Hate and fear might as well be the GOP’s motto. And while there was a time when a liberal like me saying that would be accurately labeled hyperbolic, that time has passed. Show me what, aside from hate and fear, the modern Republican Party is all about.
Columnist Rex Huppke, writing for USA Today, July 16, 2023
Huppke’s comment is something we hear all the time. The campaign to dehumanize MAGA Republicans as hatemongers and fearmongers is a staple of the liberal media, is the playbook for Democrat politicians all the way up to President Biden, and is supported by almost the entire academic community. This dehumanization campaign isn’t restricted to Democrats. Establishment Republicans either equivocate, or explicitly join Democrats in demonizing MAGA Republicans.
If Huppke’s self-described hyperbole typifies how housebroken establishment pundits attack MAGA Republicans, a more intellectual approach to sowing hatred and fear of MAGA Republicans is exemplified in the writings of an influential political commentator, Heather Cox Richardson, who earns an estimated $1.0 million per year from her Substack subscribers. When writing about alleged “messages of anti-inclusion and hate” proffered by the grassroots group Moms for Liberty, Richardson quoted Chris Rufo to make her point about a supposed “attack on democracy” coming from the American Right:
“Radical right activists like Rufo believe they must capture the central institutions of the U.S. and get rid of the tenets of democracy—individual rights, academic freedom, free markets, separation of church and state, equality before the law—in order to save the country.”
In an extensive body of work, Richardson’s consistent theme is that Republicans are dangerous extremists, relying on misinformation to spread hate and fear. While her tone is objective and she carefully avoids the appearance of hyperbole, her message is consistently biased. Richardson is not objective, or she would blend empathy with her criticism of right-of-center groups such as Moms for Liberty. Instead, Richardson is an active participant in a process of polarization, not mutual understanding.
What Richardson misses, perhaps willfully, is that the “central institutions” of the U.S. have already been “captured” by left-wing extremists, who use them as a platform to spread the most potently seductive blend of hatemongering and fearmongering in the history of propaganda. Equally significant, and also ignored by Richardson, is that America’s most powerful corporations and wealthiest individuals have, with rare exceptions, determined that embracing the leftist narrative offers them a path to more profit and more power.
How Democrats Sow Hatred and Fear
On a host of critical issues the pervasive reach of this narrative of fear and hate is omnipresent. The strategy is obvious: saturate the population with fear, then tacitly urge them to hate anyone who is allegedly responsible, and, crucially, hate anyone who attempts to diminish or deny the threat posed by whoever or whatever is so allegedly fearsome. The “climate emergency” is a perfect example.
When it comes to spreading fear, catastrophic floods, rising seas, deadly heat and raging fires are images that tap something primal in humans. All of these threats are now conveyed to the American public, nonstop, by every establishment institution. A normal heatwave is now “historic,” despite evidence to the contrary, and television screens show temperature maps smothered in red, as if the world was on fire. A powerful storm is now called a “bomb cyclone,” and whatever damage or death may result is blamed on “human caused climate change.” To cope, laws and regulations are demanded, and passed, that convey unprecedented new powers to government bureaucracies and politically connected corporations.
With the fear comes hate. Anyone questioning the climate crisis narrative is a right-wing extremist. The use of the word “denier” to describe a climate skeptic is a particularly effective choice, since it triggers associations with the commonly used term “holocaust denier,” used to describe anyone repugnant enough to deny the Nazi genocide against Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. In a classic and typical strategy of inversion, as well, climate skeptics are accused of being funded by fossil fuel companies. And this accusation sticks, despite the obvious fact that if supplies of the most indispensable fuel on earth are constrained, fossil fuel companies make more profit.
The militancy and fanaticism of climate alarmists is well documented and growing. But it isn’t love for the planet, much less people, that motivates them. It is obsessive anxiety, nurtured by fearmongers on the corporate, Democratic Left, who have captured America’s institutions and stoke that anxiety with every new storm and every hot day. And with existential anxiety comes hatred for anyone who would get in the way of whatever radical solutions might ease that anxiety.
Fearmongering from Democrats is everywhere. The “war on women.” “Systemic racism.” The “genocide against black men by police.” “Turning back the clock” on rights of women and minorities. And, of course the latest, the campaign to “erase” transsexuals.
The False Premises of Democratic Fearmongering
None of these claims have any solid basis in facts. Women have more rights in America than they ever have, anywhere in the world, today as well as throughout history. Systemic racism in its modern incarnation favors virtually anyone belonging to a “protected status group,” which in practice means anyone who is not a heterosexual white male.
The number of blacks killed each year at the hands of police is vanishingly small. Between 2015 and 2021, a total of 135 unarmed blacks were killed by police, an average of 19 per year. With more than 23 million black males living in the U.S., the chances of an unarmed black man in America dying at the hands of police in any given year is less than one in a million. In most of these cases there is an explanation for what happened, while some of these killings are clearly inexcusable and horribly wrong. But with over 1 million sworn police officers in the United States, some abuses are a statistical inevitability. That doesn’t justify them, but it is not evidence of an “epidemic of violence against black men,” much less “genocide.”
This doesn’t stop the Democratic hate machine. If you question the black genocide narrative, you are a racist. If you are a racist, you deserve to be hated.
As for “turning back the clock,” there is a gaping difference, completely ignored by Democrats, between trying to restore common sense, fairness, and sanity to America’s culture and American institutions, and going back to the 1950s, much less the 1850s. Moms for Liberty can be forgiven if they want to keep books written at the third grade level that offer graphic instructions on how to perform oral and anal sex, out of the libraries of elementary schools. Similarly, activists like Chris Rufo have a point when they suggest it might be a tragic mistake for America’s medical and psychiatric establishment to endorse hormone blockers and genitalia altering surgery on minors.
These people are not “haters.” They are fighting madness, curated by an establishment that has traded sanity and standards for a manipulated, collectively psychotic, fearful, hateful, and very useful Democrat mob.
Democrats (and RINOs) Are Corporate Puppets
The truth about climate, identity, and healthy morality doesn’t matter to Democrat leaders, and if all you care about is acquiring, keeping, and growing political and economic power, why should it? Fearmongering and hatemongering is the hard currency of Democrats. It is being used to purchase and transform a nation. Pundits like Rex Huppke traffic in this currency because it’s an easy schtick. It also pleases the corporations and oligarchs that pay Huppke. These special interests recognize how coopting the rhetoric of leftist fear and hate diffuses what until recently was a virulent leftist aversion to corporate power and private wealth. At the same time, they recognize how the green agenda and equity agenda will enable them to acquire still more power.
The biggest lie in American politics is that Democrats and RINOs care about the American people, especially the underdog or “disadvantaged.” They do not. Democrats have become a party controlled by transnational elites, multinational corporations, international banks, and supranational institutions. Worse, much worse, is the flawed, misanthropic agenda of this coalition: turning America into a technology driven police state, using environmentalism and “equity” as justification to level down and subdue the American people. And the psychological weapon to advance this agenda is to foment fear and hatred against whoever might expose the lie.
Partisan academics like Heather Cox Richardson hide the propagandistic essence of their work by adopting an intellectual tone, and selectively omitting relevant facts. But they, too, are feeding the fear and hate machine that defines corporate Leftism in America today. If Richardson, or Huppke, and all the other thousands of hacks who have climbed the greasy pole of leftist influencing truly cared about fighting hate and fear, they would look in the mirror. They might recognize that corruption and hate, sadly, can be found everywhere. Starting from that novel premise, from time to time they might honestly examine what merit and moral worth might be found in MAGA Republican populism, and what nihilistic madness might be found in their own backyards.
That would constitute balance. That would be a step towards reconciliation and unity. It might lead to a new political consensus that demands freedom be more than an illusion, and rejects a national policy of managed decline.