The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Blame America First!

Posted on | January 21, 2011 | 9 Comments

“Loughner is a pathetic symbol of the ignorance and paranoia eating away at American politics.”
Alice Miles, “How paranoia infected America,” The New Statesman (U.K.)

How is it that one psychotic is made a symbol for all the other Americans who haven’t shot their members of Congress? If random criminals are to be said to symbolize America, why not the mafioso rounded up this week?

Why not Charlie Sheen?

No, when a British writer wants a “pathetic symbol” of America, it can’t be gangsters or Mr. Hookers-and-Blow. It’s got to be the 22-year-old Bush Derangement Syndrome sufferer who, despite the fact that he had no connection with conservatives — and not even much connection with reality — provides Alice Miles an excuse to criticize conservatives:

What Palin and others on the right in particular do have to answer for is not Loughner’s behaviour, but the diminution of political debate in the US; the way populist poses have taken the place of argument. They have seized on the First Amendment right to free speech and twisted it to encourage dishonesty and stupidity. Uninterested in facts, they offer a dangerously combustible mix of religion and politics, an elision of dogma, morality and “patriotism” which mirrors the similarly ignorant ramblings of other extremists. The internet fuels this ignorance, allowing myths such as Obama’s supposed foreign nationality to spread.

We’re uninteresting in facts, you see. We’re encouraging dishonesty and stupidity, and we’re using the Internet to fuel ignorance.

There’s something “pathetic” here, all right, but it’s not America.


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