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Hullabaloo


Friday, June 30, 2017

 

The chancellor's speech

by Tom Sullivan

If Donald J. Trump were smarter, emotionally balanced, and more in control, one might think he was using his newest tweet about women and blood yesterday to divert attention from his legal troubles. Not likely. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne Lapierre, on the other hand, knows just what he is doing, not that he is playing with a full deck himself.

On June 12, the NRA unleashed one of the most insane propaganda messages to date in this beleaguered republic. But after a tweet from Jeff Sharlet drew attention to it Wednesday, it exploded on social media. We are not going to link it here, but Think Progress summarizes:

In the one-minute spot, conservative media personality and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says progressives “bully and terrorize the law abiding,” adding that “the only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight the violence of lies with the clenched first of truth.”
Loesch did not have to say what that fist should be clenched around or that Real Americans need to take up 2nd Amendment solutions. That was implied. The language echoes Lapierre's rhetoric before the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum in April:
“It’s up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats,” he said.

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship responded directly to the bald-faced Othering in the script of the NRA propaganda piece:

They use their media to assassinate real news,” “They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler,” “They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.”

“And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance.”
Shot a little tighter, the video might come from a remake of V for Vendetta with Dana Loesch playing the High Chancellor.

Moyers and Winship continue:
Well, we all know who “they” are, don’t we? This is the vitriol that has been spewed like garbage since the days of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blasted from lynch mobs and demagogues and fascistic factions of political parties that turn racial and religious minorities into grotesque caricatures, the better to demean and diminish and dominate.

It is the nature of such malevolent human beings to hate those whom they have injured, and the NRA has enabled more injury to more marginalized and vulnerable people than can be imagined. Note how the words “guns” or “firearms” are never mentioned once in the ad and yet we know that the NRA is death on steroids. And behind it are the arms merchants — the gun makers and gun sellers — who profit from selling automatic rifles to deranged people who shoot down politicians playing intramural baseball, or slaughter children in their classrooms in schools named Sandy Hook, or who massacre black folks at Bible study in a Charleston church, or murderously infiltrate a gay nightclub in Orlando.
The two conclude, "To be choked with hate is a terrible fate, and it is worst for those on whom it is visited."

Thus we head not into Guy Fawkes Day, but America's Fourth of July. And with its fireworks, a little jumpier thanks not to ISIS terrorists but those of the NRA's creation.