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16 October 2010

The Phobias of Right Wing American Politics


There are so many phobias to choose from. Most people feel sympathy for those who suffer from a phobia. Others may snicker at the apparent silliness of a particular phobia, like anthophobia. People with phobias are often treated with anti- anxiety drugs and psychotherapy.
The problem with words used to label people and their attitudes or actions is that the word becomes the label and labels lose their power after a while. The more the word is used the less powerful the impact becomes. The word may be taken by the very people it is used to describe and then it is used as an insult against those who coined the word or phrase. The phrase politically correct, coined by those who sought to eliminate “isms” like racism and sexism from our speech by creating new ways of speaking was co-opted by the opponents to reform. Now the phrase politically correct is used in a derogatory way to describe anyone who is suspected of trying to suppress free expression. The word racism has been adopted by the Right Wing racists in America and turned around on those who seek to eliminate all forms of inequality. Racist was once a charge that carried substantial social consequences for anyone tagged with the word. These days, when anyone left of center charges anyone right of center with being a racist they are either accused of political correctness gone wild or of being a racist themselves. The Right has taken the word, twisted it around, and thrown it back on the very people who seek to end racism. This is an effective strategy. A charge of racism against anyone on the Right does not carry the same societal consequences as it did even 20 years ago. Today, if you call someone on the Right a racist you will be called a racist or a reverse racist. Therefore, charging the racists with racism is an ineffective method to expose and remedy racism in America.

I started thinking . . . we need a new word for racism because the Right Wing has twisted up the original meaning of the word. I don’t have to create a new word, one already exists. It’s a mental condition called negrophobia. I started looking around on the Internets and discovered that there is already a Facebook page devoted to negrophobia.

In addition to their long history of suffering from negrophobia eleutherophobia has taken hold of the Right Wing in America. They apparently enjoyed the years of being made an economic slave to corporate America. They are comfortable with the lie that wealth would trickle down like manna from heaven from the corporate owners of the United States. The Right Wing was quite pleased to live with the fantasy that America must always be vigilant against the evil Communists that were a constant threat to the peace and stability of the American Dream. What they didn’t see coming was that the American Dream would be destroyed not by evil Communists or even the external threat of unidentified terrorists, but it would be destroyed from within by an idea, a term of art called too big to fail. An idea has brought the economy to it’s knees. It’s plain to see yet the Right Wing is in denial. It suffers from a collective veritaphobia. Complicating the fear of the truth is their neophobia. The strong resistance to moving forward may be a symptom of anablephobia and their equiphobia. They don’t fear other people being raised up socially and economically. What they really fear is that by raising up others they will be dragged down. They can not overcome their anablephobia to realize that by raising up others we are all uplifted.

Because the Right Wing also suffers from cenophobia they can not abide new ideas but take existing ideas and distort the idea to mean the opposite of its original meaning. Take Back America, the rally cry of the Right Wing is the most obvious symptom of their cenophobia. Originally, the phrase was Take America Back and was the name of an annual conference sponsored by the Left Wing organization Campaign for America’s Future that meets to discuss strategies to improve the lives of Americans and issues like the environment, fossil energy alternatives, health care reform, Social Security solvency, and public education. Their version of  this Left Wing idea has been distorted to mean undoing all progressive legislation and social progress achieved since The New Deal. The New Deal saved America from complete collapse following the 1929 Wall Street crash_ but the Right Wing did not learn anything from that dismal period in American history. It seems that they also suffer from sophophobia. The Right Wing in today’s America has no new ideas. They appropriate (or better misappropriate) Left Wing ideas and mutilate the concept until it suits their agenda.

As the world’s 6.8 billion people move slowly but surely toward a global society and a global economy, the Right Wing in America is showing symptoms of athazagoraphobia. America and indeed the world will move on. The outdated concepts called conservatism will someday be a distant, unpleasant memory. I expect I am being too optimistic, but one can dream the American dream of freedom and equality, right? In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the Right Wing takes the word negrophobia and twists it around to their own purposes.



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