Fear and guilt are two of the most powerful ways to control people. And the far right uses both with abandon. I don’t have to tell you how “conservative” religious propagandists exploit the guilt of sex and the fear of Eternity. You’ve probably experienced that kind of thing at some stage in your life.
But you might not be aware of the constant barrage of sonspiracy theories that spew out of the right-wing noise machine.
The way they paint it, the world is controlled by shadowy powers that are coming to get us. You might have heard of the Illuminati and the UN’s world government agenda, for example.
President Obama is the target of numerous conspiracy canards. We are told he is a secret Muslim, conspiring to help the jihadists destroy Christendom, that he was born in Kenya and some person or persons unknown conspired to fake a Hawaiian birth certificate for him, that he is the secret love child of Malcom X… and on and on.
Now, he is supposed to be planning an imminent invasion of Texas.
Just ask Chuck Norris. Or Ted Cruz. They know.
They say they can see through the federal government’s latest ruse, a two-month training exercise this summer that will involve much of the Southwest and require special forces from four branches of the military to carry out covert operations in “hostile” regions of Texas, Utah and California.
Folks like Norris and Cruz claim this is no simple training exercise. No sir, it’s really a sneaky prelude to the military takeover of Texas.
What’s even more discouraging is that a lot of ordinary Texans are buying this baloney. The Internet is buzzing with alarm, and groups of Texans are huddling in anticipation of the imagined assault. Online and at group meetings, Texans are airing their fears.
They are convinced that the President plans to institute martial law in their state, possibly in collusion with Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. Right-wing web sites are speculating that the retail giant is closing two stores in Texas so they can be used as federal command centers.
No, I am not making this stuff up.
Even weirder, some Texans are wondering whether the exercise will bring foreign fighters from the Islamic State to Texas, and whether federal troops will confiscate their guns.
And Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the State Guard to “monitor” federal troops during the exercise.
Bizarre? Of course.
But that’s the way it is in the fantasy world of right-wing politics.
(Photo shows a group of Texans gathering to air their concerns.)