The mainstreaming of hate.
One of the most common tactics that they use is to claim that there are unanswered questions about stuff that is established fact. In other words, they say that there are unanswered questions about the Holocaust when they really mean that the Holocaust never happened or that the numbers were greatly exaggerated. That is a form of intellectual dishonesty because the person who is asking the question has already answered the question by saying that there was no Holocaust.
Another tactic people use to sanitize their hate is to totally reframe it. In the 1960’s, the Republican Party was a dying party because it had defended a political ideology that had been shown to fail thanks to the Great Depression. But the Republicans saw an opportunity in the increasing unpopularity of the Johnson administration, Johnson’s kicking to the curb of the Southern Democrats through the passage of Civil Rights legislation, and the third-party candidacy of George Wallace. Theocracy Watch tells the story:
A group of Republican strategists who had worked on Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign were worried. Goldwater had been soundly defeated, and the strategists feared that the base of the Republican Party — primarily southern segregationists and the very wealthy — was too narrow. So they set out to expand the base calling themselves the New Right. Goldwater was not part of the New Right.
One member of the New Right, Republican Strategist Paul Weyrich, founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973 — a think tank to promote the ideas of the New Right. Weyrich also founded ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council in 1973 to coordinate the work of Religious Right state legislators. ALEC initially positioned itself as a counterweight to liberal foundations and think tanks, focusing on social issues like abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, but became a magnet for corporate lobbyists.
ALEC gives business a direct hand in writing bills that are considered in state assemblies nationwide. Funded primarily by large corporations, industry groups, and conservative foundations — including R.J. Reynolds, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute — the group takes a chain-restaurant approach to public policy, supplying precooked McBills to state lawmakers. Since most legislators are in session only part of the year and often have no staff to do independent research, they’re quick to swallow what ALEC serves up. In 2000, according to the council, members introduced more than 3,100 bills based on its models, passing 450 into law. Ghostwriting the Law, Karen Olson, Mother Jones, Sept.Oct. 2002
In 1979 Weyrich coined the term “Moral Majority.” Their goal was to politicize members of fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches – a constituency that had been basically apolitical.
Not all members of fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches support the Religious Right, but those were the groups targeted by the New Right. And some members of churches outside of those mentioned support the Religious Right, while many other Christian leaders strongly oppose them.
In addition, they brought on board the segregationists, who were losing their battles on integration. They could therefore no longer call themselves that; however, the Republicans of 1968 did an end run around the segregation battles — they rephrased their language, calling it “Law and Order.”
By bringing on board the Religious Right and talking about moral values and “law and order,” they were able to make the case that the problem with Blacks was not that they were Black but the fact that they had moral problems. In other words, when you hear a Republican politician whine about our country’s moral decay, that is code for Black.
And the Republican Party cannot escape their associations with the segregationists because of the racist remarks of George Allen and Rush Limbaugh. And not only that, racist Senator Trent Lott has never repudiated his racist remark that if Strom Thurmond were elected President, we would never have had these problems.
Warning — hate site.
Case in point — After Trent Lott supposedly recanted his remarks under pressure from Bush, his own daughter attended this segregationist rally in Mississippi, to reassure people who were ready to skewer Lott that he was simply engaging in a charade.
And Bush’s own rhetoric of “staying the course” on Iraq is very much similar to the segregationist rhetoric of “standing fast” against integration. Bush’s own pressure on Lott was a charade — he attended the party in question and was only sorry that he got caught. Bush understands as well as anyone who he is beholden to. And Lott, based on the link above, is a go-between for the segregationists and the rest of the Republican party.
And the notion that there are somehow “Moderate Republicans” who do not stand for any of this is a myth — Warner, Collins, Specter, and McCain all defected to vote for Lott once all the dust had settled. Thus, even the so-called “moderates” think that being a segregationist is acceptable as long as you are not caught and your name is not pilloried on the nightly news.
Modern Republicanism, of course, is the most successful form of repackaged hate. But there are plenty of other forms of hate ideology that has been repackaged for modern consumption.
The anti-immigrant movement is one such thing. John Tanton, a known white supremacist,has formed 13 anti-immigrant groups and is a go-between for such people as Brian Bilbray and people like the Conservative Citizen’s Council. Michelle Malkin repackages hate against Latino immigrants by exploiting the 911 tragedy and calling the influz of immigrants into this country an “invasion” and links them to the terrorists. And Dave Neiwart makes the explicit connection between the Neo-Nazis and the Minutemen. The former group is exploiting the anti-immigrant issue so that they can mainstream their right-wing hate and get their message into the public consciousness through such enablers as Lou Dobbs, who calls the Minutemen “civilian border patrols.”
And here is more evidence of Neo-Nazis and Minutemen working together:
The presence of Alliance members was not much of a surprise, and there were likely more than that pair. “We’re not going to show up as a group and say, ‘Hi, we’re the National Alliance,” Alliance official Shaun Walker told a reporter in the run-up to the protest. “But we have members … that will participate.”
In fact, National Alliance pamphlets were distributed in Tombstone and this predominantly Hispanic community just two days before the Minuteman Project got going. “Non-Whites are turning America into a Third World slum,” they read. “They come for welfare or to take our jobs. Let’s send them home now.”
Many other white supremacists had promised to attend, including members of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, but it was difficult to know if they showed up.
One well-known extremist did appear. Armored in a flak jacket and packing a .38-caliber snub-nosed revolver, Joe McCutchen joined other volunteers patrolling the barbed wire fence separating the United States and Mexico near Bisbee, Ariz.
And the 911 Conspiracy Theorists are another group of people who are being used by Neo-Nazis and anti-semites to mainstream holocaust denial and anti-semitism to the rest of the country. The Anti-defamation League has released a report on the association between the 911 conspiracy theorists and anti-semites and Neo-Nazis:
The League’s report documents the spread of the Big Lie from the first whisperings of blame against Jews in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, to more recent manifestations and permutations. Among the ADL’s conclusions:
The Big Lie has united American far-right extremists and white supremacists and elements within the Arab and Muslim world that are exchanging and repeating information, ideas and conspiracy theories.
The 9/11 conspiracy theories are essentially updated versions of classical anti-Semitic canards, claming that Jews are inherently evil and intent on manipulating and controlling world events to their own benefit. It is essentially a modern manifestation of the anti-Semitic, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the infamous 19th century Russian forgery that purported to map out a Jewish conspiracy for world domination.
September 11 conspiracies have spawned an entire industry that includes anti-Semitic books, pamphlets, videotapes, Web sites and speakers.
9/11 conspiracies have laid the foundation for the proliferation of similar conspiracy theories about other global disasters. For example, some conspiracy theorists claim Israel was complicit in the destruction of Space Shuttle Columbia and suggest that shuttle astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon was actually a “spy” for Israel. Others blame Jews and Israelis for “pushing” the U.S. into war against Saddam Hussein.
The accusation that Jews plotted the attacks has fueled more traditional canards about Jews, including those claiming that Jews have a “master plan” for world domination, and that Jews use the blood of non-Jews to make holiday breads and pastries (blood libel).
“No Planes and No Gas Chambers”
Holocaust deniers push hoaxes that sabotage 9/11 Truth Movement:
David Irving – notorious neo-Nazi pseudo-historian
Professor Jane Christensen – a “9/11 truth” college course that wasn’t true
Eric Hufschmid (Painful Questions / Painful Deceptions)
rense.com promotes Holocaust deniers, abiotic oil, no planes, etc
What Really Happened (admits “no plane” is not real but promotes Holocaust deniers)
In fact, the overlap with anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is quite unsettling. A frequent source for their claims is the American Free Press, a fringe newspaper founded by Willis Carto, a man called “one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists” by the Anti-Defamation League, and considered a founder of the Holocaust denial movement. Even such notable figures as Professor Jim Fetzer, co-founder of the group “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” do not shy from citing it, as if it were as credible as The New York Times.
As to how they believe what they do, one of the first things you notice while following them is a fervent, almost religious level of belief. Through this zeal, and through a selective use of evidence, they are convinced as to the truth of their claims, no matter the evidence to the contrary. One good example of this is the repeated claim that the 9/11 hijackers appear on none of the flight manifests. That myth was started by looking at a list of victims of the attacks posted on CNN’s Web site and noting the terrorists’ absence. Terrorists who commit suicide attacks, however, are by definition not “victims” of their attack, so there is no reason to believe they would be listed. That fact has been pointed out to them by numerous people, on countless occasions, but yet they persist in their belief. It continues even though the 9/11 Commission report, the news media and, most recently, the evidence presented at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui have all cited the hijackers on the flight manifests, even listing their seat numbers.
- Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers, questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are always “sheep”, patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.
- Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much of what they have is simply discredited.
- Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they’re pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make.
- Fondness for certain stock phrases. (fill in your favorite)
- Inability to employ or understand Occam’s Razor. Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account.
- Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have “open minds” and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.
- Inability to withdraw. It’s a rare day indeed when a conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any of the evidence produced to support it.
- Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are very keen indeed to declare the “official” account totally discredited without having remotely enough cause so to do. Small inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions, small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the “official” account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.
- Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six, the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded some weight (because it’s “happened before”.)
- It’s always a conspiracy. And it is, isn’t it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length. Because the most important thing about these people is that they are people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason, they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same question. A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at very least, a bore.
So, conspiracy theorists, Republicans, and holocaust deniers and their ilk all have something in common — the inability to see basic facts, starting with a conclusion and refusing to budge from that conclusion, the belief that people who think they are wrong are part of the conspiracy, their lack of respect for law and order, and their unwavering desire to “stay the course” and the seeing of any willingness to change one’s mind as a weakness.
And they share a common thread of intellectual dishonesty. Take global warming deniers, for instance. They will say that there are still unanswered questions about global warming when they really mean that it is a myth. If they were really showing intellectual honesty, they would adapt their views and change them in the light of the truth. If there were really a question in their minds, they would actually show intellectual curiosity about the other side of the issue instead of portraying people who support global warming as hysteria-mongers.