Thursday, July 21, 2016


This is the comment I posted at Chauncey DeVega's Indomitable website as an observation on his article, "Summoning Lucifer and God at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland."

Begin Comment:

I would not say this is the end of the Republican Party, per se. Adele Stan has a great article in The American Prospect on the conservative old guard--Schlafly and Viguerie--supporting Trump because they view him as the imperfect wrecking ball who can complete their life's work--to drive the Establishment out of the GOP and make it into a right-wing populist party.

We witnessed tonight Trump humiliating Cruz inside the GOP convention on prime time. Trump delegitimized Cruz's brand of theocracy and trickle down economics with his own muscular policies. Evangelicals are flocking to Trump because he is a strong man, an authoritarian father figure (Lakoff), and rich (prosperity gospel personified).

Trump has captured the nativist movement and made anti-immigration the centerpiece of his campaign.  Indeed, he is actually waging a Fourth Generation Warfare campaign and using its associated political platform, according to Bruce Wilson. Sheriff David Clarke's prime time speech was a wet sloppy kiss to the Patriot militia and Richard Mack's CSPOA. White nationalists are wetting their pants and getting thrills up their legs by Trump promoting a white racial identity or consciousness. Clarke and Guiliani have delegitimized Black Lives Matter and turned them into a domestic terrorist group. Even our own Florida AG has advocated putting Hillary Clinton in prison, a theme first pushed by the delegates and ramped up by Chris Christie.

In sum, we are witnessing Fourth Generation Warfare, the central aim is to undermine the legitimacy of your enemy. Hillary Clinton is not only "crooked," she is a traitor. By extension, Obama is a traitor and all Democrats are traitors.

Black Lives Matter are domestic terrorists. By extension, Black folks who voice their anger and take to the streets to exercise their First Amendment rights are terrorists. Logically, since speech is now terrorism, Blacks folks are neither afforded nor entitled to any self-protection. If you cannot use words in self-defense, then what can you use? I would humbly submit that young readers consult Ida B. Wells and familiarize yourselves with the Deacons for Defense and Justice. They are being demonized.

All Muslims are also domestic terrorists. Of course, since many Muslims are also Black, and one cannot tell a Black Muslim from a Black non-Muslim, then all Blacks are terrorists. They are routinely demonized.

Ditto for Latinos and brown-skinned immigrants. They are all potential "rapists" and "drug mules." By logical extension, when they protest for immigrant rights, they too are domestic terrorists. They are routinely scapegoated and demonized.

VP candidate Pence--but nearly all in the GOP convention--are rabid haters of the LGBTQ. When they protest in furtherance of protecting the LGBTQ from discrimination, they too are domestic terrorists. They are routinely demonized.

There is an importance to demonization that goes beyond dehumanizing. The process of demonization is closely linked by scholarship to delegitimization--political and cultural--and to the idea of cosmic war--the end all battle of good vs evil, but really God vs Satan. Thus, Carson's linking Clinton to Lucifer had a special import for conservative evangelical Christians.

And, I will add one further happy thought. The process of scapegoating, demonizing, delegitimizing, and evoking a cosmic war are all preludes to genocide or ethnic cleansing. Since 2005, the right-wing has been peddling what I call "soft" and "hard" genocide into the mainstream. "Soft" genocide is now fully inside the GOP.

In Kill the Messenger: The Media's Role in the Fate of the World, Maria Armoudian, explained that the propaganda campaign in Germany succeeded due to four factors: "dire social and economic conditions...a simple but corrosive web of misinformation, emotional appeals, and a pervasive and authoritarian message and ideology" (page 57).

Armoudian also explained what she called the "genocidal frame" which consists of "static, dehumanizing, or evil depictions; blame for serious sociopolitical problems; a 'grand' cause that requires the elimination of the 'bad guys;' and a 'kill-or-be-killed' dichotomy." She added, "Under conditions of hardship and with a single, dominant message, the genocidal frame, when widely believed, can convince populations to support or, at least, turn a blind eye to the elimination of 'the others' for the sake of rescuing their 'own' community" (page 279).

As Chauncey wrote, this "stopped being funny months ago."

All the pieces are moving on the chessboard. You can be like the blowhards on MSNBC or the chattering chipmunks on CNN and laugh and gape at the spectacle, or, you can start connecting the dots. As William S. Lind, the originator of Fourth Generation Warfare predicted, the "next real war" has indeed come to American soil and you, dear reader, are the enemy.

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