Streams

Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

From “Birthers” who claim that President Obama was not born in the United States to those who believe that the Constitution is in danger of being replaced with Sharia law, conspiratorial beliefs have become increasingly common in our public discourse. Arthur Goldwag explores the ideas and rhetoric that have animated extreme, mostly right-wing movements throughout American history. His new book is The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right.

Guests:

Arthur Goldwag
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Comments [36]

@ ellen form nyc: I thought your comment was incredibley mean-spirited. I have a stutter, and this man was not 'affecting' a stuttter in any conceivable way. At times he spoke haltingly, and there was a nasality that wasn't exactly radiophonic ... but the topic was fascinating and I learned a lot from listening.

Feb. 08 2012 04:59 PM
Misty

Wow, I came to this page to listen because the subject sounded good, but cannot finish the segment. I had to look up art525's word "fey": excessively pretentious. Good description. Snoozer is another. Dude ruined a pretty juicy topic.

Feb. 08 2012 01:25 PM
David

You mean only people on the right hate? Oh sure. People on the left just love Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, et al. Myself being neither on the right nor the left, I always find it amusing when each side accuses the other of the same thing.

I will say this: I think it is great news that the majority of people in this country (which obviously includes both the left and right) were against both the bailouts of the failing, incompetent banks:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,428921,00.html

and the failing, incompetent car companies:

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/12/poll_americans.html

That most people didn't buy into the lies of "The economy will collapse if we don't save the banks, or the banks are too big to fail," and "We have to save the auto industry," is a healthy sign that people on both sides of the political spectrum are waking up to the fact that the Federal government is controlled by the big money interests regardless of who is in the White House or who is sitting in Congress. This isn't a "conspiracy," it's just a plain fact to the majority of us who see it.

Feb. 07 2012 01:37 PM
Gary from Port Washington

CORRECTIONS IN SEGMENT: There were two minor factual errors made in the segment. Mr Godwag said Steven Jobs did not go to college; Steven Jobs did go to college, he attended Reed College in Portland and in his freshman year dropped out due to cost. He still sat in on classes include a Calligraphy class that help years later inspire Fonts on the Mac. At his famous Stanford Graduation address he discusses this fact. The other correction is when Leonard said that Mitt Romney's grandfather left America for Mexico to start a polygamous sect; the correct fact is it was his Great Grandfather who left the country. His grandfather was living there when they gave birth to his father George Romney (who Mitt said was born in Mexico in the debate during the Florida primary). When the Mexican Revolution broke out in the 1920's the family returned to the US and his father George Romney grew up poor in the US. During the 1968 election this was a possible issue when his George Romney ran for President. This is covered in the Wikipedia page on George Romney. Minor corrections, but facts should always be 100 % correct.

Feb. 07 2012 01:29 PM
adrienne from UWS

jgarbuz, totally don't get your comment about liberation means killing God the father and his people, why is that liberation? that sounds violent and perverse and like the Greek drama, Odepus. It bothers you that so many Jews are physicists, sorry to hear that, watch a little more public TV, many of those men are very interesting, can you imagine? an interesting Jew?
Adrienne

Feb. 07 2012 01:26 PM

to tom LI; The Tea Party approves of Alan Keyes, black Conservative, not of Baron John Maynard Keynes, British economist.

Feb. 07 2012 01:10 PM
What about Davos ?

What about Davos ?

The 2600 people at the World Economic Forum in Davos
personally own considerable wealth, but they control
far more.

Davos participants include leaders of many of the
world's richest and most influential companies -
including 1600 CEOs. They also include major
financiers, political leaders and powerful bureaucrats.

When these unelected folks choose a path, the world is mostly
forced to follow. Their penchant for austerity in previous years
has directly caused the needless suffering of 10s of millions of
people in Europe and the U.S..

Their staunch support of unchecked globalization has caused
decades of stagnation and decline for middle class in the
US and Europe (while enriching themselves).

Now granted, their support has done wonders for the growth
of BRIC countries - where GDP increases of 10 % per year
are the norm - but this has come directly at the cost of
decreasing stability, security and standard of living in
the US and EU for a large percentage of citizens who
used to have better lives.

The Davos crew is unelected, but at a time when government is
largely for sale through legal bribes and unlimited donations,
their ability to harm the average US and EU citizen should not
be underestimated.

Feb. 07 2012 01:05 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

CaptainDrG?
Obama supported/continued the bailouts that Bush started. It was also under Bush and Republican ideological policy that the financial industry collapsed. I could go on. Nevertheless, this gets no criticism from the Tea Party, and definitely with nothing like the vehemence/ venom of the "criticism" of the relatively compromising Obama, who inherited their president's failures. No, they'd rather continue the same dangerous deregulatory policies and not address the unsustainable wealth divide that disadvantages them. Sure, this is perfectly coherent.
And we can think of just a few bad faith reasons for the Tea Party to trot out duds like Keyes and Cain...

Feb. 07 2012 01:03 PM
What about Davos ?


The 2600 people at the World Economic Forum in Davos
personally own considerable wealth, but they control far more.
Davos participants include leaders of many of the world's richest
and most influential companies - including 1600 CEOs, it also
major financiers, political leaders and powerful bureaucrats.

When these unelected folks choose a path, the world is mostly
forced to follow. Their penchant for austerity in previous years
has directly caused the needless suffering of 10s of millions of
people in Europe and the U.S.. Their staunch support of unchecked
globalization has caused decades of stagnation and decline for
middle class in the US and Europe while enriching themselves.
Now granted, their support has done wonders for the growth
of BRIC countries - where GDP increases of 10 % per year are the
norm, but this has come directly at the cost of decreasing stability, security and standard of living in the US and EU for a large
percentage of citizens who used to have better lives.

The Davos crew are unelected, but at a time where government is
largely for sale through legal bribes and unlimited donations,
their ability to harm the average US and EU citizen should not
be underestimated.

Feb. 07 2012 12:57 PM

There is nothing simple about conspiracy theories.
Robert Anton Wilson, letters editor of Playboy, ignored such letters until a crackpot named Elsberg alleged Nixon sent burglars disguised as plumbers to steal damaging info from his psychiatrist's office. What could be crazier?
After that turned out to be true, Wilson stirred all the theories into the Illuminatus Trilogy.
He never did figure out which was true, which was disinformation, and which were depraved ravings. But the trilogy was a great primer on possible conspiracies.
Some people say the Federal Reserve secretly gave $16.1 Trillion to their crony banks. See:
http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

Feb. 07 2012 12:50 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John from Office

But we can't fool you John! You're just too smart for us :)

Feb. 07 2012 12:45 PM

This guy is quite tedious. I want to like 'I'm but, geeeze.

A real snoozer.

The kind of guy you hate to have on your side.

Feb. 07 2012 12:45 PM
The Truth from Becky

Fuva...I agree, I know why he identifies Black, the amount of melanin in the skin will always control that aspect and I am not be surprised but painfully aware that both parents can be Black and NOT Black.

Feb. 07 2012 12:44 PM
tom LI

To the Capt DrG - the Tea Party doesn't critique Keynes, because they don't understand such things. For the most part the TeaBag'rs are one trick pony thinkers - shut it down, cut it off, etc is all too many of them know.

Feb. 07 2012 12:43 PM
adrienne

Mr. Goldberg, Yes there were conspirators in the camps and in the ghettos but there where also resistance fighters and lets not forget those children and elderly that perished, and the parents that went to their deaths with their children, shame on you

Feb. 07 2012 12:42 PM
art525 from Park Slope

I had to log on because I find this guy so annoying to listen to. Not his content but his delivery. And I see that ellen from nyc beat me to it. He sounds like a John Malkovich impersonator. So fey. SO tedidious to listen to.

Feb. 07 2012 12:40 PM
Amy from Mnhattan

I strongly object to the statement that Jews who survived the Holocaust must have reason to feel some degree of guilt. Many escaped, either from concentration camps or before they would have been sent there. Many fought w/the partisans. I have a friend who was a child in a concentration camp--I don't think she has any reason to feel guilty.

Feb. 07 2012 12:40 PM
John from office

The jews are sooo smart, they even made the head christian, Jesus, a Jew. Amazing people, hide in plain sight!!

Feb. 07 2012 12:40 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Nah, Obama is black because he identifies as so, because it is how he is perceived in this world and accordingly treated.
No matter how white your parent, if you look black, it will pretty much color your experience, just as if both parents were black.
With blackness, biology is much less operative. You'd be surprised at how many black folk -- with a black mother AND father -- have as much white in them as Obama...

Feb. 07 2012 12:38 PM
Bradley from long island

Their fear and predigous is being used to manipulate their behavior and what is sad is they can't see they are being used to benifit a wealthy oligarcy that will consume them with the rest of us. You can't reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into!

Feb. 07 2012 12:38 PM
John A

Gingrich is an incredibly mean spirited politician.
Echoing the obvious.
There were nice put downs by Bob Dole, Garrison Keillor and Bill Moyers all recently.

Feb. 07 2012 12:37 PM

Gingrich is a member of the CFR. That is one of THE conspiracies.

Feb. 07 2012 12:37 PM
Michael Ross

People need simplistic answers to complex questions. Conspiracies provide these. In an increasingly complex world people are scared to death of the geometric rate of change, leading them to anyone who says,"Listen to me and I will make it easy for you and bring us back to a simplified past."

Feb. 07 2012 12:37 PM
ellen from nyc

this guest arthur goldberg is an example of a trend of some pundit guests....he seems to have trouble with verbal expression. He affects a stutter, and restarts his sentences and takes a long time to make a point. I'm tired listening to these guests hiding in thickets of verbiage. Is he a college graduate? Does he affect this style of talk to seem young and with it? It's very tedious for the listeners to wait and wait and wait.....and wa wai waite....f f f for a point, hoping he'll say something understandable and interesting. Let him go to a speech therapist, out of consideration for listeners.

Feb. 07 2012 12:35 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John from Office

No John, unfortunately we Jews do not control everything. We couldn't even hold on to Brooklyn and just barely are holding on to tiny Israel, with just a little help from our "friends!"
Hardly control "everything" John.

Feb. 07 2012 12:33 PM

You don't see the Tea Party criticizing Alan Keyes .
Obama supported the bailouts, continued Bush's abrogation of the Bill of Rights, signed legislation to let the FDA shut down health food and supplements, and continued the war on drugs.
You don't need to be a racist to find such acts objectionable.

Feb. 07 2012 12:31 PM
The Truth from Becky

So tired of race and prejudice...*heavy sigh*

Feb. 07 2012 12:30 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I equate Coulter, Beck, and other so called "right wingers" are similar to gangster rappers - it's basically an entertainment hustle.

Feb. 07 2012 12:28 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I agree Becky. He's always been O'Bama to me. If he had a Jewish mother instead of an Irish mother, we'd today have the first Black Jewish president :) OY VEY!

Feb. 07 2012 12:27 PM
The Truth from Becky

Do all of these "birthers" have foreign accents?

Feb. 07 2012 12:26 PM
john from office

Sooo, the Jews don't control everything??

Feb. 07 2012 12:26 PM
The Truth from Becky

WE have a bi-racial President, prejudice has forced him to choose Black. Very telling that even having a 100% white woman for a mother doesn't qualify you as "white" in the eyes of most in this country.

Feb. 07 2012 12:24 PM
The Truth from Becky

Here we go with this again! The President is bi-racial - Black and White!

Feb. 07 2012 12:21 PM
Matt Smetana from Sparta, NJ

The Highland's Act of New Jersey, steeling peoples property rights without compensation.

Feb. 07 2012 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Ultimate Conspiracy Theory: God Created the World, and God is Jewish. Hence Jews control the world, maybe the universe. Weren't so many of those theoretical physicists JEwish? How do they know these things?

Ah, but Jesus, son of God, came and liberated the Gentiles from the Jewish Father. But the Jewish Father God and His Chosen people are still calling the shots. Hence, final liberation means killing the Father and his chosen brood!

Feb. 07 2012 12:15 PM
political pop from america

conspiracies seem to come true these dayz...

Feb. 07 2012 10:08 AM

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