Friday, April 11, 2014

Two Peoples Divided By A Common Language

JMM has a little note up about Michelle Obama's continuing efforts to make life a little easier and less horrific for military families.  Its no big deal--First Ladies have always taken up a popular cause, worked hard on it, and done something for the selected group as well as for their husband's public standing and the office of First Lady's public standing.  But I have been in arguments with true believers on the Right who insist that the President and Mrs. Obama are personally rude to the military they encounter while flying around the world, or walking into events.  Despite the many pictures of the President and First Lady comfortably interacting with the military, donating services and time to military families, bringing military family members to the Conventions and Speeches, etc..etc...etc... these people are convinced that in private the President and First Lady literally walk by the outstretched hands of the military, snubbing them when they are not in public. "They don't even say Thank You for your Service!"

This is all part of the general right wing assertion that the President is both a Machiavellian strong man and also an ineffectual boob and wimp.  It also goes well with the argument that Michelle is a trashy, lazy, fat, Marie Antoinette, completely out of touch with the real duties of a real First Lady and only in it for the glamor and snacks.  Of course if they are evil through and through everything they do that is apparently good must be either truly evil or at least understood as fake and for show.  So every public good deed, in the right wing imaginary, must be balanced by an identical reversal of itself in private.

For these people, as I believe Ezra Klein just noted in the Vox piece I'm not bothering to read, the evidence of their eyes reinforces the beliefs they already hold and what they see can never contradict what they know.  In fact: the more pictures they see of Michelle and Jill Biden doing things for the Military the more convinced they will be that its all a lie. They can't even grant Michelle enough machiavellian evil nature to assume she can carry on the fraud in private.

I've got no clever cure for this. Its just an observation.  To the extent that we share any values with the right wing at this point--even love for fluffy kittens, or cute babies, or veterans--we still can't share any real work with them administratively or on policy. Because their goals and their sense of our motives and intentions are so askew.
 Cross Posted at I Spy With My Little Eye


Victor said...

The timeless classic:
John Stuart Mill – “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.”

It was true over 140 years ago, and it's still - possibly even MORE - true now.

Anonymous said...

I think it's gotten much worse in the last thirty years since the initial ideological ("anti-Marxist") hatred of FDR and the New Deal became a religion amongst the children and grandchildren of FDR's enemies. Dogma must be unquestioned, and heretics must be destroyed. Those of us who are not modern Republicans are not facing political challenges, but existential, fanatic religious challenges. It won't fade away, either, since every next generation is arguably larger and more fanatical than the one before. I'm not sure what the outcome is, but history is not encouraging.

Jules said...

I've got no clever cure for this.

There is no cure for rabies.

Yastreblyansky said...

My great-uncle Leonard, from the WASP side of the family, a Minneapolis real estate broker, believed that FDR's real name was Rosenfeld and (occasionally) that my 8-year-old mother was a changeling planted in the house by Communists. I guess he was a very high-functioning psychotic. What's shocking now is that this isn't just crazy individuals any more but entire communities. Beautiful post! But I don't know what we're going to do about it.

Glennis said...

This is similar to a common right wing talking point about Hillary, that she "hates" the military. I used to wonder whether it was made up completely, or whether there was some slim thread of an origin to it. Now, after watching the right wing for the last 6 years spin complete fantasy hate tales about the Obamas, unfounded by even the smallest grain of fact (nay, contradicted by a bushel full of facts to the contrary), I can accept that they did the same about Hillary.

Ken_L said...

"the Right who insist that the President and Mrs. Obama are personally rude to the military"

Liberals hate the military and have been spitting on them since Vietnam. The Obamas are radical liberals. Therefore the Obamas really hate the military. QED.

Pictures suggesting the opposite just confirm the truth - the liberal media lies about everything.