Posted by: Rick | Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why Republicans Need NPR

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.  Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink.  For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. — From “The Theory And Practice Of Oligarchical Collectivism” in George Orwell’s 1984

Republicans instinctively loathe National Public Radio, not because it’s “liberal”, but because it represents a mode of thinking which assumes there exists something like an objective societal reality whose characteristics may be communicated to a nation’s citizens, thereby enabling them to make rational choices regarding their rulers.  This is the very antithesis of the Republican approach to political discourse, which is based on fantasy, emotion and subterfuge.

But while Republicans may hate NPR, they also have no interest in killing it.  Periodic assaults on public broadcasting keep the peons back home occupied writing letters and calling talk shows rather than noticing how the oligarchs are trampling them underfoot.  In this sense, NPR is like abortion.  Republicans love to chip away at a woman’s right to choose, but they’re just a big tease when it comes to repealing Roe v. Wade.  That’s the last thing they want.

Will rank-and-file Republicans ever figure out that they’re being played like fiddles?  I suppose it’s possible.  The Tea Party talks a good game, and there’s certainly enough of them.  But don’t hold your breath.

As Ross Perot used to say: It’s good dog food if the dogs will eat it.  And so far, these dogs are chowing it down like champs.

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