Wed 2023-Jul-19

Republicans: Mt Rushmore Is A 'Demonic Portal for Communism'

Tagged: CatBlogging / CorporateLifeAndItsDiscontents / NotableAndQuotable / Politics / Sadness / ϜΤΦ

I am slowly learning never to ask how low Republicans can go in the US.

Well, how low CAN they go?

Think Mariana Trench (10.9 km). Think Kola Superdeep Borehole (12.26 km). Think Al Shaheen (12.28 km). Think Dante’s Inferno (and don’t forget the stink).

Then drill deeper. Much deeper.

Sigh… what’s the background here, again?

We’ve previously written on some of the background of paranoid authoritarianism in American politics and its deep historical roots. This is not some contemporary quirk; they’ve pretty much always been this way. It’s just more obvious now, since they feel empowered to speak straightforwardly.

Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind R Altemeyer, The Authoritarians TW Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality Hofstadter: The Paranoid Style in American Politics And that’s not just my opinion. (Though it also is my opinion, not that you have any reason to care about that.) The 4 books shown here, in this order, are well-respected academics and authors giving us the essential foundation to understanding the American political dilemma. [1] [2] [3] [4] They also explain some of the world politics, at least in Europe where we share some cultural background features.

We know some constants. The features, as we previously wrote, from Adorno and Altemeyer’s books are something like:

  • Conventionalism: Adherence to conventional values.
  • Authoritarian Submission: Towards ingroup authority figures.
  • Authoritarian Aggression: Against people who violate conventional values.
  • Anti-Intraception: Opposition to subjectivity and imagination.
  • Superstition and Stereotypy: Belief in individual fate; thinking in rigid categories.
  • Power and Toughness: Concerned with submission and domination; assertion of strength.
  • Destructiveness and Cynicism: hostility against human nature.
  • Projectivity: Perception of the world as dangerous; tendency to project unconscious impulses.
  • Sex: Overly concerned with modern sexual practices.

We see this arise in multiple ways:

  • a desperate, hateful, and racist “othering” of some scapegoat group (Feemasons, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, women, immigrants),
  • fetishization of political symbols of tribal loyalty (flags, statues, buildings, memorials, weapons),
  • over-reliance on concrete slogans instead of reason,
  • worship of power figures like Trump,
  • extreme concern over anything remotely sexual (abortion, contraception, reproductive healthcare in general),
  • understanding the world only in terms of power (hence Republicans think Democrats are inherently ineligible for power, so any election saying otherwise must be overturned),
  • extreme reliance on over-simplified superstition and religion,

… and so on.

Ok, the latest bleats from the right-wing sheep are…

Mount Rushmore The particular patriotic fetish of concern today is Mt Rushmore, the place in the Black Hills of South Dakota with the sculptures of the heads of presidents Washington, Jefferson, T Roosevelt, and Lincoln.

No question that these are interesting American political figures, each worthy of note for various reasons (good and ill). Also, no question that the site itself has a long and somewhat tortured history, especially the land dispute with the Lakota Sioux tribe of Native Americans, who by treaty are supposed to control this land. Let us summarize by simply noting that American ability to honor treaties with Native Americans is, at best, indifferent.

Terrall @ The Hill: South Dakota GOP meathead: Mt Rushmore is demonic portal for communism That, of course, is not what concerns our Nimrod of the day. He’s busy with much bigger, more bizarre issues. An article from The Hill [5] is about as close as I want to get to the original source.

Gerry Anderson: Origin of Thunderbirds and International Rescue At least, I’m not getting closer without serious, rad-hard brain protection, a collection of 10-foot Poles of Poking Things, and Gerry Anderson’s International Rescue on speed-dial. Since that version of “International Rescue” is fictional, it just ain’t gonna happen. (Hey: the righties get their paranoid fantasies, so let me have my excitingly humane fantasy.)

Joe Donnell, SD Repub Rep: Rushmore is Freemason shrine and demonic portal of communism What makes me so squeamish? Buckle up, Buttercup!

One Joe Donnell of the South Dakota legislature, shown here, opined that:

  • Mt Rushmore is a “Freemason shrine”,
  • and as such it is a “portal for demonic entities to enter and spread communism throughout the country.”

“Well!” (As we have previously noted Jack Benny made bank by saying.) Didn’t see that coming, now, did we? Every time you think you’ve plumbed the depths of conservative “thought”… you fall through a trap-door into something lower.

Let’s just pull the condom over our brains and have a look at the man’s own words:

What the Lord has revealed to me is that Mount Rushmore has a direct ley line to Washington, D.C.

In order to understand the spiritual realm of what we’re facing, we have to realize that in order for the enemy to do anything, it needs the agreement of human beings. In order to be empowered to do more damage he needs the agreement of human beings and oftentimes that comes in the form of an altar that acts as a portal for other demonic things. What we’re really dealing with in that portal is communism. That witchcraft, altar, those things that are happening in the Black Hills, what we’re dealing with is communism. It’s the ideology and all the demonic entities and spirits behind that.

It is unclear what he thinks are the connections between Freemasons, portals, demons, communism, and witchcraft. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hear any further ‘clarification’, if I can avoid it.

But just look at all the boxes he ticks in just a few words:

  • Fetishization of a patriotic symbol (Mt Rushmore).
  • Extreme, but highly suspect religiousity (“altar” imagery and personal revelations from G-d, not just for himself, but revelations he wishes to impose upon others).
  • Invocation of weird superstitious thinking (Ley lines, and magical “portals”).
  • Deep fear imagery (“the enemy” is Hebrew Bible code for the devil, as well as invocation of concepts like “demon” and “witch”).
  • Of course nothing would be complete without the usual conservative bugaboos: Freemasons and communists must be behind it all… somehow.

Reportedly, Donnell is apparently a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe, which makes his Christian fundamentalism and superstition an interesting twist.

I dunno what he thinks is happening in the Black Hills, but… I’m pretty sure it ain’t that.

The Weekend Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, your modern Republican party.

If you’re somehow still a Republican and simultaneously reasonably sane, remember that this is how you look to the entire rest of the world. Get out now, with as much of your sanity still intact as you can manage. I promise it doesn’t hurt.

The Weekend Publisher, hanging over the table edge, looking barfy Also, I just couldn’t stand the idea of leaving the taste of that kind of powerful idiot in our minds. So I consulted the Weekend Publisher, a.k.a. “my cat”, about what to do. He didn’t say much (not even in French, as he sometimes does). He answered in interpretive mime, by just leaning over the edge of the table and looking kinda barfy.

Barfy: that does sort of sum up the situation, doesn’t it?

Now, I have to admit: he’s not the brightest cat. But even with a brain the size of a walnut, he knows better than to have anything to do with Republicans.

If you won’t listen to me, at least listen to the cat.

He knows what’s barfy and what’s not.

Notes & References

1: R Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, Harper’s, 1964-Nov. Adapted from the Herbert Spencer lecture delivered at Oxford in 1963-Nov.

2: TW Adorno, et al., The Authoritarian Personality, 1950. I know it’s snarky, but to this day I can hardly want to utter the title without wanting to editorialize a bit: “the authoritarian personality disorder”, since it’s so repugnant to me.

3: R Altemeyer, The Authoritarians, 2006. NB: This book, as well as much supplementary material, is available on Altemeyer’s web site, as well as in print form.

4: J Haidt, The Righteous Mind, Vintage Books, 2013

5: G Terrall, “South Dakota lawmaker calls Mount Rushmore demonic portal for communism”, The Hill, 2023-Jun-28.

Published Wed 2023-Jul-19

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