Friday, December 28, 2012

Snake Oil and Tragedy

Trey Smith

That's why you hear people like Mike Huckabee saying that mass shootings are somehow related to prayer in school and contraception, or Charlotte Allen arguing that the decline of traditional gender roles led to these shootings and that husky 12-year-old boys should throw their bodies at armed men.

Huckabee doesn't actually think that saying prayers prevents gun violence or that contraception makes killers go on shooting sprees, any more than Allen believes that 12-year-old boys are made of Kevlar. They think that the world is divided into sinners and repentant sinners, and the only way to be a "decent" person is to fall in line behind their very narrow, often very harmful, beliefs.
~ from The Conservative Philosophy of Tragedy: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People by Jill Filipovic ~
What is the prime motivation for people like Huckabee and Allen to spew such nonsense? Money!! Snake oil salesmen -- like the mainstream media -- love tragedies. They are ready-made circumstances to be utilized to evoke emotional responses. Huckabee and Allen (among so many others) have a very negative view of humankind and so incidents of this nature provide perfect fodder for them to spread the venom of hate and distrust.

Their base of followers eat this stuff up and so, the heavier these conservatives celebrities can lay it on, the more likely their fawning supporters will hand them money in bucket loads. It is pandering to fear, plain and simple. And it is pandering for a distinct purpose: to line their pockets.

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