On The Road To Aztlan and Mecca
Check out this article by Chris Hayes in The Nation. This is one of the weirdest things I've ever heard:
When completed, the highway will run from Mexico City to Toronto, slicing through the heartland like a dagger sunk into a heifer at the loins and pulled clean to the throat. It will be four football fields wide, an expansive gully of concrete, noise and exhaust, swelled with cars, trucks, trains and pipelines carrying water, wires and God knows what else. Through towns large and small it will run, plowing under family farms, subdevelopments, acres of wilderness. Equipped with high-tech electronic customs monitors, freight from China, offloaded into nonunionized Mexican ports, will travel north, crossing the border with nary a speed bump, bound for Kansas City, where the cheap goods manufactured in booming Far East factories will embark on the final leg of their journey into the nation's Wal-Marts.
And this NAFTA Superhighway, as it is called, is just the beginning, the first stage of a long, silent coup aimed at supplanting the sovereign United States with a multinational North American Union.
Even as this plot unfolds in slow motion, the mainstream media are silent; politicians are in denial. Yet word is getting out. Like samizdat, info about the highway has circulated in niche media platforms old and new, on right-wing websites like WorldNetDaily, in the pages of low-circulation magazines like the John Birch Society's The New American and increasingly on the letters to the editor page of local newspapers.
Prompted by angry phone calls and e-mail from their constituents, local legislators are beginning to take action. In February the Montana state legislature voted 95 to 5 for a resolution opposing "the North American Free Trade Agreement Superhighway System" as well as "any effort to implement a trinational political, government entity among the United States, Canada, and Mexico." Similar resolutions have been introduced in eighteen other states as well as the House of Representatives, where H. Con Res. 40 has attracted, as of this writing, twenty-seven co-sponsors. Republican presidential candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire now routinely face hostile questions about the highway at candidate forums. Citing a spokesperson for the Romney campaign, the Concord Monitor reports that "the road comes up at town meetings second only to immigration policy."
Grassroots movement exposes elite conspiracy and forces politicians to respond: It would be a heartening story but for one small detail.
There's no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway.
I guess this is the predictable re-emergence of the black helicopter crowd now that the Republicans have lost their power. (These conspiracy theorists always seem to go underground when the GOP is in power. My theory is that they switch seamlessly between anti-government conspiracy to cultlike authoritarian leadership worship depending on who's in office.)
Apparently Lou Dobbs is talking about this too, with no mention that it's complete nonsense of course. But then his relationship with the truth is pretty flexible when it comes to teh mexicanos. And I'm sure many of you will not be surprised to learn that one of the prime spreaders of this NAFTA Highway tale is the first class fabulist Jerome Corsi, of Swiftboat fame. You remember the documented liar and lunatic who all the newspeople treated with respect when he trashed John Kerry?
As it turns out, there is a foreign owned toll road being planned in Texas that has nothing to do with NAFTA and that's causing quite a stir. People seem to have mashed the whole thing up in their lizard brains and come up with some one-world plot by Spain and the Council on Foreign Relations. Or something.
Hayes' investigation shows that a lot of these people are insecure about the future and confused by the fast paced changes of the modern world. I get that. But they are also a bunch of racist jackasses and I lose my patience when they turn to idiotic wastes of time like this to deal with their fears. It doesn't help anybody.
Glenn Greenwald made a similar point earlier today with this post about the totally kooky right wing faith that the US is seriously in danger of being taken over by Muslim extremists:
Every now and then, it is worth noting that substantial portions of the right-wing political movement in the United States -- the Pajamas Media/right-wing-blogosphere/Fox News/Michelle Malkin/Rush-Limbaugh-listener strain -- actually believe that Islamists are going to take over the U.S. and impose sharia law on all of us. And then we will have to be Muslims and "our women" will be forced into burkas and there will be no more music or gay bars or churches or blogs. This is an actual fear that they have -- not a theoretical fear but one that is pressing, urgent, at the forefront of their worldview.
And their key political beliefs -- from Iraq to Iran to executive power and surveillance theories at home -- are animated by the belief that all of this is going to happen. The Republican presidential primary is, for much of the "base," a search for who will be the toughest and strongest in protecting us from the Islamic invasion -- a term that is not figurative or symbolic, but literal: the formidable effort by Islamic radicals to invade the U.S. and take over our institutions and dismantle our government and force us to submit to Islamic rule or else be killed.
It's crazy talk and there's just so much of it in wingnutland that it gets tiring. (And they call us the extremists ...) As much as I feel sorry for people who are lost in the vortex of rapid change, they still seem to me to be looking for reasons to be stupid. (And they have more in common with the scary Muslims than they think.)
I'm with Justice Stephen Breyer who recently said:
...the true division of importance in the world is not between different countries. The important division is between those who are committed to reason, to working out things, to understanding other people, to peaceful resolution of their differences ... and those who don't think that."
If that makes me an elitist, one-worlder, so be it.
I can see this election's going to have a nutzoid quality to it that we haven't seen in some time. Just what we need.
Update: Dave Neiwert has more on this.