Livro revela que a direita morbida dos estados unidos não é muito diferente da daqui. Nesta reportagem do New York Times, Will Bunch, jornalista descrito como "progressista" mostra em seu livro "The Backlash" (O Boicote) revela o "motor" que está por trás da novidade da direita americana o "Tea Party". Entre as forças que movem os radicais está a mídia, com apresentadores e imitadores que batem no Presidente Barak Obama, tendo inclusive, recentemente, questionado a Certidão de Nascimento de Obama, perguntado se ele nascera nos Estados Unidos ou não.
The Engine of Right-Wing Rage, Fueled by More Than Just Anger
Published: September 13, 2010
n his new book, “The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama,” the progressive journalist Will Bunch serves up his own anatomy of theTea Party movement, that loose agglomeration of right-wing insurgents, libertarians, conservatives, evangelicals, survivalists, gun-rights crusaders, antitax protesters, deficit hawks, antigovernment zealots, militia members, Ayn Randers, Limbaugh “ditto heads,”Glenn Beck fanatics, birthers, Birchers, and supporters of Sarah Palinand Ron Paul.
As Mr. Bunch sees it, there are three main reasons for the rise of the Tea Party:
1. “Genuine anger and panic by rank-and-file conservatives” who were deeply frustrated by the election of Barack Obama, and who “suddenly saw a world in which — thanks to a growing electoral base that did not think or look like them — their Reaganist conservative philosophy might be shut out of power for good.”
2. “The electronic media” — including the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and local talk radio imitators, as well as social networking forces like Facebook and Twitter— which have enabled “like-minded Obama naysayers” to come together “without actual journalists intervening to filter out untrue information like the canard about the president’s birth certificate.”
3. “The ever-circling capitalists — the policy pushers who saw a new grass-roots movement as a back-door way to revive the big-business agenda” that had thrived from the 1980s through the George W. Bush era, along with “the pure-profit hucksters” eager to cash in on voter anger.
Mr. Bunch seems to have spent a lot of energy looking into Reason No. 3: He writes at length about the marketing of items like gold coins, solar generators and seed bank kits to survivalist-minded, apocalypse-fearing consumers; and Glenn Beck’s sprawling TV-radio-book-merchandise empire. Other sections of “The Backlash” — a title that consciously or unconsciously recalls “Backlash,” Susan Faludi’s 1991 book about antifeminist reaction to the women’s movement — feature the author’s visits to events like the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot and the first national convention of Tea Party activists held in Nashville earlier this year.
Although Mr. Bunch — a senior writer at The Philadelphia Daily News and a senior fellow at the left-leaning research group Media Matters for America — tries hard in many of his interviews with various Tea Party-affiliated individuals to understand where they are coming from, he occasionally lapses into snarky put-downs that undercut the mostly reasoned tone of his book and his many persuasive observations. For instance, he writes of the numerous retirees and Glenn Beck fans at one event: “Not only did it turn out that the revolution was televised after all, but it also needed assistance out to its car.” By far the most compelling, if not terribly original, arguments in “The Backlash” concern the current media environment, which has amplified the loudest and most partisan voices, and helped spread fact-free theories about President Obama’s not being born in the United States or wanting to take away people’s guns. Mr. Bunch invokes Neil Postman — who argued in his seminal 1985 book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” that the entertainment values promoted by television are subverting public discourse — to explore the phenomenon of Mr. Beck and his shameless emotional appeals to his audience’s deepest fears about change and the threat of the Other (be it a black president, Mexican immigrants or East Coast liberals).
Mr. Bunch also builds upon the insights of Cass Sunstein (the author of prescient books like “Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide”) to look at how the echo chamber of partisan Web sites can ratify radical, even dangerous, views, and how group polarization, especially at a time of high employment and economic anxiety, fuels anger and irrational rumors about government conspiracies (like FEMA-run concentration camps and black helicopters). Echoing other reporters and commentators before him, Mr. Bunch uses the writings of Richard Hofstadter — most notably “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” and “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” — to try to explicate the roots of populist rage that animate many Tea Party gatherings. And he goes on to suggest, not always convincingly, that psychological or personal reasons drive many Americans to seek “rebirth from the raw energy of the Tea Parties.”
As for the consequences of the so-called backlash movement, Mr. Bunch reviews well-known cases like the Republican Scott Brown’s ascension to Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat in liberal Massachusetts and the Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio’s capture of the Republican nomination in the Florida Senate race. But he argues that the “Tea Party’s true success in 2010 was not in electing their own people but moving incumbents” like SenatorJohn McCain, Republican of Arizona, to the right.
Mr. Bunch adds that conservative insurgents have tilted the entire national conversation to the right, with Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration rocking “any hopes for a realistic federal immigration policy” and “Second Amendment paranoia” driving “lawmakers to take actions that would make it harder for authorities to keep tabs on guns and possibly increase the supply even further.”
For many decades, Mr. Bunch observes, “there were grown-ups involved in the conservative movement who tamped down the flames of extremism rather than fanning them.”
“Ironically,” he continues, “the main reason that the John Birch Society” — which went so far as to suggest that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist sympathizer — “failed to gain much traction in the early 1960s was because mainstream Republican politicians turned against them, even though the party was at low ebb in the Kennedy-Johnson years. Barry Goldwater, the leader of the so-called New Right movement who won the G.O.P. presidential nomination in 1964, did have considerable support from the Birchers, yet not only did he not embrace them but secretly authorized the intellectual leader of 1960s conservatism, William F. Buckley Jr., and his National Review to go after the organization, successfully marginalizing it and helping to keep its Richard Hofstadter-described paranoid style in the shadows, even as that decade grew more tumultuous.”
Today things are different. Republicans are reluctant to speak out against Mr. Limbaugh’s invective. Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, has suggested that President Obama “may have anti-American views.” And Sharron Angle, a Republican Senate candidate from Nevada, has spoken of citizens arming themselves “against a tyrannical government.”
By “shifting the parameters on what is acceptable political speech in America,” Mr. Bunch says, right-wing insurgents have driven “distrust of government to its highest level in more than a generation” and mapped out “dangerous new territory for our national politics.
Fonte: New York Times