine, especially during his second term.

And of course the ultimate rock star President, Barack Obama who just may have more right wingers in his cabinet and bureaucracies than  any president in history… certainly any DEMOCRATIC president, I’m sure… who has steadfastly refused to prosecute the war criminals of the Cheney regime while his administration gleefully snaps up low hanging fruit such as army privates and low end government contractors… declined to investigate the corporate rake offs in our new privatized system for waging war… goes along with the “too big to fail, too big to jail” meme religiously and has yet to bring to justice a single one of the fat cats who wrecked the economy and is the first Democratic president in history to try to tie Social Security to the deficit and propose cuts in Social Security balance the budget when Social Security isn’t PART of the budget… who in short, has steadfastly maintained a decidedly right of center position NOT against the desires of the average Democrat but because of them.

For anyone from the left to even suggest that there’s something wrong with a Democratic administration that runs the country on a Wall Street agenda brings instant retribution from people who profess to be staunch Constitutionalists with one breath and propose repealing 22nd amendments the next so they can elect Mr. Obama Dictator President for life and then repealing a major clause in the bill of rights so he can track their every move with impunity.

These people are willing to forego many of their basic rights and freedoms, starting with the right to be protected against illegal search and seizure, their right to free assemble, their right to question the acts of their government, subject themselves to virtually Orwellian style living conditions… all so they can have Barack Obama take care of them and “keep them safe” for the rest of their lives.  That’s some scary shit right there, especially to someone who read 1984 back when it was considered an impossible science fiction scenario. (Just for the record, I don’t NEED him or any other politician to take care of me.  When that day comes, we’ve lost whatever damned war we were fighting anyway).

Wall Street doesn’t care if the POTUS is a Democrat or a Republican.  They don’t care if he or she claims to be a conservative or a liberal (although there’s very little chance of that anyway) as long as it gets him or her elected and he or she knows which side his or her bread is really buttered on.  In the 2008 cycle, Barack Obama received far more in corporate contributions than did McCain’s campaign.  In 2012, they (Wall Street) had it coming and going.  One candidate was already in debt to them, the other was ONE of them.  Win win for Wall Street?  Well, look how it’s turned out.

You folks need to quit looking for super heroes and messianic cult figures and find someone who operates on a simple right/wrong good for the country philosophy.  Otherwise simply admit that you don’t WANT someone who operates on a simple good for the country philosophy like that and you’re OK with Wall Street running things.   This electing of thinly veiled moderate conservatives and calling them liberals and then going all incredible hulk on anyone that doesn’t buy it, just makes you look silly

You had one of those actual public servant types once but you let yourself be flim-flammed by the Reagan propaganda machine and wound up trading the last real leftie president we ever had for the beginning of the end of the republic. Didn’t learn a damned thing from it either.  Since then we’ve had five either outright conservative republicans or right leaning corporate Democrat presidents and for thirty years the country has gone to a hell in a hand basket.

And for that entire thirty years plus the twenty years prior to it, I’ve personally observed every moment of it, several times if you count hindsight.  People wonder why I’m a cynical old grouch?



Posted by on August 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Twitter Cults: Thin Skins and Short Memories

  1. Gerald F

    August 11, 2013 at 14:47

    “the organ that they invented solely for that purpose, the Tea Party. is unprecedented in world history.”
    Since the Tea Party is pretty much a rebirth of the Nazi Party of the 1920s Germany which had the same goals in mind I wouldn’t say it is unprecedented in world history

  2. Tom Bales

    August 11, 2013 at 14:52

    Didn’t say it was… said Wall Street’s rockbound control of the GOP through the USE of the Tea Party was. They took the German model, built on it and applied modern day propaganda techniques to it. That’s why all those cooky cutter congressfolks and RW governors act like they’re reading from the same prepared script. They are. Allows them to stay on message better than the Dems.


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