Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinion

The great right wing freak-out of 2012

ElectionsBarack ObamaMitt RomneyTed Nugent

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 © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
ElectionsBarack ObamaMitt RomneyTed Nugent
  • Who will be the 2014 Marylander of the Year?
    Who will be the 2014 Marylander of the Year?

    What Marylander had the biggest impact on the state in 2014? The Sun is asking for your nominations for the 2014 Marylander of the Year. Please send them to talkback@baltimoresun.com and include “Marylander of the Year” in the subject line. We’ll announce the finalists in...

  • Baltimore mayor: Immigrant executive actions will help city
    Baltimore mayor: Immigrant executive actions will help city

    Last week, President Barack Obama outlined his plan to protect millions of immigrants from deportation — a monumental first step in addressing our nation's broken immigration system. His executive action will be felt most strongly in cities across America, cities like Baltimore.

  • Tom Schaller: The right systematically manufactures bogus news
    Tom Schaller: The right systematically manufactures bogus news

    If you haven't heard of Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act whose testimony about transparency in passing Obamacare has gone viral, expect a rash of new stories about him.

  • Ferguson's grievance
    Ferguson's grievance

    The rioting and violence that erupted in Ferguson, Mo., after the news Monday night that a white police officer would not be indicted in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen were inexcusable. The cause of racial justice will not be advanced by protesters wreaking wanton destruction on...

  • Justice in Ferguson? [Poll]
    Justice in Ferguson? [Poll]
  • Keep talking with Iran
    Keep talking with Iran

    The announcement today that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to extend talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program is far short of what we might have hoped for. But the extension can't be counted as a failure either. If the goal is to keep up the pressure on Iran's leaders to reach a deal,...

Comments
Loading