Friday, January 30, 2004

Hero worship

World O'Crap brings us this amazing tale of someone's deep deep deep and abiding love of Mr. Oxycontin himself, Rush Limbaugh.

Unsurprisingly, the worshiper's post appeared at the well-noted far-right transmitter site, Free Republic. My favorite passage:
Liberalism was planted deep within me, as if it were a parasite feeding on me. Rush cut it out like a surgeon excising a cancerous tumor, giving me the opportunity to experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He gave me the chance of a lifetime. The "lone beacon of opposition" handed me a certainty, a guarantee no person had ever given me before. No, he didn't come to Texas and brainwash me. He presented his case like he does every single day-clearly, concisely and effectively, planting the seed of common sense in my brain. By sowing that seed, he also gave me hope, happiness, and "The Passion."

"The Passion" to live life, to succeed again and again, and to not feel guilty about creating wealth. [snip]

With Rush on the radio, I continue to conquer day after day, living in conservative principles, consumed with the fiery notion of my new life. I rebuke liberalism with special thanks to my educator. I love the life I have earned, as I pursue success after success, and eagerly wait another broadcast day of "The Passion."

You know, I couldn't have presented a better example of the way Limbaugh is the real nexus for the rise of proto-fascism in America. Recall, if you will, the following passage, drawn from Erik Erikson, of the totalist mindset:
Social movements with distinctly dualistic worldviews provide psycho-ideological contexts which facilitate attempts to heal the split self by projecting negativity and devalued self-elements onto ideologically devalued contrast symbols. But there is another possible linkage between these kinds of movements and individuals with split selves in the throes of identity confusion. People with the whole range of personality disorders, which utilize splitting and projective identification, tend to have difficulties in establishing stable, intimate relationships. Splitting tends to produce volatile and unstable relationships as candidates for intimacy are alternately idealized and degraded. Thus, narcissists tend to have vocational, and more particularly, interpersonal difficulties as they obsessively focus upon status-reinforcing rewards in interpersonal relations. They have difficulty developing social bonds grounded in empathy and mutuality, and their structure of interpersonal relations tends to be unstable. Thus, individuals may be tempted to enter communal and quasi-communal social movements which combine a more structured setting for interpersonal relations with a dualistic interpersonal theme of 'triangulation' which embodies the motif of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' Such movements create a sense of mutuality by focusing attention on specific contrast groups and their values, goals and lifestyles so that this shared repudiation seems to unite the participants and provide a meaningful 'boundary' to operationalize the identity of the group. Solidarity within the group and the convert's sense of dedication and sacrifice on behalf of group goals may enable him or her to repudiate the dissociated negative (bad, weak or failed) self and the related selfish and exploitative self which they may be aware that others might have perceived. These devalued selves can then be projected on to either scapegoats designated by the group or, more generally, non-believers whose values and behavior allegedly do not attain the exemplary purity and authenticity of that of devotees.

Unsurprisingly, Limbaugh was more than happy to return the love.

What was especially interesting about this episode, incidentally, was the way it tailed into a discussion of Mel Gibson's new film. More about that later today.

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