We the (White) Sheeple

Glenn Beck’s followers speak:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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41 Responses to We the (White) Sheeple

  1. Cody Deitz says:

    This makes me sick. It’s so depressing how closed-minded and ignorant people really are. I don’t even know what else to say.

  2. I married into that and now my kids are being raised like that… God help them

  3. concerned christian says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100901/ap_on_re_mi_ea/mideast_talks;_ylt=AtKQq2_qVdL3NrVcGKiY_Mh34T0D;_ylu=X3oDMTJpcTI4a3RsBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwOTAxL21pZGVhc3RfdGFsa3MEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX2FydGljbGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNwYWxlc3Rpbmlhbms-

    Would like to replace these white sheeple with this kind of people as reported todays

    “Palestinian kills 4 Israelis on eve of peace talks”

    Then the peaceful Palestinian reaction

    About 3,000 people joined a rally in Gaza to celebrate the attack. Hamas military wing spokesman Abu Obeida was among them and told The Associated Press: “The Qassam Brigades announces its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron.”

    • Awful isn’t? Now try to change “israelis” for “germans”, “Qassam Brigades” for “French resistence”, “Gaza” and “Hebron” for say “Chartres” and “Toulouse” and tell me what it looks like.

      • Paradigm says:

        Gato: France is a nation. There has never been a nation called Palestine. Hamas has approved targeting schoolchildren. The French resistance would never sank that low. The only pieces of land that Israel has occupied are from countries that first attacked Israel.

      • The French resistance would never sank that low

        Why not? The allies have no problem whatsoever in burning hundreds of thousands (including schoolchildren) alive. The name Dresden say something to you?

        The only pieces of land that Israel has occupied are from countries that first attacked Israel.

        You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about:

  4. JCR says:

    Scary. The Nazi party fractured Germany and came to power using the same exact tactics.

  5. Paradigm says:

    These are ordinary people. Stupid yes, but hardly anymore stupid than the liberals who were taken in by Obama’s eloquence and good looks.

    • santitafarella says:

      The fact that the people in the video are so ordinary makes those who manipulate them (like Gingrich and Beck) all the more culpable for the Herderian nationalist and religious hysterias that they whip-up (Obama is a foreigner, Muslim Americans are collectively guilty for 9-11, torture is necessary to national security, etc.).

      Like Rosencrantz and Gildenstern who, Hamlet complains, try to play his intellect and emotions like a flute, Gingrich and Beck try to play right wing Americans. And, of course, Gingrich and Beck succeed spectacularly, laughing all the way to the bank. They have little regard for either the actual truth of matters, or the dark psychological energies that they unleash in masses.

      Barack Obama, by contrast, has an obvious regard for truth and reason. And he calls people, not to their crasser selves, but to their higher selves: the self that identifies with the self in others; the self that imaginatively walks in the shoes of others; the self that sees people as individuals with far more in common than not in common. Perhaps you call this higher self a form of stupidity equivelent to the Herderian ethnic self that Gingrich and Beck beckon people to. I call the self that walks in the shoes of others the driving force of the Enlightenment and the hope of the world.

      If a speaker calls masses to this hope it is not the same as someone who calls masses away from it.

      If Obama is beautiful and eloquent it is because what he calls the human soul to is beautiful and eloquent. Were Obama just another crass nationalist, there would be nothing particularly beautiful or eloquent about him.

      And I would point out that all great human literature brings us into the shoes of others, and taps a universal strain in human nature. We are all mortal, we all suffer, and we are not just herd animals—we’re individuals who feel the boot of callousness when it comes from insensitive others, when we are in he minority. From the Gilgamesh Epic and the Bhagavad Gita to the novels of Jack Kerouac, what calls us is an imaginative identification with individuals and their struggles. All the great social activists that are still admired today tapped into the insights that underlay literature: Thoreau, Gloria Steinhem, Bobby Kennedy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk.

      And, yes, Barack Obama.

      This is what makes Beck’s parody of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech this weekend so grotesque and why Barack Obama is still beautiful.

      —Santi

    • santitafarella says:

      Getting in touch with your inner reptile, Andrew?

      • andrewclunn says:

        An unfortunate aspect of my personality is that when accused of being irrational or mindless, my impulse is to double down on the insult be becoming bullish (which can be problematic for others in person, as I am 6 foot 3). Reptiles don’t have the part of the brain that was sparked, as my anger came mostly from what I deemed to be a racial insult implied in this post. It was an inner something, but not a reptile, perhaps my inner neanderthalensis? My apologies.

  6. Paradigm says:

    I think there are two types of populism here. Almost by definition conservatives are pessimists and so the conservative populist will play on fear. But by the same logic the liberal populist will play on the optimism of his audience.

    Obama’s message of hope and change was very far from truth and reason. It was essentially that we can do any thing, which was what his audience wanted to hear – his brand of populism. The fact that you place him up there with MLK and Gandhi without having accomplished very much shows that you’re still in the grip of his manipulation.

    (And his good looks do not come from his inner nature – he is simply tall, slender and has symmetric features.)

  7. The Alchemist says:

    He hasn’t “accomplished much”? This would be a pretty narrow interpretation of his life.

  8. Paradigm says:

    Alchemist: He has become POTUS and that is of course an accomplishment. But he hasn’t done much for the people so far. And he is not in the same league as MLK or Gandhi.

    • Longtooth says:

      Prior to the 2008 election I rejected Obama as someone to vote for because in my estimation his record of religious connections put him too far to the right. Being rather totally disenchanted with both parties I decided to vote for Ralph Nader, but then Sara Palin showed up on the Republican ticket. Guess who I ended up voting for. Obama is hardly the second coming of Thomas Jefferson, but after eight years of Bush it’s been like a long drink of water. What is astounding about the tea bagger types is that they want to fill government with an administration just as wacked out as Bush and his faith-based neocon buddies were.

      • santitafarella says:

        Longtooth:

        I disagree with you about Obama being “hardly the second coming of Thomas Jefferson.” I think that Obama is as close in sensibility to Thomas Jefferson as you are likely to ever get in a national politician. The next several election cycles are going to be about whether the nation tacks toward Herder or Jefferson, and Obama is on the side of Jefferson.

        —Santi

  9. Paradigm says:

    Andrew: I have to agree with Santi. Is that really you or did someone else get hold of your computer?

  10. andrewclunn says:

    Here, I’ve made a more thorough response to this blog post in my own post:

    http://omgobama.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/disagreeing-with-santi/

    • santitafarella says:

      Hi Andrew:

      I read your blog post at your blog, and I certainly don’t mean to defame your views (I know you’re a Jeffersonian libertarian) or blame your average Tea Partier at these rallies for any violence that might occur as a result of the passions that are being fomented. To do so would be as unfair as blaming the average Muslim American for 9-11.

      But I do blame the politicians and broadcasters exploiting the movement (Gingrich, Palin, Beck et. al.) for their demagogic purposes. After the history of the 20th century, it is dumbfounding to see Americans ride ethnic Herderian politics into power. It is George Wallace, not Thomas Jefferson, who is being channeled.

      You wrote this: “Santi has found that rather than engage the intellectual underpinnings of the Tea Party movement, he would prefer to attack them as being weak-minded sheeple.”

      No. It’s the exact opposite. I’ve exposed over the past two weeks the intellectual underpinnings of the Tea Party movement, which are Herderian, not Jeffersonian. And I’ve called attention repeatedly to Zeev Sternhell’s book on this very important subject (The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition). I’m not taking cheap shots; I’m asking people to actually listen to what the politicians and broadcasters are saying and what is animating the energies of the average follower. It’s not libertarianism, or Jefferson, or love of the Bill of Rights. And it’s not individualism. It is, instead, Herderian nationalist and religious authoritarian longing in white code. I’m absolutely shocked that you don’t see it.

      The key moment in the above video, for me, is when the gentleman sitting in his lawn chair says (at the 10:00 mark) that he now knows what it’s like to be an Indian (a Native American). In other words, he feels that the white race is the new neglected and vanquished ethnic class in North America. It’s a weird way for him to find his way into the shoes of others, but there it is: he’s discovered in the ruin of the American Indian his own white self pity.

      And even though he hits on an absolutely ridiculous analogy, this is the visceral energy that is driving the movement: white victimology: whites have found a television channel (Fox) and a political party (the Republican Party) that gives them the ethnic politics they perceive themselves to be lacking. Watching Glenn Beck is an encounter with multiculturalism as farce. It’s why we’ve got to find ourselves back to Jefferson, and lose Herder (and Burke and Vico, for that matter).

      —Santi

      • andrewclunn says:

        You need to watch more of Fox. Have you perhaps seen this show?

        And notice the video I posted in my blog as well as the description given of the video you linked to. That video was not non-bias. It was created with a very specific goal in mind.

  11. Paradigm says:

    Gato:
    Dresden was not bombed by the French resistance and it did not target children. And what pieces of land has Israel occupied from nations that did not first attack Israel? Just answer me yourself, don’t post links to books on Amazon or ten minute lectures. Just the names of the nations – and remember that Palestine was never a nation.

    • Dresden bombings target everyone (civilians) as bombings usualy do discrimminating no one. As well as with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The French resistance just lack the means not the will (plainly justifiable btw) to do whatever they could to freed their country. If they could target Germany, no matter whom in there, they would.
      “Palestine was never a nation” means exactly what? It was a land with a native population under ocupation by a foreign force. A population that wanted to be independent, a nation (pretty much similar to some british colonists of north America in 1776…). In 1948 native (non-jew) palestinians were 2/3 of the population owning 94% of the land. UN’s partition plan shrink that to 47%, and immediately afterwards now israelis push it even further.
      So your candid “The only pieces of land that Israel has occupied are from countries that first attacked Israel” it’s just bullshit.

      • Paradigm says:

        Killing indiscriminately is not the same as actually targeting children, which in my view is much worse.

        “Palestine was never a nation” means exactly what?

        It means that Palestine is a geographical region that has never been a sovereign state. The UN’s partition plan proposed such a state but it was rejected by the Palestinian leaders. After this Israe who accepted the plan declared their independence and was attacked by all Arab neighbors leading to occupation of areas from those who first attacked Israel.

      • To let children starve is acceptable to you I presume.
        As I said UN’s partition plan gave 53% of the (best) land to 1/3 of the population. It’s not what I would call a fair deal. The palastinians had their land taken from them, they were never consulted about UN’s plan and had no obligation to accept it BTW. Would you accept easily that somebody took your land and give it to others? I don’t think so. And if that happens to you I bet you will be more than willing in bombing anyone, pregnant women, children, elder people. ANYONE. I know that because you already did that for much less.
        And no, Israel wasn’t attacked by all Arab neighbors. The only country that could face Israelis’ troops (50k well armed and trained) was Jordan, and Jordan already had a previous agreement with the israelis for the West Bank. Which the israelis try to break and only then Jordan make a limited move. The other Arab countries were much more weaker, unwilling to engage, only doing so to late and just to save apperances. For the most part palestinians were alone defenseless at the will of the israelis, that start to expel them from their homes and villages sinse the beguining. Israel occupation wasn’t led by some arab attack, it was a realization of a plan stabilished way before.

  12. I think the fellow who wouldn’t believe that Beck had said what he has said claiming that Obama hated white people was fascinating.

  13. There’s real theme of how grateful we should be to not live Europe or God forbid, Canada as well.

    • Paradigm says:

      Bruce:
      Although we have problems not everything is hell here. Free and absolute healthcare and anyone, regardless of income, can get their children to college. Also fairly low crime rates. Hardly any foreclosures at all here in Sweden.

      • My wife spend about a year in Sweden between 1988-1990. One town she lived was Sundsvall. Been from Brazil the differences are enormous but she adappted well. She have very good memories.

  14. Paradigm says:

    Gato:

    Land being expropriated from private owners doesn’t translate to “palestinians had their land taken from them”.

    “Would you accept easily that somebody took your land and give it to others? I don’t think so. And if that happens to you I bet you will be more than willing in bombing anyone, pregnant women, children, elder people. ANYONE. I know that because you already did that for much less.”

    I bombed someone? Really? Why wasn’t I told of this, lol. Truth is nowhere in my comments above did I condone terrorism in any form.

    “And no, Israel wasn’t attacked by all Arab neighbors. The only country that could face Israelis’ troops (50k well armed and trained) was Jordan…”

    Most historians would argue that Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq sent forces to the region. That is all their neighbors plus Iraq. The fact that they lost is a different question.

    • BANG! You’re swedish so of course you bomb no one. My dumbassness.
      I fail to get it. For you as palestinians had no sovereignty they were fair game then? They didn’t have a “nation” so to expell them was ok? They were just “private” owners with no more rights than camels? Is that your point?
      I don’t dispute the fact that those countries send forces. I dispute that it was this that trigger the occupation. Occupation and ethnic cleansing was part of a major zionist plan established and implemented months before any arab troops step in.

  15. Colin Hutton says:

    Andrew :

    “You need to watch more of Fox”(to Santi).

    Good referral – a quality interview. (And the video on your blog provides an instructive alternative take on the rally).

    Colin

  16. Paradigm says:

    No, not fair game. The matter was settled by the UN in a vote. Wether it was a good decision or not is a different question. I think they took into consideration the persecution of Jews as well as the fact that they had lived in the area for a very long time.

    “I don’t dispute the fact that those countries send forces.” But earlier today you said, “and no, Israel wasn’t attacked by all Arab neighbors”.

    “I dispute that it was this that trigger the occupation. Occupation and ethnic cleansing was part of a major zionist plan established and implemented months before any arab troops step in.”

    I doubt the occupation would have occurred if Israel had not been attacked. After all Israel did not occupy any other territory until 1967 when they again were attacked by their neighbors (except Lebanon).

  17. What matter was “settled” by UN exactly? That 85% of palestinians living in the areas that became the state of Israel became refugees? The destruction of 531 Palestinian villages, and the emptying of 11 entire Palestinian urban neighborhoods? All in six months? And “by vote” from whom? Not the majority of the population for sure.
    But even if we stick with the “UN settled” thing then we should remember that UN had also “settled” that it’s forbiden to grab land by war.

    Wether it was a good decision or not is a different question

    Wheter it was a good decision or not is the question that matters as it started all the mess don’t you think?
    I said that not ALL Arab neighbors attack Israel. Jordan, the only force that could be a match for the israelis, did not.

    as well as the fact that they [jews] had lived in the area for a very long time.

    Overcoming the fact that there were people actually living there for a very long time.
    You can doubt anything, the fact is that palestinian expulsions began before any arab soldiers arrived at Palestine.

  18. Paradigm says:

    The conflict was settled by the UN’s partition. It was decided with a vote. Nations vote in the UN, obviously.

    Yes, grabbing land by war is not condoned by UN but neither is attacking other nations.

    I think the mess started long before 1948. Both groups lived in the area before that, Jews for several thousand years.

    “I said that not ALL Arab neighbors attack Israel. Jordan, the only force that could be a match for the israelis, did not.”

    Yes, my bad one neighbor, that you assume could match Israel refrained from attacking. But my point is still the same – Israel has only occupied territory after first being attacked.

    • Gato Precambriano says:

      What do you mean by “both groups lived in the area before that”? In 1948 jews where 1/3 of the population of the territory and most of them were newcomers arriving from the 1920s on. That 1/3 owned at the time only 5% of the land. The non-jew palestinians were 2/3 owning 95% of the land. UN’s partition give 53% of the land to that 1/3 of the population. UN’s decision didn’t settle the conflict, it scalated it. Basicaly UN give the land of others (non-europeans), without their consent BTW, in payment for a crime commited by europeans in european territory. Great deal.

      • santitafarella says:

        Gato:

        My guess is that defenders of Israel would say this: it’s the spoils of war. The Arabs shouldn’t have allied themselves with Hitler during WWII. They bet wrong. And Britain, controlling Palestine after the war, decided to make the land available to the Jews.

        Not much foresight was being exercised about the consequences of arbitrary territorial allocations, obviously.

        And here we are. On a religious powder keg.

        —Santi

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