In Indiana — stop me if you’ve heard this one — a congressional candidate recently attended a meeting of the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), where he made a speech. The occasion was the 119th birthday of Adolf Hitler. There was a large portrait of the man, a Nazi flag, and everyone in photos of the event was wearing a swastika armband.
The candidate later defended himself on his website by describing the speech as:
my attempt to raise awareness of how the great porn dragon inspires Jews into pornography and prostitution and then, like the snake he is, turns the public against the Jews.
I’ll link to the site where I read this in a moment, but first a thought experiment: with which of the two major political parties in this nation is Mr. Zirkle affiliated?
That didn’t take long, did it? My thesis today is: why the hell didn’t it take you long? Yes, there are loonies on both sides of the spectrum, we all know that, but why is it that this particularly nasty kind of loony gravitates to this one party?
To be fair, the state party is horrified and trying desperately to disconnect themselves from Mr. Zirkle, but I think the question still stands, and I think the party needs to do some soul searching: why is it that racist, anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-gay candidates automatically affiliate themselves with this party, and not with their rivals?
Perhaps more germane to the party bigwigs is the question: why would most citizens assume that this is the case?
I think this question needs to be asked particularly by those whose first reaction would be, well, now, that’s not necessarily the case.
Go read about it here.
5 thoughts on “Why is this?”
“…but why is it that this particularly nasty kind of loony gravitates to this one party?”
And, apparently, on the local front, it’s child molesters who gravitate to this particular party. Hmm.
See, I think that’s a totally different, if related, issue: the sexual nutjobs who feel compelled to put themselves in the public eye as hypervirtuous rectoids. And yes, they seem to gravitate to one party as well.
At the risk of sounding like a leftist looney, I will still venture to say I have always found the work of Zizek very useful in trying to understand the irrationality at the root of reactionary politics. See particularly The Sublime Object of Ideology and For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a political factor. Zizek is Lacanian and so the “enjoyment” at stake is most often the “obscene enjoyment” of jouissance. Yes, you get a good share of theory, but you also get many concrete illustrations from history and the cultural zeitgeist. Politics is an arena in which all of our individual and collective unconscious fantasies (and not so unconscious, pace Zirkle) come out to play. We ignore that aspect at our peril.
It’s amazing that I missed this story in the National Press. I watch CNN and Fox all day when I’m not working, but must have missed the short run story that dared to criticize a GOP Congressman. Anyone who says the News is Liberal doesn’t watch multiple news channels and doesn’t regularly tune in.