CHANGE OF HEART

Writer Michael Fumento Quits Conservative Movement, Calls It “Hate, Anger And Fear Machine”

Journalist Michael Fumento, long heralded as a shining star among right-wing pundits and journalists, is washing his hands of the conservative movement, which he says has become a “hate, anger and fear machine” more focused on fostering “mass hysteria” than finding solutions.

In a piece published on Salon.com, Fumento details the increasingly ridiculous lengths conservatives—from Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to Allen West to Mitt Romney—are reaching to lambast so-called enemies:

 …I find myself linked not only with the Unabomber, but also Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. Or so says the Chicago-based think tank the Heartland Institute, for which I’ve done work. Heartland erected billboards depicting the above three declaring: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Climate scientists now, evidently, share something in common with dictators and mass murderers. Reportedly bin Laden was scheduled to make such an appearance, too.You see, I’ve published articles saying I do “believe in global warming.” Yes, I’ve also questioned the extent to which man-made gases have contributed to that warming and concluded that expenditures to reduce those emissions would be as worthless as they’d be horrifically expensive. No matter; just call me “Ted.” Or “Charlie.” Or “Fidel.”

This is nuts! Literally. As in “mass hysteria.”

But more than the right’s far-out opinions, Fumento is tired of the movement’s sheer incivility, which borders on the rabid:

Civility and respect for order—nay, demand for order—have always been tenets of conservatism. The most prominent work of history’s most prominent conservative, Edmund Burke, was a reaction to the anger and hatred that swept France during the revolution. It would eventually rip the country apart and plunge all of Europe into decades of war. Such is the rotted fruit of mass-produced hate and rage. Burke, not incidentally, was a true Tea Party supporter, risking everything as a member of Parliament to support the rebellion in the United States.

All of today’s right-wing darlings got there by mastering what Burke feared most: screaming “J’accuse! J’accuse!” Turning people against each other. Taking seeds of fear, anger and hatred and planting them to grow a new crop.

And the celebrated skeptic who challenged everything from Gulf War Syndrome to heterosexual AIDS statistics—calls conservative leaders to task for ignoring facts in favor of rhetoric:

Conservatism has also historically emphasized empiricism. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” must have been a conservative: “All we want are the facts, Ma’am.” When President Reagan famously said, “Facts are stupid things,” he meant to quote President John Adams’ observation that “Facts are stubborn things.”

But how much fact was there in Heartland’s billboards, whose shock purpose has been likened to tactics of the hard-left animal activist group PETA, with whom I’ve repeatedly locked horns. Or in West’s assertion? Or Breitbart’s tirades? Rush Limbaugh compared Breitbart, who never wrote a single investigative report, to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the dynamic duo who brought down the thoroughly corrupt presidency of Richard Nixon.

He actually said Breitbart’s work was superior. Oh, dear!

We appreciate Fumento’s change of heart, really we do. But what took him so long?

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15 Comments

  • Belize

    “We appreciate Fumento’s change of heart, really we do. But what took him so long?”

    Darling, it took our ancestors centuries to learn how to walk on two legs while losing much of the body hair. That may be the answer.

  • benji

    oh my, the right is a hate, anger and fear machine???!! you don’t say!!!

    (note severe sarcasm)

  • 1equalityUSA

    Many more will follow. The Conservatives are getting so controlling. Americans don’t want this. Non-religious Americans, women, LGBT, and more inclusive, progressive thinkers will run from these clowns. They let “religulous” nut-jobs with misguided, hate-driven motives steer the ship too long. Dead reckoning is getting them further off course. I’m surprised they aren’t claiming sea-monsters reside where the sun sets on the water’s horizon. It’s like watching a huge ship sink in slow motion. Greed is their only tow line. Watch the rats leave the ship.

  • Cam

    Fox News has changed many of our sweet happy grandparents into angry people who see everything as a conspiracy.

    Mention things like an energy saving light bulb and watch a typical Fox viewer start foaming at the mouth and screaming about the govt. forcing ….something…..

    It is truly a crime.

  • Alexi3

    They are no where near dead yet. We must work, work, work, or very conceivably Mitt Romney will be the next President and Republicans will control Congress. Hate is a powerful motivating and unifying factor. It can’t win in the long run, but, if we don’t keep our guard up much of what equality has been hard won can be swept away. America is evolving but it’s not there yet and the Republicans are far out spending Democrates. The rich have every incentive to fight to retain their privileges. And, the true believers on the far-right vote. They don’t just spew hate, they vote. I am not exagerating by much when I say that they would rather that the right to vote be abolished if they came into complete control. Voting means giving people choice and Conservatives dislike the idea of choice. As all the fireworks over the Presidents comments about same-sex marriage vividly illustrates. The Right fervently believes in Equality – that is Equality for everyone that agrees with them. For all their rhetoric about keeping government out of our lives, that only holds when the government isn’t trying to expand freedom. Whenever there has been a movement in this country to extend equal treatment to a disenfranchised group, Conservatives want to use the machinery of government to crush it. And, for a time they can and have succeeded in slowing the march of forward human progress down many times in our history, but, in the end Hate always loses because it’s a very difficult emotion to control and inevitably it starts to devour its own children.

  • MJ

    four words: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

  • Clockwork

    Dude was likely fickle to begin with; he quotes a lot of cliches.

    Plenty of fanatics on this site and conservative sites, using them as examples is lazy and for intellectual lightweights. I often feel guilty for coming here and engaging in the shout and pout fests with a bunch of far left queers, but I’m not gonna blow off the scene and use 10% of the nuts as public examples to show how whacked out liberal America can be.

  • FunMe

    “Hate Fear and Anger Machine” … GREAT WORDS!

    They need to be thrown at those CONservatives all the time.

  • David Ehrenstein

    Fumento is lower than pond scum. “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS” is right up there (or rather down there) with “The Protocols of The Elders of Zion.”

    The next thing I want to read about Fumento is his obituaty.

  • Hephaestion

    My grandfather was in the Ku Klux Klan in the 30’s, but by the 60’s he had changed his life and become a black civil rights supporter and donor to black charities. So people can change. It happens all the time. We need to keep encouraging that change.

  • Hephaestion

    The most effective thing we can do in the fight for our civil rights is to get our friends and relatives to quit watching Fox Brainwash News.

  • delurker

    @Clockwork: Nice “both sides do it!” silly faux-centrism sentiment you expressed there. Cute. Want a cookie?

  • Clockwork

    @delurker:

    Cookie, nah.

    Sorry I rattled your brain with objective analysis of the full ideological plane.

    Pie in the face? Or do you prefer Glitter bombs?

  • Blah, bla..huh?

    @Clockwork: Conservatives like you are more subjective than any off-the-grid hippie could ever be. “full ideological plane”, lol. You’re a middle brow populist, and not even a good one to call yourself objective in the first place. What a crock, go read your Bill Buckley panic mode instructions or something.

  • Mark

    @David Ehrenstein:

    Have you even read the book? Fumento stated correctly that fears of a vast epidemic of AIDS among heterosexuals in the West were absurd—and he was proved correct. Heterosexual men in the West only very rarely get AIDS from women. And the men who do give it to women are almost always drug users or on the down low.

Comments are closed.