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The American right – conservatism &/or fanaticism?

I have been following the increasingly strident claims of the American conservative movement primarily through my interest in climate change denialism, a component of their agenda.  More important parts of this agenda focus on the Obama health plan, on the bailouts to various groups in the economy as a consequence of the GFC and to what seems to be an obsessive hatred of President Obama. 

I found this account by Michael Tomasky of the rise of a right-wing US protest movement, brimming with hatred and with racist undertones, illuminating. The discussion deals with the new Tea Party Protest  movement that sees America collapsing into socialism or communism.  It is backed by numerous well-funded conservative organisations and numerous media organisations such as the FOX News Channel with Glenn Beck, Michelle Makin and Rick Santelli.  The movement is almost entirely white. Some of the concern reflects genuine fears about the increasing role of government and the loss of individual liberty.  Much of it, however, is directed to the “parasite in Chief’, Barack Obama.  The movement will become more important if the US economy weakens.

“This conservative protest movement… has three powerful forces supporting it: bottomless amounts of corporate money; an ideologically dedicated press, radio, and cable television apparatus eager to tout its existence; and elected officials who are willing to embrace it publicly and whose votes in support of the movement’s positions can be absolutely relied upon”.

The conjunction of the GFC, the long-term decline in US power and the need for the US to undertake comprehensive reforms in relation to the way its financial and environmental policies operate creates the potential for long-term conflict.

3 comments to The American right – conservatism &/or fanaticism?

  • MAGB

    The “obsessive hatred of President Obama” is mild compared to the obsessive hatred of President Bush. The left wing protest movement had the entire mainstream media on their side during the election.
    Seems the left can serve it up, but can’t take it. They need to grow up.

  • Laurie

    The left didn’t organise militia, nor did they bomb government buildings. As far as I recall, they operated within the ambit of debate and argument that is celebrated within our culture.

  • derrida derider

    Of course the paranoid right has always been significant in the US. What is new since Reagan is its alliance with the corporate right, which has provided both money and media.

    Extremist influence is always likely to increase as an empire declines. As the US now has hardly any lunar left, it’s the lunar right that will become ever more prominent.

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