Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Nazi Chapter

Happy New Year's Eve.

Over a year ago, I wrote a post called "Nazi Analogies Ad Nauseum." Despite the snappy title, I was never really happy with it. It was mostly composed of excerpts from my book's chapter on the topic. The result was pretty much a clunky list of block quotes. Worse, it still just skimmed the surface of the issue and with Donald Trump's rhetoric increasingly inviting fascist comparisons,* I felt more detail was needed.

So, I finally decided to post the whole damn chapter in its place. I kept the post's title and the intro is basically the same, but the old body obviously is gone because it was just a collection of chapter clippings and I am posting the entire enchilada.

So enjoy the free sample chapter.


* Some of them amusingly self-inflicted, others not so amusingly self-inflicted.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


I have invented my second singlet!

A singlet, according to the old HBO show “Not Necessarily the News,” is “a word that does not appear in the dictionary but should” – much like singlet itself.

My first singlet was Oppophor /ˈä-pə-fôr'/ (n): A political metaphor stolen from your opponent and distorted to poorly make the opposite point. Examples include militaristic racists making Nazi analogies, homophobes calling LBGT activists “Puritans,” and conservative Christians claiming to be the victims of a liberal “witch hunt.” In other words, how conservatives talk now.

My second singlet is Moxiemoron /ˈmäk-sē-ˈmr-ˌän / (n): 1) an idiot who succeeds or at least conceals his or her failure through sheer audacity and bravado, 2) the fan of such an idiot, or 3) anyone for whom stubbornness, faith, team spirit, etc. is sufficient to ignore reality.

Because moxiemorons believe that reality is willed into being, cheer-leading is essential and skepticism is suspect. They never see criticism as constructive - always corrosive. Thus, those who voice any are automatically seen as traitors and saboteurs. As Stephen Colbert explained, the “truthiness” of their perceptions is found in their gut rather than in their head. His character on “The Colbert Report” was a moxiemoron. The concept is not new. I am just proposing a new word for it.

Donald Trump and his supporters are also excellent examples. Trump is not as brilliant a businessman as he claims. He started out with a "small" million dollar loan from dad and has declared bankruptcy four times already. Had he simply invested his inheritance and done nothing, he would be a great deal richer.

Like Ben Carson, Donald Trump routinely lies about things – particularly his supposed accomplishments. And yet, his supporters adore him because he “tells it like it is” even when they admit that he bends the truth. What they mean is that he articulates and affirms their prejudices. He is a paleo-egoist who appeals to paleo-conservatives. Trump’s becoming the GOP front runner represents the triumph of bullshit when trumpeted with enough volume. 

Of course, he already had a waiting audience. As I wrote in my book about Sarah Palin’s appeal:
[C]onservative culture fetishizes faith because it is terrified of uncertainty – feeling doubt is feeling weak, so avoid doubt at all costs. Thus, sticking to your guns in the face of reality is something conservative culture admires – whereas changing your mind in light of new facts is seen as vacillating. A wrong conviction is honored as long as it is a strong conviction.
Donald Trump might be smarter than Sarah Palin, but they both appeal to the same demographic. And let's face it, they ain't going away, so you might as well use my new sniglet. You will have numerous opportunities to do so throughout 2016 - and beyond. Authoritarian morons often do not use condoms, so we are not looking at having a shortage of them any time soon.

Speaking of Trump, I also coined the term "Prima Donald." Use it. It's gonna be YOOOOGE!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I'm Both Pithy & Verbose

I neglected to mention that I have started tweeting. I think I am beginning to get the hang of it.


Next Day Edit: It's starting to get a little addictive. I no longer recognize myself.

Second Day Edit: Yeah, I might have a small problem controlling my posting.

This is not a difficulty I anticipated.