A WELL-INFORMED RIGHT-WINGER
I guess what strikes me about "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher's new interview with Christianity Today is that he really, really seems to be trying to read books and take in information. Oh, sure, the most widely quoted passage comes straight from his gut, or perhaps some other body part (he rails against "queers" and says he "wouldn't have them anywhere near my children"), but the rest suggests a guy who genuinely wants to know what he's talking about -- about God, about politics.
I'm grading on the curve, of course. The "expert" for whom he expresses admiration is a hero of wingnut economics:
Who are you people you look to for advice?
Ken Holder from fairtax.org, who is working hard to spread the fair tax.
The authors he likes are favorites among right-wing evangelicals:
Who do you see as the emerging Christian leaders?
James Dobson. I love Dobson. I love John Eldridge's Wild at Heart. The last book I read was The Five Love Languages [by Gary Chapman].
The talking points he recites with pinpoint accuracy are from the large catalog of facts right-wingers know that just ain't so:
As far as the government goes, the Founding Fathers based the Constitution off of Christian values. It goes hand-in-hand.
... Every state has "In God we trust" or "With God's help" in their constitution. God is recognized as, if you will, America's religion.
He's well-versed enough in right-wing Christianity to talk about his "walk with God." He's well-versed enough in right-wing thinking to know that, in conservative circles, an acceptably PC answer on abortion is advocacy of federalism: "For example, if Georgia wanted abortion and Alabama didn't, that's going to be up to the people in Georgia.... That way, people can live the way they want to as opposed to being imposed on by the federal government."
Wurzelbacher isn't uninformed. He's informed in the way right-wingers would like all of us to be informed -- that is, he gets all his information from wingnut and evangelical sources.
Over at Free Republic, the regulars react to every sign of trouble in the mainstream media, from newspaper shutdowns to downticks in movie box-office receipts, with the phrase "Dinosaur Media Death Watch." The sincere hope on the right is that someday there'll be nothing to read, nothing to watch, nothing to listen to except what Joe the Plumber reads and watches and listens to: basically, Christian radio and talk radio and right-wing Web sites and Fox.
A nation of Wurzelbachers -- that's the goal.