Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Opinion
News Opinion

The great right wing freak-out of 2012

President Obama's re-election has caused right-wingers to become completely unhinged. They are purple-faced and apoplectic, convinced that an ignorant horde of government-dependent social leeches have destroyed traditional America and banished God from the country.

The craziest comments came from certifiably loony celebrities. Gun-crazy rocker Ted Nugent tweeted that "Pimps whores and welfare brats and their soulless supporters hav (sic) a president to destroy America," while former "Saturday Night Live" goofball Victoria Jackson let loose a series of tweets, saying in part, "Thanks a lot, Christians, for not showing up. You disgust me ... In the Good vs. Evil battle, today Evil won."

Egomaniacal rich guy Donald Trump simply called for a revolution.

Various tea party leaders, who thought they had already launched a pretty good revolution, could not fathom the election results. Cincinnati Tea Party President George Brunemann said, "The easy two-word answer for what happened Tuesday is: America died."

On Fox News, political has-been Sarah Palin, sporting a big Loretta Lynn hairdo, looked positively baffled, wondering why the American people would willingly abandon the Constitution. Bill O'Reilly had an answer for her: "People feel they are entitled to things." And those "people," Mr. O'Reilly made clear, are not "traditional" Americans or members of the "white establishment"; rather, they have skin that is brown.

Ann Coulter echoed the view of numerous conservative pundits: "If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached. We have more takers than makers and it's over."

All of this doomsday blather hearkens back to Mr. Romney's infamous characterization of 47 percent of Americans as "victims" who only want to be coddled by government. As it was when Mr. Romney said it, this portrait of America is not only demonstrably false, it is a scurrilous slander with a racist tinge.

The most numerous voters dependent on government to keep them economically afloat are retirees who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. This was the cohort that went most heavily for Mr. Romney. The people who put Mr. Obama over the top in the electoral vote, on the other hand, were autoworkers in Ohio; not exactly a dependent bunch.

They were also young people who do not grow faint at the thought of gays getting married or women using birth control. They were middle class white Americans -- as many as voted for Bill Clinton, by the way -- who think it is unfair that all the economic benefits in this country flow to the richest 1 percent.

And, of course, they were blacks and Latinos who voted for Mr. Obama in overwhelming numbers. When Ted Nugent emotes about pimps, whores and welfare brats, we all know who he has in mind -- and it isn't the white establishment living off corporate welfare.

Right-wingers will not let go of their own misleading mythology. They have a constricted vision of who the "real Americans" are and who they are not. Until election night, they still believed that people like themselves constituted a majority in this country. Now that they are faced with the truth of their own diminishing numbers, they are re-jiggering reality. Incapable of accepting that the millions of people who voted for Mr. Obama are overwhelmingly hard working, family-loving, patriotic Americans, they have to imagine them as the "takers" that Ayn Rand warned them were coming.

This is a necessary self-deception. Otherwise, conservative crazies would have to face an inconvenient truth: on Election Day, a majority of real Americans rejected them.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey is a political commentator for the Los Angeles Times. Go to latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/ to see more of his work.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • David Horsey photo gallery

    David Horsey photo gallery

    Cartoons and essays by David Horsey of the L.A. Times

  • Obama's power plant rules can work

    Obama's power plant rules can work

    Republican presidential candidates wasted no time in decrying President Barack Obama's new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in near apocalyptic terms. Among those running for president, Sen. Marco Rubio predicted "catastrophic" increases in electric bills, former Florida...

  • The Milwaukee solution

    The Milwaukee solution

    In justifying her decision to withhold information about ongoing cases from Baltimore's fledgling Homicide Review Commission, which is based on an initiative in Wisconsin, city State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said her office "cannot be naive to the fact that Baltimore City is not Milwaukee."

  • Judging the faith of nuns

    Judging the faith of nuns

    A group of appellate judges recently decided to take up theology while writing a legal opinion. As might be expected, they got into trouble.

  • Defining 'opportunity' in Baltimore

    Defining 'opportunity' in Baltimore

    In the wake of Freddie Gray and the unrest in Baltimore, the recent release of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development may mark an important step toward creating a more sustainable and equitable region. The plan makes clear that marked disparities in access to quality education, jobs, safety...

  • Dictatorial polls determine fate of GOP candidates

    Dictatorial polls determine fate of GOP candidates

    Public-opinion polls, once employed by political consultants to gauge the concerns of voters as a means to shape their candidates' campaigns more effectively, have become the tail that wags the dog.

  • Embedding federal agents [Poll]

    Embedding federal agents [Poll]

    Is embedding 10 federal agents into the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit likely to stem the city's street violence?

  • The gun death that matters

    The gun death that matters

Comments
Loading
72°