Posted on February 12, 2011 by Jason Easley
On her MSNBC program Rachel Maddow took aim at Fox News and the right for betraying their definition of freedom and siding with Mubarak in Egypt, “Had what happened in Egypt today, had it happened a couple of years ago, American conservatives might have been trying to claim credit… Who could have imagined instead of that you would have these portions of the American right just flat out siding with Mubarak?”
Here is the video from MSNBC:
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Maddow explained how the conservative movement is always trying to pull the GOP to the right, “Because the Republican Party is separate from and in some ways sort of subject to the conservative movement, one of the most important things to understand about American politics is that the conservative movement, particularly in the Republican Party is weak. The conservative movement tends to pull the Republican Party to the right. Constantly. Over time, always pulling them to the right. That has the effect of constantly pulling not just the right, but even the center in American politics to the right over time. This is one of those times, however, when the right is sprinting right ward so fast that Barack Obama and George W. Bush stand together in one place in the political continuum, and the American right, what counts as the American right right now is way off the charts on the other side.”
After playing clips of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush talking about freedom and the desire to be free, Rachel said, “It is not possible for two men speaking English to speak as differently as the two speak. They are saying effectively the same thing. This idea that democracy is something that is not geographically specific, that there are no people anywhere in the world who are immune to democracy’s charms or to the right to it that is the point that they are both making. That’s Obama and that’s Bush. Today’s American right wing disagrees with that.”
Maddow ran clips of Fox News and Glenn Beck poo-pooing freedom and democracy for Egypt and said, “Had what happened in Egypt today, had it happened a couple of years ago, American conservatives might have been trying to claim credit, saying Egypt happened because Bush bombed Iraq or something, or Mubarak, we always felt about him like we felt about Saddam. Would have been a hard sell, but I could see them doing it. Who could have imagined instead of that you would have these portions of the American right just flat out siding with Mubarak and taking Egypt as a sign to hoard food because now squarely this means china is going to take over in New Zealand?” (Cue the Beck caliphate and food storage clips).
Rachel Maddow concluded, pointing out that this is how Egypt is being explained to conservatives, “In part it is entertaining to see it, but in part it is important for the country. This is how what just happened in Egypt is being explained to today’s conservatives. This is how it’s being explained to them. POST-BUSH, POST-McCAIN, Republican party thinking on political issues now being shaped by that.” She then played a clip from Beck’s go to hell rant, “You want to call me crazy, go to hell. Call me crazy all you want.”
The problem with having a totally centralized party structure as the GOP had for decades is that it is great when leadership is strong, but the entire organizational structure totally collapses when the party leadership is weak. This is how right wing media and fringe conservatives are able to so easily take control of the Republican Party and steer it into such illogical and stupefying positions as arguing against freedom, and supporting a dictator in Egypt.
There is also a racist and religious component to the argument that Egypt can’t handle freedom and democracy. It is interesting that this same argument was not raised when the Soviet Union collapsed. Could it be because those countries that were free to determine their own destinies were white and Christian? The roots of the belief that Egypt can never be democratic go back to the right’s idea that Islam is the enemy of freedom and democracy, but if this is the case, why was the Bush administration trying to plant democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Just when you thought the virus of post-9/11 fear mongering was gone, back it comes in the form of support for an oppressive dictator in Egypt.
More Americans should be like Rachel Maddow and call out the right’s freedom hypocrisy. Apparently as long as the United States military under the leadership of a Republican president is doing the liberating, any Muslim country can handle democracy.
Conservatives seem to labor under the delusion that they invented freedom, and it is impossible for them to comprehend that a Democratic president is also capable of upholding, and more effectively endorsing the values of freedom and self determination.
What is most frightening is that there are millions of Americans who have gained their understanding about the crisis in Egypt from watching Fox News. They probably don’t even realize it, but by believing FNC’s political propaganda they are ideologically being conditioned to accpet the right’s message of authoritarianism, anti-individual freedom, and propaganda.
If Egypt is a danger to America, it is because Fox News and Glenn Beck have manipulated the story into an attack on freedom itself. When the news is manipulated into an attack on our core principles that is something we all should worry about.