Talking-head pundits in full swing

October 7, 2011 Editorials Print Print
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Some of the most vocal and frightening fringe elements currently in the public eye are now presenting themselves in the form of ultra-conservative portions of the Republican Party and its offshoot cousin the Tea Party.


Sean M. Tolbert

In small yet increasing numbers this niche element has made it blatantly apparent how they feel about a section of their fellow human beings, and the most damning examples have come while the debate season enters full swing with a handful of GOP hopefuls vying for the Republican Presidential nomination.

While the candidates themselves have seldom deviated from their politically spun double-talk, certain supporters have decided to speak for them — and the utterances have been nothing short of frightening.

The first example came during the NBC News/Politico GOP Debate.

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was led into a question by NBC anchor Brian Williams. Williams’ statement: “[Perry] has executed 234 death-row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times.” Before Perry could respond, raucous applause erupted from the audience; lasting only seconds. The implications, however, reverberated for days.

On Sept. 12, Texas Rep. Ron Paul was asked by CNN’s own bumbling, maladroit mouthpiece Wolf Blitzer during the CNN/Tea Party debate: Should American society allow a man who voluntarily declines private health insurance to die?

Paul, deciding against committing the political equivalent of seppuku, was enveloped by a handful of conservative audience members that answered for him. “Yeah!” one shouted. A whistle of enthusiasm followed with another echoing the sentiment. Truly, compassion at its finest.

During last week’s Florida FOX/Google debate, a YouTube clip of Stephen Hill, a U.S. serviceman who had recently come-out as being homosexual, asked the candidates: During their potential presidencies, would they consider circumventing the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

Before former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum could offer a milquetoast, haphazard response, a sea of boos came from a large segment of the audience. Now, which of the candidates spoke up to defend Hill? Not a one.

What am I getting at? It’s actually quite simple. Conservative America has lost the plot.

There is a segment of the population that would support the killing of inmates (some of whom may have been wrongfully incarcerated) while hypocritically claiming they support “the right to life.” They claim helping those in need is what is “right;” yet they would allow a man to die before they should be asked to pay any of his medical bills.

They will parrot every nationalistic, patriotic volley of word-vomit they hear in an attempt to “support the troops” — that is, as long as the troops are straight. Does this mean all conservatives believe this? Certainly not, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many conservatives who are equally repulsed by these “ideals.”

What it does mean is there is a segment of America so ingrained in this “society of fear” that has been created by mainstream corporate media and political, talking-head punditry; that they have suspended their better judgment and are working off emotion rather than reason. If left unchecked, this can lead to dangerous social consequences for everyone.

 

To contact Sean M. Tolbert,

email sportswriter@occc.edu

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