Harold Meyerson lays it out beautifully in this column in The Washington Post. Excerpts:
Last October, Glenn Beck was musing on his radio show about the prospect of the government seizing his children if he didn't give them flu vaccines. "You want to take my kids because of that?" he said. "Meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson."
Last April, Erick Erickson, the managing editor of the right-wing RedState blog and a CNN commentator, was questioning the legality of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey on a radio show. "We have become, or are becoming, enslaved by the government. . . . I dare 'em to try to come to throw me in jail. I dare 'em to. [I'll] pull out my wife's shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door."
Do right-wing talk show commentators incite violence against the government? Feel free to draw your own conclusions - but to dwell on the rise of violent rhetoric on the right is to miss an even bigger, though connected, problem. Let's focus, rather, on the first part of Beck's and Erickson's observations: The government wants to take away Glenn Beck's (and by extension, your) kids. The government wants to take a census and will throw Erick Erickson (and by extension, you) in jail if he, and you, don't comply.
Can we see the hands of all the kids taken from their parents because they didn't get flu shots? How about all those people rotting in jail because they didn't cooperate in compiling the census?
Meyerson is calling Beck and Erickson paranoid idiots, damn fools, and liars, which is the absolute truth. I have found, by the way, in dealing with radical right-wingers that they suffer from a pervasive sense of victimization. Their whole ethos can be summed up in one statement: "Poor me! The entire world is out to get people like me!" They embrace and cling to their childish fears and hatreds because it gives them the self-justification they absolutely crave. They routinely threaten violence or use violent imagery. And they attribute all kinds of grotesque, ludicrous motives to the "Evil Librulz" who are apparently out to shove all of their children into gas chambers. It's as I've been saying for years now:
If you want to know what kind of people have been the millstone around America's neck right from the start, it's the far-right conservatives to whom you should look. The radical right today just has better ways of broadcasting their insane, lying nonsense than their ideological forebears had. From right-wing hate radio, the king of which, Rush Limbaugh, is a sickening mixture of racist hatreds and non-stop lies about anyone he doesn't like, to Fox "News", which disseminates right-wing hate propaganda tirelessly every single day and which harbors the most shameless, brazen right-wing liar in America, Sean Hannity, to the twisted newspaper columnists and editorialists such as the mentally ill Ann Coulter and the ultra-right fanatics that control the editorials in The Wall Street Journal, right wing filth pours into the intellectual bloodstream of America in a deadly flood. The radical right has never--NEVER--believed in the founding ideals of this country. The entire history of the conservative "movement" in America has been one long, bloody, savage, relentless war against the phrase, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all mean are created equal...". Conservative violence, conservative hatred, and conservative treason are all grounded in the effort to restrict the meaning of "created equal" to people like themselves, and to people like themselves ALONE. The right-wing fanatics shriek that the progressives and moderates are the enemy. But if these self-pitying pseudo-victims really want to see who's killing America, they need to do only one thing:
Look in the mirror.