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What message are they sending exactly?

One couple, dressed in religious t-shirts, carried signs urging Americans to repent and charging President Obama with being the Anti-Christ. (via Minnesota Independent)

Jerry Feldman may have the answer:

Conspiracy theory conservatism has rapidly become the dominant modus operandi of the most vocal and most motivated Republican activists. Five years ago, when Democratic Party activists felt the same sense of crisis after catastrophic loss at the polls, the grassroots rallied to on-line organizing and generated a far-reaching discussion about how to win elections. Now that the Republican Party has suffered a similar defeat, Right Wing activists are gathering in bars and sounding the alarm over secret plots and the threat of covert dual identities amongst our highest-profile national leaders.

The danger for the Republican Party is not that these theories will be disproved or that the flamboyant adherents of conspiracy theory conservatism will garner even more unflattering media attention than they already have. The problem is that conspiracy theory conservatism might be the first new habit strong enough to displace the old ‘conscience of a conservative’ Goldwater ways.

If the old Right-Wing icons were Goldwater, Reagan, and Bush, the new icons are Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity. If the old Right-Wing "conscience" was that human nature is part economic and part spiritual, the new "conscience" is that government is a vast secret plot that Liberals use to defraud the public. If the old Right-Wing message was ‘low taxes, small government, strong military,’ the new message is ‘A storm is gathering! Beware of Socialism! Wake up before it’s too late!’

In short, Goldwater conservatism was the stuff of books and campaigns that inspired a generation to see themselves as the leaders of a movement that could change America. And that generation did, for better or worse, change America. Conspiracy theory conservatism, by contrast, is the stuff of YouTube and prime-time blooper segments that could inspire a generation to shake their heads and mutter,"Yikes," then devote themselves to avoiding public life at all costs for fear of ridicule.



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