A Brief Letter to Fans of Sean Hannity/ Mark Levin/ Rush Limbaugh/ Glenn Beck/ Alex Jones/ Talking Hermaphroditic Hamsters
I recently awoke from a methadone and absinthe-fueled stupor while lying on the living room floor of a complete stranger. Nearby a television had been set to FoxNews, and mashed onto my ears was a pair of puffy 1980s-style headphones plugged in to a Sony Walkman tuned to the local AM conservative talk station. Between commercials for Snuggies and Sizzler, I could see on the TV a blurry Sean Hannity, in all his toupee-d glory, sternly admonishing the president for a variety of injustices. He was waving a gold-plated pen into the camera for emphasis in the same way that Dominique Strauss-kahn waves his mediocre prick in the faces of underage sex slaves and unsuspecting hotel maids (i.e., a little limply), as he extolled the virtues of white Anglo-Saxonism and the horrors of unpatriotic minorities.
During this particular diatribe, Hannity warned of the continuing dissolution of traditional American values and the imminent dissolution of American freedom, which would of course be presided over by radical leftist homosexual atheist dark skins at the behest of their sainted leader, a Kenyan Muslim who hates all things God and frozen custard.
Regaining my ability to focus for several seconds at a time and to sit upright amidst a floor strewn with discarded syringes and Little Debbie snack cake wrappers, I began to ponder the sort of “freedoms” this squinty-eyed man on the TV might be referring to. Because Sean Hannity was only repeating what most NASCAR, Larry the Cable Guy, and Toby Keith fans around the country also believe: that America will soon no longer be the free country it has heretofore remained. They are certain that without strong leadership that is equally mystified by the esoteric machinations of the female reproductive system and equally assured of Darwin’s inherent venality, America will dissolve into a police state adjudicated by half-reptilian interstellar alien Jews.
If you’re wondering how or why reptilian-esque space Jews or liberals and foreign-born minorities would have designs on robbing white, bacon-eating Americans of their freedoms and liberties, best to save your breath. Reasons and details are fleeting. The point for these FoxNews/ Alex Jones proselytes is that our diminishing American freedoms are an undeniable fact in much the same way that Jesus cameos in salt stains beneath highway overpasses are an undeniable fact.
Furthermore, these commentators will stress that as a result, we should all be concerned with protecting our family. Because if you’re a Sean Hannity/ Glenn Beck/ FoxNews fan, without your family there’ll be no one to have sex with and repopulate the post Obama-pocalypse world. Or there’ll be no one to have sex with prior to the Obama-pocalypse. Or there’ll be no one to have sex with tomorrow night. That’s right: family is ultra, uber-important.
Of course, even a moderately sentient viewer like myself, recovering from an epic Lindsay Lohan-esque seven-day binge, might note that these fears and paranoias (of which I am relatively familiar, given my penchant for mixing cocaine and PCP) are at least somewhat unfounded. Because if you believe that the government is making life less free for the average citizen (which it isn’t), then you must not be too concerned that the country is becoming increasingly more free for banks, Wall Street financial institutions, the medical insurance industry, and the country’s largest corporations (which it is). And by that same token, you also cannot argue that America is becoming less free for those less-than-average citizens whose concentrated wealth places them firmly atop the country’s population pyramid, whose earnings have rebounded far more quickly than the rest of the country’s since the crash of 2008.
Rather than an oligarchy presided over by the ruthless hand of a democratically elected president, the country is instead becoming a plutocracy governed by a wealthy powerful few—a good number of whom (think the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson) are avid FoxNews conspiratorial Alex Jones-leaning supporters.
And why shouldn’t they be FoxNews/ Sean Hannity/ Glenn Beck fans? The more people are focused on the imaginary loss of freedoms and a fantastical incipient police state, the less people are focused on the increasing hegemony of moneyed interests buying politicians (Democrat and Republican) and their corresponding legislative influence. And contrary to the aforementioned paranoid belief, this emergent plutocracy couldn’t give less of a fuck about limiting individual freedoms. So long as individuals lack power, representation and, perhaps most importantly, money, they can have all the goddamn freedom they want. That means you and me and Alex Jones and every FoxNews viewer who can’t afford the price of admission.
And to better understand just what this sort of society looks like, one need only look to a country like Nigeria. Having recently spent time there, I can tell you that it has all of the freedoms, and more, of the US. Hell, for all you FoxNews Libertarians and Alex Jones sycophants out there, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t even have to drive on the correct side of the road! Drive wherever the fuck you want, whenever you want, however you want! And don’t worry about building, health, and safety codes, forget about parking permits—this is a Libertarian’s utopia! This is absolute personal liberation from oppressive governmental control!
So why aren’t people abandoning the sinking ship of American freedom and flocking to the untrammeled liberty of Lagos or Benin or Abuja—all flourishing metropolises in Nigeria? Perhaps it’s the fact that while Nigeria represents the world’s eighth largest oil exporter, an estimated $20 billion of its annual $40 billion in oil revenues is either lost or stolen through various means of state corruption. Or perhaps it’s the fact that 55% of its population lives below the poverty line and the average citizen yet survives on $1 to $3 a day. Perhaps it’s the lack of a sufficient infrastructure capable of providing reliable 24-hour electricity or the lack of palatable drinking water.
But at least they don’t live under the threat of an inimical free nationalized healthcare system that commie pinko leftist socialist Democrats want to impose on America. Of course, their healthcare system is ranked 187 out of 190 world countries, and the nation has an average life expectancy of 52 years while one-in-five children die before the age of five. You can get moderately better healthcare when you can afford it, which is fairly difficult when a high school teacher earns only $1900 a year and a doctor in a public hospital only $6700 (that’s not a typo, it is truly only five figures).
But you know what? They have all the freedom in the world to do what they want (so long as it doesn’t cost money) and to raise their kids however they want and teach them whatever they want! In fact, you’ll most likely have to teach your kids yourself, considering twelve million children in Nigeria aren’t enrolled in school to begin with. For the radical right this is still better than the oppressive, dogmatic regime of the American educational system, which teaches our children lies like evolution and personal hygiene. Nigeria is practically Hyperborea itself, so why aren’t Alex Jones and Glenn Beck speaking up on this?
And you know what else? When you talk to most people in Nigeria, you’ll have trouble finding a single one who is a FoxNews fan/ paranoid conspiratorialist Republican supporter. In fact, you’ll more likely find instead an overwhelming desire for more regulation and a stronger centralized government conceived on a Western model—one that is capable of ameliorating their country’s unbridled corruption. They aren’t conservative right-wing fundamentalists reveling in their nation’s lack of rule of law but rather liberal left-wing radicals aspiring to a greater rule of law. Funny to think that the occupants of a country in which personal freedom exceeds even the bounds of Glenn Beck’s particularly lusty vision should also want more, not less centralized government.
So if a plutocracy is okay so long as the ruling class stays out of its citizens’ personal affairs, then FoxNews, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and your paranoid schizophrenic neighbor living in his mom’s basement might as well hold up Nigeria as the gold standard of America’s aspirations, even if Nigerians themselves want nothing to do with their ideas and would like considerably more to do with Liberal philosophies of government that might better improve their standard of living and shape a positive future for their country.
But hell, what do I know, anyway? I’m still seeing pink elephants and flying donkeys from last night, which probably means that Ann Coulter hooked me up with some pretty gnarly shit.