Archives For Radical Right

Rabbit Hole Fox News

Let me start out with the theme for this post. The Internet is a double-edged sword. It allows the free flow of massive amounts of information but it also allow the free flow of massive amounts of mis-information. The crux of the interview that the PBS Newshour quote below comes from is about how people pick and choose which science to believe. Lets face it much the info you can find on the Internet is without any type of documented foundation. Anyone, including me, can put out their opinions on any topic they choose. Now let’s go to the quote:

I think one of the differences today is just the Internet. It has changed the whole information universe. It’s democratized, small-D, information out there. There are fewer sort of gatekeepers of knowledge.

Instead, people go out and seek information, and they often find what they’re looking for that reinforces their belief. The Internet, you know, it doesn’t facilitate consensus, as anyone has noticed who’s gone on the Internet. Instead, it creates these sort of filter bubbles, these rabbit holes, these echo chambers. And these communities of sort of alternative knowledge develop that are often in opposition to the scientific mainstream….

So that’s part of what we’re seeing, is that there are lots of attitudes that are influenced by longstanding values, religious beliefs, political beliefs, other personal experiences. And that’s actually a longstanding pattern we have seen many years, but we have new issues….

Well, I think that there are people who are demagogues in the media world that benefit from, you know, dividing and conquering. They want to have people who — they want to say, trust only me on this issue think the stakes are large for all of us in this more technological, engineered world, where we need to get this stuff right

SOURCE: Why we pick and choose which science to believe.

If we don’t take the time to parse through what we find on the Internet it can lead us to live our life in filter bubbles, rabbit holes, and echo chambers (I love that analogy). The Internet is kind of like the Bible, if we look hard enough and are willing to ignore everything else we can find a phrase or two to back up our current worldview no matter what it is.  The biggest example of this tunnel-vision mentality is Fox News with MSNBC not far behind. Fox News claims to be “fair and balanced” but most everyone, I’m sure even Fox’s regular viewers, know in their heart there is no truth to that statement. Sadly I do recognize that many get all their news from that source. Will Rogers, my hero, said that if you only have one source of news then you quickly become a fool. I think those words apply  maybe even more so today than they did almost one-hundred years ago when he said them.

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Many conservative Evangelicals who trust leaders like Franklin Graham to shepherd them faithfully in the Good News of Jesus have been swept away in the unfortunate movement to transform them from being the “People of Good News” to, quite literally, the “People of FOX News.” Franklin seems to have fallen prey to the power and platform of the Tea Party/Religious Right and has begun manipulating his father’s honorable name and ministry to promote a political agenda. This was never more clearly demonstrated than at Billy Graham’s 95th birthday celebration last week. Take a look at this photo from the event:

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Pictured here are just some of the notable guests at the celebration, including Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Rupert Murdoch, and Greta VanSustern. (This list could also be known as the Tea Party Power Players Also Note: Glenn Beck is not pictured here but was also in attendance) This picture makes my stomach churn. It’s hard to imagine that Billy Graham would ever want to host such a gathering of these extreme republican high-ballers. It s obvious that there’s more going on behind this picture.

SOURCE:  From “Good News” to FOX News: How Franklin Graham Is Using His Aging Father | Brandan Robertson | Red Letter Christians.

I have read several books by Billy Graham and have watched a few of his crusades throughout the world.  He was a religious advisor to several presidents both Republican and Democrat. His ministry was about Jesus and Jesus alone.  It totally shocks me to see what his son Franklin has done to Billy’s ministry.  He seems to parade his senile and very aged father around to promote his political agenda. That is something that his father absolutely would never have permitted when he was of sound mind and body.

I know that by converting his father’s organization over to an extreme right political agenda probably brings in more money from the radicals like Murdock, Trump, and all the Fox News ranting heads but what are the consequences?  I pray that someday Franklin is held accountable for totally tainting his father’s lifelong ministry for more power, money,  and political gain for himself. How tragically sad is that??????

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I come from a very Red State so I shouldn’t be surprised that so many of my high school classmates are radical rights. But that doesn’t ease the pain….

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CrowdsThe “Radical Right” and the “Liberal Left” are so twentieth century!  Its time we invented some new monikers for these two opposing groups and I have the perfect names. These names just seem to be more descriptive than the old one.  Who knows what “Right” and “Left” really mean anyway.  For some reason I know I am right-handed but I am also called left leaning. I know we in the U.S. read from left to right but some countries read from right to left and some read up and down.  Left and right just don’t have any solid meaning.

So, I am going to invent some new names here and I expect them to be in common use by the end of 2013. 😉

Continue Reading…

Source: First Thoughts: The center cannot hold – First Read.

“I have reached the conclusion that the atmosphere today, and the reality that exists in the House of Representatives, no longer encourages the finding of common ground”

“I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we — I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history,” referring to Michele Bachmann’s political witch hunt against a top State Department aide.

It must be obvious to even the most radical Republican that the GOP has changed remarkably in the last decade or so. The middle has simply vanished from their party. That is certainly obvious to yet another moderate Republican who has been driven out of his party. The extreme right-wing fringe continues to put the GOP into a stranglehold that will likely cause their demise unless the moderates can wrench control from them in the coming years.

As I have said before this era very much reminds me of the McCarthy years where a small group of small thinking Republicans kidnapped their party. It was several years before the moderates finally brought sanity back to that body.

Even though the founders did not conceive of a two-party system when they formed this country I thoroughly believe it is a bedrock part of our success as a nation. When differing philosophies are debated and compromise is reached it usually results in a better bill than if only one viewpoint is considered. But the key word here is compromise.

When one party starts treating the other as evil something has gone eschew. The hate that now dominates our politics is threatening our very existence as a nation. Will sanity come back to the process before it is too late?  That question is very much up in the air with me right now. The only hope I see for fixing this is for another party to rise up and replace the currently very narrow minded, often hateful GOP. I truly wish it were but nothing short of complete implosion of that party seems even possible right now….

But what do I know….

Source: Why U.S. politics devolves into good vs. evil – USATODAY.com.

It is so much easier to hate someone when you are able to put the “evil” label on them.  It makes everything they do wrong and everything you do somehow righteous. That seems to be what is happening so much around us today in so many categories. The most obvious of which is politics. The fringes of both political parties who seem to now control everything have come to  believe that their opponents are indeed evil and have only the country’s destruction as its goal! For those of us who still have some remaining sense of humanity we know that people for the most part are not evil but simply have different world views than we do.

It is sad to say but there are definitely many in the country who see things in totally black and white. To them anyone who does not buy into their views are the enemy and are evil.  Unfortunately the Conservative Evangelical community  as a whole has been dubbed with this stance. The group as a whole are labeled to see  President Obama as being in cohorts with the devil himself. To them the president’s purpose is to destroy the moral fiber of the country! They see him as simply evil and must be defeated at absolutely any cost.

How can people come to such a radical stand against someone else? This totally perplexes me.  It looks like Mr. Romney will be the president’s opponent this fall. To me that is a much better outcome than many of the other possibilities. At least we will have a rational choice in the presidential elections. I wonder how much of the “radical conservative” blanket Mr. Romney will now shed in order to get elected. Many independents, including myself, would never vote for him if he continues to maintain the views he was pushed into by his primary opponents. It will be interesting to see if he sheds himself of the black/white view of the radical base of his party.

Treating something as evil makes it easier to demonize it but that is not rational thought. I’m sure the super pacs will continue to put huge sums of money into a campaign to get people to fear the president. Fear and hate seem to go hand-in-hand during these times.  I will close with a saying of one of the sages of the time.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” ~Yoda

But what do I know…