Weekend Update 2/12/2016 – Angry white men
The more the occupiers talked, the more obvious it became that they were not fierce warriors ready to die for a noble cause, but a bunch of fantasists who, bitter because white Christian conservatives don’t get the social deference they believe they deserve, have turned to conspiracy theories and other right wing argle-bargle in order to justify their sense that not being catered to is the same thing as being oppressed.
…Slate’s Jacob Brogan live-tweeted the stream, and what struck him right away was “the combination of ideological incoherence and aggressive uncertainty.” They refused to recognize the authority of federal agents on federal land, as if wishing hard enough would make it go away. Their chatter suggested they “are intellectually and ideologically incommensurable even to one another”.
“All they seem to share are abstract reference points: guns, liberty, tyranny. No collective notion of how those things connect,” Brogan added. No big surprise, really. It seems at least a couple of them, possibly all, are deeply troubled people, drawn to this out of a sense of drama and not because they have a coherent or principled belief system to stand up for.
And before the final surrender, The patriarch of the Bundy family, scofflaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, was arrested at the Portland airport late Wednesday night. Hilariously, he was arrested because he posted his intention to fly to Oregon to join the hold out occupiers at the wildlife sanctuary on the internet, including his flight time, and then seemed to be shocked that federal agents were waiting to arrest him at the airport on his several outstanding federal warrants.
Speaking of angry white men whose ideology is less than coherent: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is dead at 79.
We’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, no matter how hateful, odious, or bigoted they were. As one person pointed out on twitter, I’m sure when Emperor Palpatine died at the end of Return of the Jedi there was an army of white dudes at the celebrations like, “A man is dead. Show some respect.”
Maybe I should show some respect. But it’s hard to respect someone who argued so vehemently in favor of torture, and not just argued, but legally enabled it. A man who compared homosexuality to murder, polygamy, and cruelty to animals and used those arguments and his vote on the Supreme Court to thwart the rights of gay people for many years doesn’t deserve any respect. A man who said (less than three months ago) that granting civil rights to gay people made as little sense as doing so to child molesters does not deserve any respect.
The typical argument is that he has family and other loved ones who are hurt by his loss. But I have to say, from decades of reading his opinions and listening to his speeches, that if a person was friends with Scalia, I have severe doubts about that person’s morals or judgment. And his family members? Well, one son is an attorney who has been instrumental in impeding Wall Street reform, another son is a priest who promotes ex-gay therapy and leads several other anti-gay causes, his wife is a pro-life advocate who has been a “sidewalk counsellor” outside Planned Parenthood clinics, which means she screams at women going into the clinics, calling them baby-killers.
I prefer the advice of Charles Finch, “If you want to feel sad, go ahead and think about all the gay people who died alone because their spouses didn’t have visitation rights.”