It’s a hard thing to do, exposing people’s secrets. It’s rude, tasteless, obnoxious, and utterly necessary.
In this case, the secret at hand is the answer to a question many folks I know on the left side of the political divide are asking themselves: Why is it that otherwise respectable, educated and intelligent people are spouting the most extreme, batshit crazy opinions in increasingly painful amounts? What could they possibly get from it? Could they really believe it?
Of course they don’t. Don’t be silly. (Before going any further, read this.)
The secret is this: All that batshit crazy nonsense does one thing, it keeps the racial, political and religious tension in this country at a fever pitch. It keeps the extremist right wingers at a constant high pitch of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).
FUD is useful stuff. It keeps the faithful (this is NOT a slap at Christians - this one is about right wing crazy fundies) in the fold, ready and willing to donate their money and their political votes to the right wing “in” crowd.
The inner ingredients to the secret include one essential element - their sacred persecution complex.
Right wing Evangelists consider themselves to be the only “true” Christians. All the others are either “watered down” Christians, or affected in varying degrees by Satan or one of his subordinate demons. (Yes, really) This results in the numbers of “true” Christians being down to an alarming (to them) 15% or so of the population. Think about that for a moment. This is why they talk so much about persecution, and “taking back” this country. When you think the percentage of “real” Christians has shrunk from a majority of over 80% to less than 15%, you are talking about a truly alarming and horrifying trend of the country away from what they see as “the arms of God.” In their little fantasy world, God cares about these things, and acts to destroy a country that He thinks has “turned away” from His true path. The very idea frightens them to no end.
But, never mind, the Bible has a solution!
Fundamentalist Christianity has as a central element the idea that when a Christian is persecuted for his/her faith and does not waver, admission to heaven is almost guaranteed. You become one of the favored few Christ will admit in the final days.
So, in order for them to be admitted to heaven in spite of their sinful ways, it is required for them to be persecuted so that their many shortcomings (which they are painfully aware of) can be overlooked. Being a big fish in a very small pond is much better than being a small fish in a considerably bigger pond.
So, it is necessary to keep things going inside their own little echo chamber, where nobody dissents, everybody admires them for their strength in opposing the heathen, and are willing to donate money and votes to keep things rolling right along. For somebody like Dylann Roof to suddenly come along and take their words seriously is a tremendous threat, believe it or not.
Remember, to themselves, they are good decent people. They are (my generation of conservatives) living in a safe secure world where, in reality, they have little fear of personal violence, which is why their tactic of FUD is so effective. When someone like Roof blows nine people away (after spending an hour talking to them) they are, once they wake up to the rest of society’s responses to it, quite horrified. Not because of the violence done to innocents, but to the possibility that the violence will wake up the rest of the very liberal population, which might then take action conservatives do not have the will or power to prevent.
The possibility of being made personally responsible for the consequences of their own words is horrifying, not because it is consequential to themselves, but because it would end this neat little political gravy train they are riding. The tension keeps the country off balance and prevents us from seeing the Conservatives’ lack of answers and inability to fix the country’s problems. It keeps the faithful donating and voting them into office, and distracts the rest of us. Remember, they LIKE having the rest of us so liberal, because it gives them a legitimate reason to claim persecution. But we have to be distracted, so their fan base is able to gain the traction to get them elected to office. Since they have no real solutions to the problems they would face, the prospect of actually being in charge and expected to perform is frightening. Being a minority and persecuted is much better.
That’s the entire secret. Obfuscation, distraction, projection all are tools of the Conservative mindset. But don’t you dare upset the neat little scheme, the money is rolling in as planned…