Nonsensical Books From The Religious Right And Lies From The Heritage Foundation


If we believe the latest batch of apocalyptic books coming out this past year or so, America doesn't have to worry about "Rouge Nations" with nuclear bombs or global warming or AIDS or anything less climactic than just electing a liberal as President.

The Illuminati, by Larry Burkett, tells the tale of one President Mark Hunt who champions such "radical" causes as gun control, legalizing drugs and harvesting the organs of crack babies. Allying himself with the National Civil Liberties Union (Gosh, who could that be referring to?), he creates a one-world government, death camps for Christians and, finally, nuclear war in Israel which culminates in the much discussed and anticipated "Second Coming".

Our good old unearthly buddy Pat Robertson, offers his version of the future with The End of the Age. This little gem contains not one, not two, but a grand total of three liberal Presidents all in a row. The first two liberals come to the same ends that all of us non-Christian, non-Conservative spawns of Satan must endure, the first committing suicide on national television, the second from a cobra bite (don't ask). The final liberal, Mark (you might want to change your name if it's Mark, huh?!?) Beaulieu, is an "ex-campus radical and former Peace Corps volunteer (you just gotta watch out for those Peace Corps radicals) who expands big government, supports drugs and orgies for children (far better than just that old blackboard style sex education, right?) and then names a black feminist as attorney general who wants to abolish the death penalty and close down prisons. Naturally, all this liberal thinking can only result in Armageddon.

The Third Millenium gives us not just a liberal President who leads us into Armageddon but a liberal President who is also the Anti-Christ who leads the world into Armageddon. How does this evil creature lead the world to its destruction? Why, this vile little reptile brokers a peace agreement between Israel and the Arab world, raises taxes and then, of course, he forms the obligatory one-world government and chaos and laughs ensue.

Finally, we haven't heard the last of Nixon's Watergate chums because one of his henchmen found religion and now likes to write about it. In Gideon's Torch, Charles Colson invents President J. Whitney Griswold, a fellow who isn't just any old liberal but a liberal who disguised himself as a conservative Republican (Wait! Hasn't Clinton already done that but just the other way around?) in order to gain the office where he creates a police state so that he can crack down on abortion foes and then erects "regeneration centers" for the gay community where tissue from aborted fetuses can be used to cure AIDS. That leads to a one-world government and then, well, blah blah blah, yada yada yada! You know the rest.

So, what we now know is that we can ignore all of those horrible fears about polluting the planet to death or causing it to fly off into a level of global warming equal to that found on Venus or any of the other niggling little problems we distract ourselves with these days. We just have to be very, very certain never to elect a liberal as President or, for that matter, a Republican since he might be a liberal in disguise. (1)

Okay, so say that you're a member of the Rabid Right and you want to discredit what little remains of the social safety net for America's millions of poverty stricken individuals and families. Now suppose that you are given the audience of the New York Times to talk to about your beliefs. Finally, suppose that you can't find much in the way of supporting evidence for your beliefs but, inasmuch as you have been given such a huge stage as the NYT, you want to say something.

If you're Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, you tell your readers that, "The poverty industry consists of 500,000 workers handling $130 billion in antipoverty money." You then get yourself quoted by one the NYT's op-ed pieces stating that this amount is enough "to raise every family on welfare above the poverty level" but that the money, instead, gets "filtered through the antipoverty programs run by the middle class".

When confronted with the question of exactly where you uncovered such a huge number of so-called "antipoverty workers", you hem and haw until you finally admit that the number isn't exactly a provable figure just as the $130 billion isn't, either. What you did, you claim, is to have calculated the numbers without any actual source or reference.

To those of us who retain the ability to use our minds for something other than remembering where the TV remote went, these calculations of his were simply pulled out of the air and have zero, none, nada, no basis in fact. Even the $130 billions is just another lie posing as a fact. Now why would this little germ so distort the facts and why, of all things, would a newspaper with the reputation that the NYT's once had for integrity repeat these numbers without even the slightest effort to check the facts?

That's an easy one, folks. First, Butler's employer, the Heritage Foundation, has perfected the art of lying and inventing facts or ignoring inconvenient facts in their sick pursuit of the Rabid Right's mean spirited and vile conservative agenda (our old and mentally unstable friend Rush Limbaugh quotes the Heritage Foundation constantly but doesn't acknowledge this wee little fact very often.) The New York Times, of course, is just another cog in the huge conservative media machine. Between the demands of the media's conservative owners to play up the Rabid Right's agenda while ignoring or ridiculing any idea from the progressive left or middle and the fact that reporters have simply gotten very, very lazy and refuse to do the work necessary to check even the most obvious of lies, gnomes like Butler don't have to worry about having his piece fact checked by professionals. Thus, the garbage that he spews becomes just enough of a fact for the unthinking that it serves its purpose well.

This tactic, while hardly specific to Butler or the Heritage Foundation, is the preferred method of spinning reality for the Rabid Right. Since the average American can hardly be bothered with voting, the possibility of them thinking through difficult and complicated issues is nil. It is far easier to just wait until information is provided that supports your bigotry and then, once that simple act is over, shut off the brain and turn on the tube.

Sadly, this underhanded trick is the basis for the vast majority of the Rabid Right's feeble arguments and it works to near perfection most of the time.

Want to steal Social Security funds to prop up the stock market for another decade or so before the ultimate collapse? Just start declaring the Social Security system dead and explain how much better off everyone would be if all of their retirement funds were privatized and invested into the Wall Street equivalent of a Las Vegas casino; Wall Street's stock market.

Want to keep the insurance companies in charge of the health care of the few who can afford it happy while keeping those nasty working poor out of the doctor's office and hospitals where they just eat into the industry's profits too dang much? Just produce a scare ad (old Harry and Louise) and pretend that actors and commercials can stand in for intelligent, factual and free debate.

Want to do most anything else that is sick and greedy and damages the poor but greatly benefits the wealthy? Just create the impression that there is a problem where none exists, then use the conservative media to both trumpet the coming catastrophes in huge and misleading headlines and editorials and then shut out any other voices that might cause the American people the discomfort of actual thought. Far easier than any of those sloppy and complicated democratic institutes getting in the way of the plans for our future that are held by the Rabid Right and their owners in Corporate America. (2)

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Copyright 2/10/2000