When I take a step back, give myself a chance to breathe, and take a deep look at our current political environment, the contours of certain political groups become even more ghastly in their utter disregard for compassion, understanding, respect, and the like. Many of these groups, or at least the individuals who comprise these groups, assembled at what has been crowned “CPAC,” otherwise known as “Careless People Attacking Coloreds.” Okay, you got me, that’s not really what CPAC stands for. CPAC stands for “Conservative Political Action Conference” (no, I won’t hyperlink to their website!).
But in a sense, that is really what CPAC stands for, attacking people of color, attacking established science, attacking society’s disadvantaged. America has seen this before, though. America has always had political groups and individuals who just can’t get enough of ‘the way things were’, of an imaginary and ideal past that America has unmoored itself from.
What’s so disturbing about CPAC and its faithful adherers in our own time is the sheer toxicity and hatred that is infused in so many of the speeches, statements, comments, and one-liners AND the amount of mainstream support that is either passively or actively given by Americans.
Former Attorney General for George Bush, Michael Mukasey, had the following to say while seated at a CPAC panel:
“You may not be interested in Islamism, but Islamism is interested in you… The vast majority of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims adhere to a view of their religion that agrees on the need to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on the world.”
Aside from where Mr. Mukasey got his statistics from, the mere fact that most of America seems to shrug its shoulders or even nod its head in agreement at such comments is a rather disturbing phenomenon.
Now, I myself have no statistics to say this or that many Americans agree with this or that CPAC statement. I’m basing my conclusions off of the discussions I’ve had and overheard with many folks from many walks of life and it’s staggering just how little opposition statements like Mukasey’s arouse in many of these interactions. It’s staggering just how much many of these biases exemplified by Mukasey’s statement above have appeared to seep into the minds of even some of the most fair-minded Americans.
If conservatives are not winning overwhelmingly at the polls, they seem to be winning on the ideas front by the sheer loudness and quantity of their hair-brained messages. Their ideas appear to be tainting the judgments of even the most intelligent people in our country through their sheer repetition and the crusading severity with which they are espoused by their proponents.