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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Martyrdom: The Right’s secret weapon

    Taylor Kessingercolumnist
    Taylor Kessinger
    columnist

    Which group is the most hated in this country? Jews? Secularists? Blacks? According to the American right, God-fearing, freedom-loving, patriotic Americans beat out all others for that title.

    The past six years have seen an amazing resurgence in an old, tried-and-true conservative tactic: When there’s no other way to legitimize your cause, martyr yourself. The more victimized you seem, the more supporters you’ll attract and the more vehemently they’ll serve you.

    It’s been easy as of late to portray America as a bastion of freedom and hope against monolithic evils like communism and Islamic fundamentalism, and conservatives have done just that. The roots of this process stretch back to the early twentieth century, when the Red Scare made it easy for paranoid, frightened Americans to flock to the right.

    But this strategy is far more diabolical than merely picking a scapegoat. Despite Republican control of the executive, judicial, and (until recently) legislative branches, conservative groups have taken pains to portray their kind as marginalized by their liberal detractors.

    A quick glance makes this obvious. Start at the far, far right, where reactionary groups continue to use the phrase “”Zionist-occupied government”” about as frequently as mainstream Republicans use the term “”liberal-controlled media”” – that is to say, very often. Observe the myriad Christian groups who express fear that their religion is under attack and the end times will soon be upon us.

    To these people, seriously suggesting that humans ought to combat global warming, that sex on TV isn’t such a bad thing or that gay people should be allowed to get married, is not simply a matter of opinion. It’s a concerted attack from raging leftists interested in undermining American values for fun and profit.

    If you still don’t believe me, consider this: there’s now a conservative Wikipedia, appropriately entitled “”Conservapedia,”” and a conservative Youtube called “”QubeTV.””

    The facts have a liberal bias, evidently, as do videos of idiots ghost-riding the whip.

    Smart conservatives will note that liberals regularly point fingers in this manner. But liberals do it less often; moreover, they blow things out of proportion that actually exist. Omnipresent evils such as racial, gender, and religious hierarchies, to which most Americans unwittingly contribute, are real, and legitimate topics of study.

    When there’s no other way to legitimize your cause, martyr yourself. The more victimized you seem, the more supporters you’ll attract and the more vehemently they’ll serve you.

    Arch-liberal conspiracies to destroy America by persecuting Christians and indoctrinating our children with the lies of communism, “”evil-ution”” and global warming, on the other hand, are not real: this is probably why “”beleaguered conservative-American studies”” is not a major offered at this university. (Or is that just the liberal elite’s war machine at work?)

    Take a look at the mainstream nutjobs on both sides of the fence: Ann Coulter and Michael Moore. Moore certainly paints the right in a negative light, but his allegations mainly center on misinformation and incompetence as the hallmarks of powerful Republicans.

    Coulter, however, takes great pains to clarify that liberal attacks on the right are deliberate in nature. In an interview featured in””Human Events,”” she even asserted that “”lies, injustice, cruelty, (and) hypocrisy”” are the “”virtues in the church of liberalism.””

    The difference here is one of kind, not of degree.

    Political parties in America generally form as a result of common values. But right now, only Republicans are opting to play this pitiful game of Christ-mimicry: they’ve constructed their own crosses and cried foul play at Democrats and their allies, who stand unwittingly nearby with hammers and nails in hand. Republicans are defenders of values – it’s hard to defend unless someone seems to be attacking!

    It’s certainly the case that not all conservatives are guilty of this borderline-blasphemous behavior. But by associating themselves with those who do propagate this us-versus-everyone-else mindset, their hands aren’t entirely clean, either.

    Any intelligent Republican political candidate will need to find some way to cater to the misguided martyrdom complexes of the right. Like it or not, it’s here to stay. Even as mainstream conservatives wise up and jump the sinking ship of false persecution, the far-right colossi in the South and elsewhere are tantalizing targets for any candidate seeking to score votes and endorsements.

    But alas, I ought to end here. I need to return to masterminding Satan’s plan to destroy the United States.

    Taylor Kessinger is a physics, math and philosophy sophomore who will probably vote Republican anyway. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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