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Cannon Fodder
Author: Raine    Date: 07/29/2021 13:10:21

So often, many ask (including myself) does the conservative movement want to kill their base? The easy answer seems to be, 'They wanna own the libs' and while I suspect there is a portion of the base that thinks this way, the answer cannot be that simple.

Right-wing media is pushing anti-vaccination propaganda. Why? It's part of a calculated, cold strategy, as Dan Pfeiffer explains.
In its simplest form, politics is a game of numbers. The goal is to attract more voters. Therefore, exposing your most loyal voters to a deadly virus seems to be a particularly stupid way to go about winning elections. Yet a surprising number of Right-Wing politicians and media figures have spent a lot of time and energy pushing conspiracy theories about the COVID vaccine. This messaging has undoubtedly killed thousands of voters that the Republicans need in the 2022 elections.

While some Republican leaders have pushed the COVID vaccine from the outset and others, like Sean Hannity, have recently kinda, sorta changed their tone due to pressure from advertisers, there is no question significant elements of the Republican Party have embraced the anti-vax movement in the post-Trump Era.

Progressives were mystified about the Republican embrace of the anti-vax movement. Reactions ranged from outrage to condescension. Maybe the Republicans are too dense or demented to know what’s in their best interest. Perhaps, they are so committed to “owning the libs” that they are willing to kill their own voters. But the reason is neither idiocy nor performative assholery.

While the modern Republican Party is nihilistic, immoral, corrupt, and racist, it is not stupid. There is an underlying — albeit twisted — political logic behind the decision of so many Republican politicians to push anti-vax conspiracy theories. Killing their own voters is disgusting but not as self-defeating as it seems. It’s not a good or moral strategy, but it is a strategy. And defeating that strategy requires understanding why Republicans think killing their voters is good politics.
It goes beyond the strategy of cold calculation that just a few of their supporters and viewers will die. They are ok with them killing each other to continue the cycle of power and greed. It's been happening since January 6, when 'TFG' said (and continues to) that it was a "Love-fest".

The first hearing of the January 6 inquiry was held Tuesday. It was raw emotional shocking sad and enraging. Well, it was to most of the country. As was pointed out Daytime Fox news aired the hearing. Nighttime fox? Not so much. For two of the hosts, mocking the victims -- four law enforcement officers -- was the talking point that night.
Earlier that day, officers had recalled disturbing experiences of the riot. Dunn, a Black man, recalled rioters calling him racial slurs, while Gonell, an Iraq War veteran, said he had believed he would die during the attack.

Gonell also described rioters using baseball bats, hockey sticks, a rebar, and a flagpole as weapons that day. "No matter if it is a pen, the way they were using these items, it was to hurt officers," he said.

Ingraham's show homed in on the pen comment, displaying a graphic of a trophy with "best exaggerated performance" emblazoned on it.

"The winner is Aquilino Gonell, who thinks the pen is literally mightier than the sword," Ingraham said.

(snip)

On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Carlson took issue with several testimonies.

At the hearing, Gonell had said in a tearful speech that "on January 6, for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq."

Carlson responded: "Actually, what happened on January 6, according to the video we do have, does not look a lot like Iraq. It's not Fallujah." He played footage of a relatively quiet segment of the Capitol invasion, with people milling peacefully about the rotunda.

Extensive footage of much more violent moments exists.
While "TFG' and his cabal gleefully whipped thousands into violence on the Capitol on January 6, these two people are among many others with a platform trying to create violence all over again. There is a part of my brain that has a hard time conceiving why but I think I am getting there. Authoritarians -- those that practice the behavior (Socially Dominant Authoritarians) have always used those who lean into it as cannon fodder to gain more power.

The insurrectionists were cannon fodder. Anti-vaxxers are cannon fodder. There was a book written about these very people last year. From the review in WaPo.
Altemeyer’s “RWA” scale measures how much someone believes in right-wing authoritarianism based on their responses to various statements. For example: “Our country desperately needs a mighty leader who will do what has to be done to destroy the radical new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us.” RWA followers strongly agree with this statement.

Those who score high on the RWA scale are submissive to authority but can be aggressive on behalf of that authority. They are conventional in their thinking and behavior, highly religious, have less education, are highly prejudiced against other groups, oppose equal opportunity, lack critical-thinking skills, and often hold inconsistent positions. They “have only a superficial belief in liberty and democracy,” the authors write. When authoritarians and their followers talk about how much they value freedom, they are talking about their own freedom — not that of others. They believe in being lenient if they and their leaders break the law but merciless against those they deem inferior, according to Dean and Altemeyer.

Altemeyer’s “social dominance orientation” (SDO) scale measures whether someone is a dominant leader — a type who desires personal power; thrives on inequality; cheats to win, and is amoral, bullying, vengeful, exploitive, mean-spirited and manipulative.
You can't have a cult or a fascist dictator without cannon fodder to keep the power and greed going. In order to keep the power going, dead bodies are needed. The last century is recent proof it.

Simply put, there are very evil people in this world. I pray I'll never really understand how their minds work. At least I'm starting to see why.

&

Raine
 

17 comments (Latest Comment: 07/29/2021 20:59:43 by livingonli)
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