Monday, June 22, 2009

Rants from the Right

Rants from the Right ! Right wing lunacy.
In California we are again experiencing a budget crisis. The basic problem is that our constitution requires a 2/3 vote to increase taxes. Without this limit, our budget problem would go away.
Since we are in a “crisis”, the newspapers are filled with stories on the budget problems and issues. Newspapers now have response pages, e mail lists to respond to articles. Each time there is an article, whether it is a proposal for taxes, to fund the schools, or a cut in services, the newspaper response section will have 200-300 responses. 90% plus will be Right Wing cranks. They repeat anti immigrant or no taxes cant. Often they are not even in response to the article. It is just a chance to blow off.
Has anyone done an analysis of this? What is the effect of this ranting?
You can find the same thing on mainstream blogs or even Huffington Post and TPM whenever the budget is mentioned. The rants from the right outnumber the center and the left at least 20 – 1.
Recall in the 1990’s when the Right gained control of the talk radio, and the left had domination of the internet. At least in the news blogs, this seems no longer the case.
These rants pass for feedback. In a few occasions I have noted specific changes in coverage and concern based upon the numbers of the feedback- even without legitimacy. This stuff passes for feedback, but it is not representative.
For example, in California the anti immigrant stuff is always there. However, now they have begun to complain not only about the cost of immigrants, but the cost of educating the children of immigrants ( U.S. citizens). They seem to have made this an issue by keeping their echo chamber letters flying. Of course Lou Dobbs and others help this.

Question.
Should we be concerned? Or should we ignore this stuff?

Should we try to respond to provide some balance?
For an analysis of some of the problems of scapegoating, see this.

Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracies, Demonization &
Scapegoating
by Chip Berlet
Political Research Associates
June, 2009
Executive summary:
http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/toxic2democracy/Tox2Dem-exec.pdf

the full text of the report may be
found here:
http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/toxic2democracy/Tox2Dem-1.pdf]
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