The conservative movement and the tea party are engaging in their 'Summer of Hate 2.0,' and are using the migrant children story to promote another side of their ugly ideology. The anti-immigrant component to their beliefs is rearing its head as crazed conspiracy theories fly around faster than a speeding bullet to make these children out to be three degrees this side of Bin Laden. Suddenly, instead of desperate children fleeing from violent countries to safety, they are now disease-ridden miscreants that are causing a pandemic in America: Spreading Lies About Migrant Diseases
Citing the “potential threat of communicable diseases,” the city council in League City, Texas, voted last week to ban undocumented children from entering the Houston suburb. In Murrieta, California, Mayor Alan Long claimed that the government was placing “ill and contagious” kids in its midst.
Even national politicians who should know better—namely, House Republicans—are spreading lies and paranoia. Phil Gingrey, in a letterto the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote that "deadly diseases" threaten “Americans who are not vaccinated—and especially young children and the elderly." And Randy Weber said, “We’re thinking these are diseases that we have eradicated in our country and our population isn’t ready for this, so for this to break out to be a pandemic would be unbelievable.”
Many political pundits and network news programs haven't bothered to ever research or analyze the overall make up or beliefs of the tea party outside of a few polls or researched what the tea party believes outside of being anti-government spending. Instead they try to sugar coat the beliefs of these extremists as slightly further right than Susan Collins.
There's always been a heavy dose of Henry Ford's despicable philosophies embedded deep into their psyche and it took Glenn Beck to famously use his name to attack the New Deal to get it back into the conversation.
Sarah Palin recently used Ford's principles on her Facebook page when she attacked President Obama for not supporting the 'producers" in society enough:
Palin: So why has this issue been allowed to be turned upside down with our “leader” creating such unsafe conditions while at the same time obstructing any economic recovery by creating more dependents than he allows producers?
A love of people who supposedly "produce" jobs and the hatred of minorities who they blame for draining resources out of the country are two of their biggest grievances, and we only have to listen what the current crop of tea partiers are saying.
I'll quote pages from our book Over The Cliff to explain this for you.
This kind of obeisance to the captains of industry and their utrammeled right to make profits at the expense of everyone else is a phenomenon known as Producerism, which is a hallmark of right-wing populism. It's accurately defined in Wikipedia as:
a syncretic ideology of populist economic nationalism which holds that the productive forces of society - the ordinary worker, the small businessman, and the entrepreneur, are being held back by parasitical elements at both the top and bottom of the social structure.
... Producerism sees society's strength being "drained from both ends"--from the top by the machinations of globalized financial capital and the large, politically connected corporations which together conspire to restrict free enterprise, avoid taxes and destroy the fortunes of the honest businessman, and from the bottom by members of the underclass and illegal immigrants whose reliance on welfare and government benefits drains the strength of the nation. Consequently, nativist rhetoric is central to modern Producerism. Illegal immigrants are viewed as a threat to the prosperity of the middle class, a drain on social services, and as a vanguard of globalization that threatens to destroy national identities and sovereignty. Some advocates of producerism go further, taking a similar position on legal immigration.
In the United States, Producerists are distrustful of both major political parties. The Republican Party is rejected for its support of corrupt Big Business and the Democratic Party for its advocacy of the unproductive lazy waiting for their entitlement handouts.
Chip Berlet has written extensively about the long historical association of producerism with oppressive right-wing movements and regimes:
Producerism begins in the U.S. with the Jacksonians, who wove together intra-elite factionalism and lower-class Whites’ double-edged resentments. Producerism became a staple of repressive populist ideology. Producerism sought to rally the middle strata together with certain sections of the elite. Specifically, it championed the so-called producing classes (including White farmers, laborers, artisans, slaveowning planters, and “productive” capitalists) against “unproductive” bankers, speculators, and monopolists above—and people of color below. After the Jacksonian era, producerism was a central tenet of the anti-Chinese crusade in the late nineteenth century. In the 1920s industrial philosophy of Henry Ford, and Father Coughlin’s fascist doctrine in the 1930s, producerism fused with antisemitic attacks against “parasitic” Jews.
The Producerist narrative is why Henry Ford – who, as the ostensible author of The International Jew, a 1920 conspiracist tome that inspired Hitler’s paranoia, and whose capital later helped build the Nazi war machine in the 1930s, was also (and not coincidentally) perhaps the ultimate American enabler of fascism – is such a seminal figure for American right-wing populists, both as a leader in the 1920s and ‘30s, as well as a figure of reverence today. (Glenn Beck, in fact, has on several occasions on his Fox News show referenced Ford as something of a holy figure for his efforts to resist FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s. ) The same narrative is also why, in today’s context, Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged – a tendentious novel speculating on the disasters that would befall the world if its great industrial leaders suddenly chose to stop producing – are so important in their mythology.
Right-wing populism is essentially predicated on what today we might call the psychology of celebrity-worship: convincing working-class schlubs that they too can someday become rich and famous -- because when they do, would they want to be taxed heavily? It's all about dangling that lottery carrot out there for the poor stiffs who were never any good at math to begin with, and more than eager to delude themselves about their chances of hitting the jackpot.
The thing about right-wing populism is that it’s manifestly self-defeating: those who stand to primarily benefit from this ideology are the wealthy, which is why they so willingly underwrite it. It might, in fact, more accurately be called "sucker populism."
Nonetheless, right-wing populists have long been part of the larger conservative – though largely relegated to its fringes. Some of the more virulent expressions of this populism, including the Posse Comitatus movement, Willis Carto’s Populist Party, and the “Patriot”/militia movement of the 1990s, have been largely relegated to fringe status. However, there have been periods in America’s past when right-wing populism was not thoroughly mainstream but also politically ascendant. Probably the most exemplary of these was during the wave of Ku Klux Klan revival between 1915 and 1930.
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