Coming Apart

The phrase “coming apart” is one of the most elegant oxymorons in the English language, and it perfectly describes what’s happening to this country’s right wing.

For the longest time, the Right’s been operating under George Orwell’s Rules of Order, selling war as peace, love as hate, fear as strength, etc. What happened last November is that a moderate/left politician got elected not only because he said “well, that’s all just silly bullshit” but because he offered an alternative. These things take awhile, but the bill finally came due for lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Plain and simple.

Now, the Right Wing (which is to say the mainstream of the Republican party because they’ve purged their “Main Street moderates”) has nothing. Tax cuts are no longer the panacea for every economic problem. War is no longer the solution to every foreign policy issue. Their leaders are repulsive or foolish or hypocrites or plainly lying (and some are all of the above), and suddenly they have to own their lunatics. When George W. Bush was riding high in his flight suit and had over 50% of the public on his side, nobody paid much attention to some of the deeply disturbed people who glom onto the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, practically phobophobic tendencies of the Right, which operates pretty much by pulling people together by frightening them with enemies drawn from the shadow of the collective unconscious. But now that polls have only some 28% of the population identifying themselves as Republicans (which means they’ve pretty much lost all the independents), that poisonously crazy 5% of the Right, which in the past has found common cause with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, John Birchers, and survivalists, makes up a larger proportion of the party, and the Republicans are terrified.

Poetic irony, no?

Which is why we’re being treated today to the spectacle of conservative talk show gasbags attempting to portray…wait for it…Nazis as leftists. That’s the only way they can deal with the fact that a white supremacist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semite walked into the Holocaust museum and blew away an African-American security guard. Because Hitler was really a leftist. And war is peace. And hate is love. And, don’t forget, fear is strength.

Which is why the Right Wing is so incredibly strong. All 28% of them. Excepting the 5% who are certifiably out of their minds.

Speaking to the Right: You built the monster, you bastards. It’s yours. Own it.

Pussies.

And, uh…fuck you. Also.

I mean, hey. What’s the big deal? What are you afraid of?

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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