Singing the Right Wing Blues or When Fear and Paranoia Rule Our Lives

Oh Lord, Please don’t let them take my guns away,

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good,

Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

 

Oh Lord, Please don’t let them take my country away,

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good,

Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

 

Oh Lord, Please don’t let them take my woman away,

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good,

Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

 

Oh Lord, Please don’t let them take my God away,

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good,

Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

I was thinking the other day about the hysteria connected to the concept of gun control.  The more I thought about it the more it seemed that there was a pervasive paranoia prevalent among members of the Right including Tea Partiers, Republicans, KKK, White Supremacy Groups and Anti-Immigrant groups that some of their “stuff” would be taken away. When it comes to gun control the Right Wing do not believe that anyone really wants responsible gun ownership, what they (the Liberals) really want is “their” guns.

There are four key things that Right Wingers fear will be taken away from them by the leftie radical pinko intellectual do-gooders, otherwise known as “Liberals.”  These four things are:

  • My gun
  • My country
  • My woman
  • My god

No one can deny the value of each of these “things” and certainly one can empathize with anyone losing anyone of them.  However, the fear among Right Wingers concerning losing these things seems grossly out of proportion to the reality that exists.  I have no Liberal friends who really want an AK 47 or an AR 15.  None of my friends would know what to do with another wife and most don’t believe in God so I doubt they would want a new god whether Hindu, Christian, Baptist or whatever – Finally, I cannot comprehend how anyone could take someone’s country away.  This problem understanding the fears and paranoia of the Right was becoming very perplexing to me.

I decided that the only way to understand this phenomenon of (shall we say) “fear of losing” would be to interview some people on the Right to see why and what they are really afraid of.  If Freud was correct, their objects of desire and a fear of losing them are really a mask that is hiding even greater desires and feelings.  By looking deeper, we can find the real core of the hysteria and paranoia that is so prevalent among Right Wingers.  My interviews would help me to unlock the true meaning and cause of the fears that seem so prevalent among those on the Right. Perhaps I thought, with a better understanding I could help some of my paranoid friends to see that everyone was not out to take things away from them.

I conducted the following series of interviews near where I live.  I decided to deal with one specific subject with each interviewee rather than range among a variety of issues.  Thus, I would deal with guns with someone who strongly supported gun rights and deal with the subject of god with someone who was a strong supporter of a particular God assuming that there could be many gods.  It was easy to find all of the people for my interviews.  I simply looked for bumper stickers with the appropriate comments.  I will start with the issue of gun control which is number one on my list above and work down the list.

My first interview was with Dwayne:  A young man of thirty three.  He works as a machinist in a local manufacturing company.  Dwayne likes to hunt and fish and has a wife and two small children.  Dwayne is an ardent supporter of the NRA and is a vocal opponent of any form of gun control.  I found Dwayne by noticing his bumper sticker which read:

Dwayne

JOHN – Why do you need your guns?

DWAYNE – A variety of reasons:  Hunting, home protection, defense of my country, personal protection,

JOHN – Don’t we have the army and police to protect us?

DWAYNE – Well, they can’t always be there when you need them.

JOHN – When was the last time you or anyone you knew had a home invasion or had to protect your country with your personal weapons?

DWAYNE – Well, as the Boy Scouts would say, it is better to be prepared.

JOHN – So how worried are you that you or your family might be attacked?

DWAYNE – Very worried. You can’t pick up a paper without reading about someone who was shot, knifed or mugged.  The streets have become very dangerous.

JOHN – Did you know crime and homicide rates are actually down significantly from twenty years ago and you are probably safer now than you have ever been?

DWAYNE – That may be true but statistics don’t apply to individuals and I feel a lot safer with my concealed carry than I would with your statistics.  Maybe crime rates are going down because more people are carrying guns.

JOHN – Doesn’t the thought of everyone having a concealed weapon on them bother you in the least?  Do you think your children and spouse would be equally able to protect themselves?

DWAYNE – I have taught my wife how to shoot and I will teach my kids the same when they are old enough.  If everyone had a gun, maybe there would be less crime.

JOHN – Thanks Dwayne for your time and your honest answers.  I hope you never have to use your weapons for self-defense.

My second interview was with Billy:  Billy is 26 years old.  Billy served three years in the Marine Corp upon leaving high school.  After leaving the Marines, Billy went to a community college for two years.  He now works as a car salesman at a local Chevy dealership.  He is presently single but has a girlfriend and they are planning to get married in a year – Billy is very patriotic and I found him by a bumper sticker on his car which read:

Billy

JOHN – Are you afraid that we are losing America?

BILLY – No, but I think we are in danger of losing our lifestyle and our culture.  We are letting too many immigrants in who do not share our values.  You can’t assimilate as many people as we are letting in.

JOHN – But wasn’t America built by immigrants?

BILLY – Yes, but they were mostly Europeans and they had similar cultural values.

JOHN – Well, we had Indians and African slaves when we invaded this country.  We built a powerful nation with many people from many cultures who could not speak the same language.

BILLY – But they were not anti-democratic like many of the Arabic countries seem to be.

JOHN – The majority of immigrants for the past few years have been from Mexico and South America.

BILLY – These people are willing to take shitty low paying jobs.  They lower the wage levels for the rest of us.

JOHN – Maybe, but eventually they will work their way up the economic ladder like the Italians, Irish, Polish and many other cultures did; if they can get a fair break and some opportunities for education.   For the past eight years, the Right Wing Republicans have blocked and refused to discuss any immigration bills.

BILLY – Maybe none of the bills were very good.

JOHN – Then shouldn’t we all work together to pass a fair immigration bill?

BILLY – I just don’t know if that is possible.

JOHN – Well thanks for your time Billy.  Good luck with your work and upcoming wedding.

My third interview was with Roger:  Roger is 47 years old and has been divorced twice.  Roger has four children but is presently unmarried.  He has good relations with his first wife whom he had three children with.  His relations with his second wife with whom he had one child are nonexistent.  Their marriage was short but not sweet.  Roger works as a software developer for a local IT company.  He went to college for four years and has worked in IT since graduating twenty years ago.  I met Roger when I saw the following bumper sticker on his car:

abortion_is_murder_decal

JOHN – Why do you think abortion is wrong?

ROGER – It’s killing unborn children

JOHN – If they are unborn, how can they be children?

ROGER – All of this crap started with the women’s lib movement.

JOHN – What crap?  Do you mean women working and having a choice for their lives rather than just the bedroom and the kitchen?

ROGER – Women and men are different.  A woman’s role used to be to have children and raise a family.  No one talked about abortion years ago.

JOHN – But many abortions were still being done in back alleys by hacks who often killed the woman and the child.

ROGER – Abortion is killing.  I don’t think God created women with the idea that they would abort their own children.

JOHN – But a legal abortion takes place in the first trimester and the child is not formed yet or functioning cognitively.   It is more like killing a sperm than a human being.

ROGER – Many people would disagree with you.  You make it sound very clinical but what about the soul and spirit?  What if the unborn child has a soul and spirit that is already there?

JOHN – I could perhaps buy some of your argument except is it very hypocritical since most anti-abortion people have also opposed birth control and women’s rights.  Is this really about protecting life or controlling a woman’s choices?  I have also seen few if any birth controllers opposing capital punishment or for that matter any of our last few wars.  Isn’t this hypocritical?

ROGER – You are very good with words but I think we are talking about children who have not made a choice.  A criminal has made a choice and deserves what they get.  A soldier must make a choice and a nation authorizes a soldier to kill to protect others.  I do not think that these situations are the same as killing an unborn child who has never made a choice and who has not been asked whether they want to live or die.

JOHN – Thanks for your time and opinions Roger –

My final interview was with Cecelia:  Cecelia is a 40 year old Evangelical Christian from an independent church where its members all talk in tongues and are regularly visited by the “holy spirit.”  Cecelia went to college for four years and teaches special needs children in a grade school.  Her church is her family.   She attends service regularly and wears her religion as a badge of honor – She believes that “her” God is the right God and that he looks over the members of her church who are the true believers.  I found Cecelia when I spotted the following bumper sticker on her car:

pro god

JOHN – You seem to be pro a lot of things.  Wouldn’t God be pro-immigrants and pro-Muslims?

CECELIA – Muslims are not true believers.  They do not believe in our God.

JOHN – Isn’t there only one God?

CECELIA – God is God.  We believe in the one true God.  Non-believers do not accept God and thus God does not accept them.

JOHN – But I thought Christians believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Did not Jesus teach us to be kind and to love everyone as brothers and sisters?  Why do you seem to hate immigrants, gays, minorities and other religions so much?  Would Jesus have acted this way towards others?

CECELIA – Jesus is our lord and savior- Whatever we do, we do in his name.  All honor and praise to the one true God who is our father.

JOHN – Are you saying that God would be for capital punishment, for hatred towards gays, for discrimination towards minorities and for excluding immigrants from a better life?

CECELIA – You are a non-believer, so you do not truly understand our lord.  Jesus cast the money lenders out of the temple because they were blaspheming the name of God.  We believe in casting out those who profane or disrespect our lord and sovereign.  We work in his name.  When Jesus comes again, he will save those who believe in him and he will banish the non-believers to eternal hell fire.

JOHN – Your idea of Jesus and what he stands for does not match my idea of his teachings and philosophy.  Why is it, your church always seems to talk about the Ten Commandments and God smiting the evil doers but I never hear any mention of Jesus and his 8 Beatitudes.   Does your God only love you?

CECELIA – Our God loves all true believers.

JOHN – Well, thank you Cecelia for your time.  May your God bless and watch over you.

After completing my interviews, one may well ask “What is your takeaway?”  There must be some sort of summary or moral point that you and I can glean from these brief conversations.  Aesop fables always have a moral point.  Most fairy tales and good novels always have a moral point.  Old TV shows always had a moral point.  What then is the point of these interviews?  What can we learn from them?  That is the question.  I am still pondering an answer –

Time for Questions:

What did you think about these interviews?  Did you get anything out of the conversations?  What questions should I have asked that I did not?  Were my responses to sharp or too weak?  Should I have challenged them more?

Life is just beginning.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”  — Maya Angelou
 

 

 

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