Why does the right wing hate America so much?
I wrote about the right's reaction to Obama's last SOTU for salon this morning:
It was kind of sad last night watching the last Obama State of the union address and noting the difference between the progressive euphoria that accompanied his speeches in the early days and the rather blasé response this one evoked. He's still a wonderful speaker and the speech was filled with the kind of sentiment that has always melted the hearts of Democrats everywhere. But they've been there and done that and the lame duck blues are upon them.
It was, as always , interesting to watch the response of the Republicans however, both in the audience and online. Needless to say, they were not impressed. The elected representatives in the hall managed to hold themselves back from screaming "you lie!" or blatantly rolling their eyes, but they managed to convey their disgust nonetheless. The online right didn't hold back.
For instance, when President Obama said the US was still the most powerful nation in the world, commenters at Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's Facebook page let fly. This pithy comment is representative:
"Has he been in another world for the last 7 years? America has declined every day under his failed weak ideological disjointed illogical politically motivated attempt at leadership."
Pollster Frank Luntz shared his bipartisan focus group's reaction on twitter:
It wasn't long ago that Republicans would have considered such a reaction to be fighting words. Recall Jimmy Carter's so-called "malaise speech" which made conservative heads explode for decades.For many years anyone who even whispered that America was less than perfect in any way was called a member of the "blame America first crowd." During the Bush administration anyone who questioned the administration was asked, "why do you hate America so much?"
Times have certainly changed. Today the campaign book of the GOP's presidential front-runner is called "Crippled America". It is an article of faith that our military is so degraded we cannot possibly defend ourselves. They assume that everyone around the world once loved us and now loathes everything we stand for and the patriotic right which once lived by the mantra "love it or leave it" now blithely maintains that the United States is no longer the best country in the world. Who would have ever thought that was possible?
As is so often the case, the reality is very different from Republican perceptions. According to a recent Pew Poll on global attitudes about America, nearly 70% of the world's nations approve of the US and president Obama and support his policies against ISIS. Half think of the US as the world's greatest economic power. What they don't care for are GOP policies like torture. (We happen to be one of the few developed countries in the world in which a majority of the people support the practice.)
Read on. You'll especially enjoy what the right wing talkers had to say about Nikki Haley. (Hint: Ann Coulter suggested that Trump should deport her.)