nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,
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Main points of lecture about polarizing political speech, part 2



Kathryn Ruud Lecture, Part two

June 2010 issue of Talkers Magazine, an industry publication-- an article compares political talk radio to pro wrestling

It's the job of the talk show host to crank up fear at the other side because that gets attention and advertising revenue:

Fear the enemy: the government
Fear the Other: political opponents
Rachett up fear through polarization
A sales technique with serious consequences

2:39 Glen Beck clip: He's selling gold because Marxism will wreck the country and people will need soemthing to start over with. [Anyone who's pretty sure they'll be able to protect their gold in a totalitarian dictorship probably deserves to give their money to Glen Beck.] Followed by malice about illegal immigrants.

Cicero: "He who knows only his own generation remains always a child."

There are good reasons to fear communism and fascism. Both were very pro-violence.

In Germany, there were political street battles between the wars.

In totalitarian countries, there was control which extended into people's homes.

Things went differently in the US-- while there were believers in far left and right ideas, but mostly, there was a rotation around a pragmatic middle. In Germany, the middle was weak and small.

Totalitarianism starts with ideologies which do not describe themselves as totalitarian.

Glen Beck and others put libertarianism exactly in the middle between totalitarianism and anarchy. This leaves out a lot of context about the range of non-totalitarian possibilites which are not libertarian, Republican, or constitutionalist.

Beck places Nazism on the left rather than acknowledging that totalitarianism can come from the right. Nazism and Communism get lumped together rather than being described as having quite different ideological roots. You can't recognize a problem if you have a mental framework which excludes it.

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Tags: limbaugh, linguistics, nazis, polarizing political talk, ruud
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