Blog, Media + Politics

Corrupt to the Core

Originally published on Nation of Change, August 26, 2012

This is a rant. I make no apologies for it because sometimes that’s the only thing that can help cleanse one’s soul.

Norman Mailer was once asked why no good literature ever came out of the Third Reich in WWII. He responded–I paraphrase–“The whole philosophy was so garbled such that if you tried to write it down, all you got was complete nonsense.”

Mailer’s perceptive remark captures perfectly the essence of the whole Todd Akin fiasco. Even more, it captures the complete idiocy, if not deeply psychotic nature, of the current Republican belief system. Yes, I said “psychotic.”

To view, as Akin would like us to do, his crazy remarks merely as a “poor choice of words,” is only to compound the original crime. Words don’t come out of thin air. They are always reflective of an underlying philosophy or world-view, in this case, a deeply distorted and sick one. This is also why we must not take Akin’s outburst as an “isolated aberration” as the Republican leadership would like us to do.

Getting rid of Akin will not cause the basic illness to go away. Indeed, it only prolongs and makes it worse. To believe otherwise is merely to commit the latest form of what I call The Hazelwood Defense, the label I associate with Joseph Hazelwood, captain of the ill-fated Exxon Valdez that went aground and spilled thousands of gallons of oil in the Bay of Valdez many years ago. Exxon wanted us to believe that it was just the fault of “one bad apple,” i.e., Hazelwood, when it was a whole “bad system run amuck.”

In a way, Akin has done us a public service—I wouldn’t dare call it “great” by any means–but not in the usual ways that Liberals and Progressives are calling it, i.e., his staying in the race almost ensures that Republicans will not take back the Senate.

Not that we really need any more evidence, but Akin reveals once and for all the complete bankruptcy, if not sickness, of contemporary Conservative thought. It is so garbled that one can’t express it in any form.

The great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once famously said, “Of what we cannot speak, we must be silent.” A reverse dictum now applies to Conservatives. They must be silent because they cannot speak coherently.

Originally published on Nation of Change, August 26, 2012


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