UPDATE (1:52 PM) - Check below the fold if you're convinced this is hyperbole.
Dylan Ratigan seemed to tacitly endorse violent revolution on his show Monday. He hosted far-left radical Ted Rall who, when he's not comparing "idiot" American soldiers to suicide bombers, is lauding the necessity of political violence. Ratigan opened the segment by claiming the nation may need "more drastic solutions" to our problems than political action.
"Are things in our country so bad that it might actually be time for a revolution?" Ratigan asked. "The answer obviously is yes," he added, and "the only question is how to do it."
At no point in the segment did Ratigan reject his guest's wild notion that violence is the only possible remedy to our political problems.
Rall, author of the new book "The Anti-American Manifesto", bemoaned the left's lack of progress in using non-violent means. "The american left has been very peaceful since the early ’60s and where has it gotten us?" Rall said. "Millions marched against the war in iraq. what did it do?"
Remember, when Sharron Angle suggested we find "Second Amendment remedies" to the nation's problems, the media went nuts. ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Las Vegas Sun, Politico, Newsweek, and scores of liberal blogs all piled on, bemoaning Angle's thinly-veiled call for violence.
Rall even quoted John Locke - on of the Founders' favorite political philosophers, to call for violent revolution when "government fails". Imagine, for a moment, the reaction if a Tea Party protester went on Fox News and said the same thing.
But where is the outrage here? Is this another case of "my left-wing crazies are better than your ring-wing crazies" - calls for violence are okay as long as leftism is the endgame? Or were media liberals simply using Angle's statement (and other supposed calls for violence on the right) as a political bludgeon - pointing out leftists calling for violent revolution is pointless now that there's no apparent political advantage in doing so?
Here's a video and transcript of the segment:
RATIGAN: Welcome back. We are here with a very disconcerting question. Are things in our country so bad that it might be time for a revolution? The answer obviously is yes, the only question is how to do it. From the wrongful wars to the corrupt economy to the special interests and the six industries that control every politician in this country, the political system itself, gerrymandering, 75% of all districts weren't even up for grabs last week. You call that a competitive market?
To clear our dire problems may require even more drastic solutions. And our next guest, cartoonist and author Ted Rall, targets the day-to-day absurdities in Washington through political cartoons printed in newspapers across the country, but now he's tackling something bigger. The need for real change and real action, perhaps even through violence, or at least the threat thereof. It's the subject of his new book, the "Anti American Manifesto". Ted, nice to see you. What do you mean with that title?
RALL: Well, the title's partly in jest. Obviously I am American, I love America, and the point is to save America. I wanted to own the title because I thought that's what the other side is going to call any call to change the system entirely.
RATIGAN: If you were to look at the way government changes, political process being the most preferable, although sometimes totally ineffective or destructive, the bond and financial markets, certainly an opportunity for those to intervene in this country, and force meaningful reformation, passive resistance and the end game being violence, why do you go to your book to the category 4, if you will, government change, which is violence?
RALL: In the "Anti-American Manifesto", I argue that violence is the last case scenario. It's the worst case, nobody wants it. It's easier to go other routes. Obviously going through the political system is best. But we've seen for the last 2 years, since the economy melted down, that neither the Democrats nor Republicans nor any possible third party is poised to step in. We know that the financial markets are getting increasingly monopolized, and they're in bed with the duopoly. As you showed at the opening of the hour, with the 1% of the country owning 24% of the income and it's just getting worse. That process is going to accelerate. In terms of passive resistance, the american left has been very peaceful since the early '70s, since the Kent State shootings, And where has it gotten us? Millions of people marched against the war in Iraq. What did it do?
RATIGAN: One in four passive resistance would be moving your money out of the large banks or stop paying your mortgage.
RALL: If you could get everybody to do it, it would work. But you can't even get everybody to stop littering. How are you going to get everybody to stop doing that?
RATIGAN: And how about waiting out the bond or the currency markets, basically waiting for somebody to tell Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner that their scam of printing money and covering up the theft is up?
RALL: Part of the problem is we don't really have time to wait. We've got a real unemployment rate of almost 20%. The economy is in deep trouble. People are getting thrown out of their homes. Over 10 million of them. The planet's in trouble. This is unsustainable. The system is really in deep trouble.
RATIGAN: If you were to look at where the response, where is the most activity, do you get any sense that either the Republican party sees any opportunity to gain power by fixing any of these issues, or that the Democratic party, who everybody thought was going to fix these issues and prove to be just as on as the Republicans in many ways when it comes to the wars, when it comes to the banks, that they now have some humble pie and will actually take up the sword of justice if you will and reform the process, which is alarmingly corrupt?
RALL: Well we know that jobs is the number one priority. And Republicans don't get it any more than the Democrats do. Look at them. They're talking about shrinking government and firing government workers. That's just going to increase unemployment even further. The Democrats have been in power for two years. They haven't done squat. We know that the unemployment rate is going to keep going up. Not one attempt at a jobs program from this president, so what are we going to do? It's up to the people. John Locke said, the people have an obligation to revolt when their government's fails.
That's right, Rall quoted the philosopher arguably most influential among American revolutionaries to suggest that another revolution would be justified. Gee, that sure sounds a lot like Tea Party protesters holding up signs demanding we "water the tree of liberty" - with the blood of patriots and tyrants, as Thomas Jefferson famously said.
And yet, for all the complaining about supposed calls for violence on the right, no one seems to be worried about Rall and Ratigan approvingly discussing violent reviolution.
John at Verum Serum demonstrates just how bat-sh*t crazy Ted Rall is by posting a portion of the "Anti-American Manifesto". Behold the man with whom Ratigan seems to have some common ground:
Christian fundamentalists, the millennial end-of-theworlders obsessed with the Left Behind series about the End Times, neo-Nazi racists, rural black-helicopter Michigan Militia types cut from the same inbred cloth as Timothy McVeigh, allied with “mainstream” gun nuts and right-wing Republicans, have been planning, preparing, and praying for the destruction of the “Godless,” “secular” United States for decades. In the past, they formed groups like the John Birch Society and the Aryan Nations. Now the hard Right has a postmodern, decentralized non-organization organization called the Tea Party.
Right-wing organizational names change, but they amount to the same thing: the reactionary sociopolitical force—the sole force—poised to fill the vacuum when collapse occurs. The scenario outlined by Margaret Atwood’s prescient novel The Handmaid’s Tale—rednecks in the trenches, hard military men running things, minorities and liberals taken away and massacred, setting the stage for an even more extreme form of laissez-faire corporate capitalism than we’re suffering under today—is a fair guess of how a post-U.S. scenario will play out unless we prepare to turn it in another direction…
A war is coming. At stake: our lives, the planet, freedom, living. The government, the corporations, and the extreme right are prepared to coalesce into an Axis of Evil. Are you going to fight back? Will you do whatever it takes, including taking up arms?…
The millions of partisans who follow Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and right-wing televangelists happen to be the best-armed people around, and they despise just about everyone who doesn’t think and pray like them. They will see collapse as affirmation of their beliefs that secular liberalism is destructive. They will also see it as an opportunity to create a new, ordered world atop the ashes. They will act to stop teenage sluts from getting abortions, teach niggers a lesson, and slaughter those spics, dots, and everyone else who doesn’t fit into their vision of what and who is right.