When liberals try to convince each other and fair-minded non-liberals that there’s something a bit pathological about contemporary conservatism in this country, it’s always easy to find some random wingnut state legislator or TV evangelists who’s saying crazy, scary things. But sometimes The Crazy and The Scary come right out there in a big way and shake their fists at you. That happened when Rick Santorum gave a speech at a conservative Catholic college in 2008 and allowed as how mainline Protestants had been lost to Satan. And it happened last week when the giant conservative cultural icon Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty continued his steady descent into the habit of saying things other culture-warriors just hint at. This peroration, delivered in Robertson’s accustomed oracular manner, was offered at a “prayer rally” and was picked up and published by Brian Tashman of RightWingWatch. This passage was preceded by remarks about Stalin, Hitler, Hirohito and the leaders of IS being similarly motivated tools of Satan:
I gave you four ideologies in the last one hundred years, I see a pattern. You say, ‘why do they do what they do, why is there always murder?’ You know what the scary thing is? The fifth ideology right in behind all of this bunch of stuff we’re dealing with now, has its roots in the United States of America? You know how many they’ve killed? You say, ‘who are they?’ People call them left-wing loons, Bill O’Reilly calls them, political correct crowd, orthodox liberal opinion. You say, ‘what are they famous for?’ They’ve killed 63 million of their own children. 63 million. More than Hitler, more than Stalin. We’re slaughtering ourselves. You say, ‘who is behind it?’ Their father is, he was a murderer, from the beginning, they are slaves to sin, they are controlled by the Evil One. Duh.
Any Jesus with them? No, no. They don’t want Biblical correctness, no siree, they will not touch this, they are trying to get around it, they want political correctness. Well, what is it? What is political correctness? Orthodox liberal opinion in matters of sexuality, race, gender. They’re arguing and debating is there a difference between a male and a female? I’m like, dude, go in the bathroom, take your clothes off and take a look, you’ll figure it out.
Satan was a murderer from the beginning not holding to the truth so there’s no truth in him, when he lies — am I dreaming? Have you ever heard this many lies coming out of Washington D.C. since you’ve been on the earth? Have you ever heard more? You say where in the world is it coming from? They champion perversion, they champion murder, aborting their children and they are champions of lies. I mean I’m listening to them and thinking, ‘dude, what?’
‘Yeah, this bunch here, they’re the kind that clings to their guns and their bibles,’ I’m thinking, yeah, we may need them. How in tarnation do you think we ran the Brits back to where they came from back there 240 years ago? It took guns and it took bibles, right? You better stay with what brought you. He was a murderer from the beginning, there’s no truth in him and when he lies he speaks his native language, the relationship between these guys and Satan. He is a liar and the Father of Lies.
Clearly, this guy who made his fortune designing duck calls does not know how to blow a dog whistle. He just comes right out and suggests that good conservative Christians may need to load up the shooting irons and go after the liberals who are, after all, Satan’s ultimate weapon, worse than the communists and Nazis.
You can laugh at such rhetoric if you want, but let’s don’t forget Americans spent a lot of time and treasure and lost a lot of lives killing a lot of Nazis and Communists. I’d say Phil Robertston is suggesting that good fundamentalist Christian folk like him at least give some consideration to killing me and you.
But wait a minute: this guy is just an actor, right? Maybe so, but he was also a featured speaker at this year’s CPAC event, and has been hailed as a great and wise American by more Republican pols than you can count. Hell, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal may ultimately come to blows over their competing claims to be the dude’s best friend.
As I often do–and the silence gets tiring–I challenge anyone to come up with an equivalent figure on the Left. Next time you see Ron “extremists on both sides” Fournier, ask him about it.