For my friends who I’ve offended recently, and that’s a pretty long list, this post is to clarify a few things about my reasons for mocking regressive thinking. Not too long ago, there was a page circulating on Facebook praying to God for President Obama’s death. Recently, while driving, I saw a bumper sticker that read “Save a Miner: Kill a Tree Hugger.” On the surface, many of you may think that these are just harmless little jokes and that the people forwarding the page and the redneck driving the Super Duty Ford Truck didn’t really mean it, but to me, these are symptoms of a much problem with regressive thinking.
In July 2008, a conservative walked into a Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN and opened fire on the congregation. Two died and seven were injured. His reason for attacking was that they were liberals, and in his home were books by Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity, all written along the lines of how liberalism is a mental disease that needs to be cured. What scares me most is that often people with this mentality believe that anyone who doesn’t think just like them or believe everything they believe must be a liberal. That kind of black and white, simplified thinking is what led to the Holocaust.
Back to the redneck miner, his mentality is that because he doesn’t know anything about it, all science must be bunk, so instead of him taking the time to learn why certain environmental groups believe that certain mining operations are damaging the environment, he would just rather kill them so he can make his $20 an hour. Rather than learn a trade like plumbing or carpentry, he wants to work in that mine cause that’s what his daddy and granddaddy did, nevermind that they both died real young from major medical problems. He needs that $20 and hour to buy fuel for that Super Duty. That’s real dumb and real scary to someone like me who is curious and likes to take the time to learn a little.
And the mentality is bigger than that. It has to do with the belief that God is on their side, so it must be okay for them to do whatever they need to do to preserve their beliefs because God ordained them to do so. Some of the worst atrocities in history have been committed under this belief. Every single one of the 19 hijackers on September 11 believed that they were serving God’s will by killing the infidels. Timothy McVeigh believed passionately that he was serving God by blowing up the building in Oklahoma City. I could go on and on for hours with thousands more examples.
Many of my friends who I’ve offended are people who enjoy a good debate and like to read and have curiosity about the world. I love and respect you guys even if I disagree with you. The fact that you look deeper into things shows that you have intelligence and the capacity for rational thought. Most of you wouldn’t even consider walking into a church with a shotgun or filling a truck with homemade explosives or hijacking a jumbo jet to attack a skyscraper.
But there are many conservatives who embrace violence as the answer. To them, the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” reads “Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless The Person Disagrees With You Or You Feel Threatened Or You Don’t Like Something About Them.” These people terrify me, so I mock them in an effort to point out the absurdity and backwardness of their thinking. I’m sometimes an asshole about it, too, but the reason I’m so passionate about ridiculing the far right is because it’s my feeble attempt to stand up to a very wealthy, very powerful movement that uses lies and propaganda to stir the emotions of people like Jim Adkisson into using force against their enemies.