Earlier I referred you to when Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, while campaigning for Herschel Walker in Georgia, made this so explicitly by repeatedly taunting kale-eating “high-IQ stupid people.” The same folks who are dissed as “snobs” by Tucker Carlson and his Ivy League colleagues who fake folksy accents on Fox.
It didn't begin in 2011, when Rush Limbaugh started his crusade against the "Four corners of deceit" (science, media, government, and academia), proclaiming, "Only *I* will tell you the truth." But the jeremiads against all fact-using professions accelerated, after he got away with it.
Today, tsunamis of bile spew at every kind of nerdy people... as well as the very concept of objective reality as the Risen Confederacy foments against every single U.S. profession that heeds things called 'facts.' Science, medicine, law, journalism, teaching, civil service... name ONE exception! Hate toward all Folks Who Know Stuff...
...now screeching also at intel/FBI/military officer corps who won the Cold War and the War on Terror.
See my posting: Waging War on Expertise. (Where I also shine light upon the far smaller - but almost equally noxious - fraction of folks on the postmodernist left who follow an eerily similar pattern! But who are presently a microscopically-smaller danger. For now.) And in that posting I asked the obvious question.
Why this all-out campaign, that no less than Mark Twain and Robert Heinlein described as an abiding, poisonous current that flows through zones of the American character?
Why? I can only offer theories... some that you may not have seen before.
First. Culturally, MAGA/confederates are enraged by cities and universities and knowledge professions for a deep, psychic reason that's rooted in an annual trauma! Every year the best and brightest from every high school, in every small town, hug and promise to keep in touch... then head off to bright lights and colleges, then come back changed (if they return at all).
If you squint a bit, it’s amazing how closely this recurring trauma resembles the classic archetype of 'elves stealing your children' that recurred in a very large fraction of past cultures. And it is so sad that no one has studied this.
Second. The fact professions refute almost every meme on the mad right. Certainly 98% of what's said on Fox. Hence, all fact-using professions must be discredited! Yes, even military officers - lest they utter those hated words "Sir, that's just not true."
Above all, the Foxite war against all fact professions is about power.
The world oligarchic putsch – aimed at restoring aristocratic rule based upon inherited position and wealth - is resisted foremost by folks who have some power, but who gained it meritocratically, in accountable professions like law and science. People with ability to thwart feudalism's return, who are loyal to the enlightenment experiment: scientists, teachers, civil servants, Law, Medicine, intel, journalism.
Think about it. All egalitarian, meritocratic professions must be discredited before any lapse back into the 6000 year pattern of inheritance-based feudalism can fully take hold.
I do not say this to disrespect the victims who suffer most because of confederatism! But do please think about it, asking: what do the uber-powerful have to fear from the powerless? Racism and all that are real and horrible! But to the oligarchs, such dog whistles are just tools to rile up their MAGA grunts.
Again (and again) this is not zero-sum! The oligarchs' foremost enemies, who they actually fear, those with real power to resist and protect the Enlightenment Experiment...
...are the nerds.
== Oh you poor oligarchs, but even more pitiable Donald ==
If they weren’t the epitome of evil, I’d feel sorry for the oligarch masters of the Republican Party, right now. They're in a tough spot!
Like the Prussian aristocracy in 1933, they found that their populist rabble-rouser was hard to control, once in power. Oh, this time it worked much better for the aristos… Trump and McConnell et. al. proved obedient regarding policy matters – delivering tax cuts for the rich and demolishing American politics as a tool for negotiation and adaptation.
Moreover, the MAGA Confederate mob hasn’t turned on their masters, the way Hitler & co. did. Not quite. Not yet.
But Trump’s antics and spewings drove nearly all fact people out of the Republican Party, including most members of the U.S. military officer corps, FBI and intel agents and nearly all skilled professionals. Moreover, grand juries across the nation – composed largely of white retirees – are indicting GOP factotums at staggering rates. Trump personally turned what was to have been a Red Wave midterm election into an embarrassing fizzle…
…and now ol’ Donald seems determined to make continued support for him openly synonymous with outright, explicit treason, with his demand to suspend the Constitution of the United States.
Moreover, while potentially smoother successors – like DeSantis - are warming up in the bullpen, Trump has made it clear that he will go after any rivals, hammer and tongs, all the way to dukes n’ nukes. If anyone else gets the GOP nomination, he will take his fanatic wing and leave the Party, going rogue. Perhaps violently rogue.
The Oligarchs and their Foxite shills have experimented with having their other dogs repudiate old Two Scoops, but the craven curs always cave.
== Prevent the Howard Beale Option! ==
Hence, the Masters may see only one plausible way out -- a Hail Mary pass! A way to shoot for the win-win. To eliminate their former – now lethally inconvenient – champion while retaining the loyalty of his fervid/frothing base, turning their fury instead against both Democrats and every enlightenment institution.
Alas, the obvious way to do that was illustrated chillingly in one of the greatest of all movies of all time, Network.
Yes, I refer to the Howard Beale Option.
Martyrdom. Could anything be more obvious? That is, if they could do it without getting caught. (And hence, we need Henchman Prizes to incentivize whistle blowers, in case that becomes their plan.)
Truly, for the sake of our country and the world – not to mention constitutional enlightenment experiment – we must pray for the continued health of a jibbering-capering, rabid-frothing traitor-madman, and for the continued skill and perseverant guardianship of his Secret Service detail.
(And yes, with an eye especially on those closest to him!)
We can do our own part, by spreading word that we are wary. That the chief effect of any such martyrdom will be massive whistleblower rewards to lure forth snitching henchmen. And our vow that the words “Howard Beale” will be on everyone’s lips.
And that the neo-confederacy’s Masters – those Kremlin “ex” commissars and desert murder-princes and casino-mafiosi and hedge lords and inheritance brats and neo-feudalists and Foxite yammerers all know:
“You made this monster. Now live with what you built.”
== FInal notes ==
“Some of the Kremlin’s blatant falsehoods about the Russian war - aimed at undercutting US aid for Ukraine - are promoted by major figures on the American right, from Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes to ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and Fox News star Tucker Carlson…. 54 House Republican Freedom Caucus members voted against a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine…”
Don’t tell me it was for budget reasons. Democrats are always effectively more fiscally responsible that Republican administrations. That’s always. And bet me $$$ on that. (See my posting: Outcomes Matter more than Rhetoric.)
Furthermore, the U.S. and a rapidly strengthening NATO are actually benefiting in certain palpable ways during this conflict, e.g. testing and modernizing technologies and doctrines while brave Ukrainians carry the main burdens, a benefit scarcely visible outside the intel and military officer corps.
(Always recall Trump reacting to Putin's invasion of Ukraine as "Smart, so very smart!" And Michael Flynn and so many other Trumpists openly or covertly lobbying for Moscow.)
Given the spectacular moral imbalance of the two sides and Putin’s dangerous delusionality, there would be more than enough reason to stay staunch in our backing of Zelensky’s brave people. Though in fact, the simmers of pro-Moscow grumbling rising from sectors of the GOP indicate another motive to remain stalwart.
Their orders from the Kremlin are clear and they dare not disobey for a reason I have asserted for years. Blackmail.
== And... ==
ADDENDUM in the Post – “Casino mogul Steve Wynn's fortune comes not just from Las Vegas but also from gambling hub Macau — making his casino empire there vulnerable to Be-ij-ing's whims. This year, the Department of Justice unsuccessfully attempted to force Wynn to register as a foreign agent due to his ties to that government.”
Well, he’s not the only gambling mafiosi who is laundering, then channeling funds from the polit bureau directly into the GOP. Look up Sheldon Adelson. In fact ALL gambling czars are huge GOP oligarchs.
...and... finally... in a pair of completely unrelated side notes...
-- December 19 1997… 25 years ago… TITANIC came out, to thunderous success, quickly sinking all competition. Know what it’s competition was, the same weekend? THE POSTMAN, of course. In one of the greatest epic fails of release timing ever. Still, Costner’s flick is visually and musically one of the most beautiful ever shot and it’s way big-hearted! I try to look at good qualities and shrug off the rest. And hey, the flick gave me 25 years of something to say to folks in airports.
And RIP my friend, sci fi geek... also pretty darn good musician... David Crosby.