One of the indices of the ponerization of society is a change in the use of language. Not only do spurious arguments get made, such as "We invaded Iraq to bring democracy", but language takes on an emotional colour intended to provoke and incite animosity and hatred, as the cleavage between the haves and the have-nots, the insiders and the outsiders, those in power and those without power, deepens.
Here are some examples of right-wing venom collected by Dave Neiwert in a recent article entitled The Politics of the Personal: The Urge to Purge:
Rush Limbaugh: "I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus -- living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for."
Ann Coulter: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
Or: "We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too."
Bill O’Reilly: “Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.”
Michael Barone: “Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and ... transnationalism.”
Karl Rove: “Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.”
Kathleen Parker: “Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: ‘These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot.’ "
When confronted with the bad taste, to put it mildly, of such remarks, the pundits say that it is only a rhetorical flourish, that no one takes it seriously, that they don't really mean that liberals should be killed. But even if that were the case, which I doubt, it reveals the pathological underpinnings of their thought processes. They are intolerant, authoritarian, and violent. They are not interested in dialogue and any exchange of ideas. They believe that they have the truth. They mirror the same attitude towards people who disagree with them as does the president when he said in December 2000 that things would be a lot easier if he were a dictator.
Ha ha. Some joke. Look where we are seven years into the Bush Reich. The US Constitution has been disembowled, the rights of US citizens have been exchanged for tyrannical measures that we are told will increase our security, anyone can now be taken away and tortured with no recourse to the due process of the law.