Lunatic Fringe—in the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season, but you won’t get too far
‘Cause you got to blame someone for your own confusion
We’re all on guard this time against the Final Solution
—Tom Cochrane “Lunatic Fringe“
Years ago, after reading a particularly biased article at The Hill, pushing unspecified Republican Party “values,” which is itself a stretch (do they really have values?), I posted a response that I do not care for right-wingers, be they Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, or Republican. The comment was not allowed to be seen by the moderators and thereafter any comment I made did not appear on their web site. Any extreme right-wing viewpoint was allowed in the comments, no matter how ridiculous or untrue, but one was not allowed to significantly differ in a leftward direction. The Hill is widely considered to be mainstream media.
The left has always been feared in the Land of the Free, from the beginning.
The right wing, thanks to a mainstream press which endeavors to kiss the butts of right-wing plutocrats who run the planet like a private plantation, has become respectable in the public discourse.
As a young man in the ‘60s I recall the right wing having a very different public persona. This reputation was based on the historical record, which has largely been extenuated in the mainstream media. Though corporate media have always had a rightward tilt, it has gradually become more severe.
As I’ve pointed out before, although we thought Richard Nixon was extremely right wing when he was president, his achievements now seem more to the left than succeeding Democratic presidents (OSHA for workplace safety, EPA for the environment, ABM Treaty and other strategic arms agreements, etc.).
Those who run the country, behind the phony elections and other pretense, have long embraced the right-wing philosophy, and the mainstream press, aware of this, go out of their way to make it appear to be normal in pleasing their owners, board members and advertisers.
This is often done by pretending that there is a “both sides” to every issue, one of which is always the right-wing view, the other often a moderately conservative view falsely identified as leftist. The traditional left is ignored by corporate media, strangling any fair “both sides.”
The right wing has long embraced the interests of the ruling plutocrats who fund the elections and control mainstream media, giving them a powerful voice, as the plutocrats have come to embrace the far right, as a rule.
The plutocrats who rule sometimes slip and make their usual surreptitious influence apparent by statements like Cornelius Vanderbilt’s “Law. What do I care about the law, ain’t I got the power?” But this power requires supporters, and they most often come from the political right. And the political right views of the plutocrats are often transnational.
Nazis for example.
Industrialist Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer awarded Germany’s highest honor by Hitler, who told Ford he’d gladly send storm troopers to help if Ford decided to run for president. Ford provided thousands of trucks for Hitler’s invasion of France.
Another famous right-winger, Prescott Bush, ancestor of two Bush presidents, also had ties to Hitler.
“The father of the billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch helped construct a major oil refinery in Nazi Germany that was personally approved by Adolf Hitler, according to a new history of the Kochs and other wealthy families.”
Many of America’s ruling class loved the Nazis because they were anti-socialist, and our plutocrats will get in bed with anyone who murders socialists, who they see as coming for their money. As Pastor Niemoller said of the Nazis, long before the Jews, “First they came for the communists.”
Then there’s the Ku Klux Klan.
Historically, America’s high-ranking politicians are also tied to the extreme right wing with a disregard for human rights.
Presidents William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman were all members of the Ku Klux Klan.
This followed 12 presidents who owned slaves, eight of whom while in office.
And today it continues.
Many of those who should be identified as right-wingers are Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and her husband.
The leadership of the nation is so right wing that the public cannot see the forest for the trees, largely because of corporate media. In TV news, we get the opinions of David Brooks or George Will on virtually any issue, but we seldom hear from Noam Chomsky or Michael Parenti anywhere in the mainstream press.
In place of actual leftists, we get capitalists posing as leftists in the mainstream press. Most of these wildly distort the news on behalf of a right-leaning establishment.
One need go no further than the Supreme Court to see the right in action. We are told from birth that the court is about fairness, but it bends over backward to please the wealthy, ruling that it is just peachy for them to buy elections, undermine labor unions, and support global human rights abuses in search of profit.
In my youth I once worked designing a large computer system, and when I was leaving that job my replacement was a German who had been in the Hitler Youth. He told me that when the Soviets invaded at the end of the war, they crashed into a meeting he attended and shot the boy who led the Hitler Youth class in the head with a pistol, blood splattering before the younger children. Apparently the Soviets thought this was a lesson the younger children needed.
Any of us could have been in the Hitler Youth movement by virtue of being born in Germany at that time. I can imagine the hatred Soviets had though, after losing 20 million of their people slaughtered by the Germans. But I also imagine the horror of the German women and children who faced the invading Soviet soldiers, hungry for revenge.
I do dislike the philosophy of right-wingers, and am aware that many of them would enjoy killing a leftist like me, so I try not to be like them and do not wish them harm. I wish instead for understanding from them, believing that everyone may open up to the compassion, sharing and understanding which are my leftist beliefs, getting away from the hatred, greed and delusion that exemplifies right-wing philosophy.
I feel that if their right-wing schemes go awry and they fail in their schemes, that their children won’t have to go through what the Hitler Youth children experienced.
Until the corporate media are challenged by a public interest mass media source, hatred, greed and delusion will be promoted with which to brainwash the masses, across the mainstream media spectrum. This is the primary reason that the masses generally accept eternal wars, corporate medical care, police brutality, disparity in wealth, racism, sexism, hunger and homelessness existing nowhere else in the major industrialized world.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.