The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag:

Ted Nugent, Anti-Masker And Vaccine Skeptic, Gets Covid: ‘I Thought I Was Dying’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A little over a week ago, reports came out that aging 1970s rock-n-roll hunting enthusiast Ted Nugent was still promoting the concept that the 2019 novel coronavirus was all hype. During an interview posted on Facebook, he asked the question: "You know, I guess I would ask you — because I'm addicted to truth, logic, and common sense — and my commonsense meter would demand the answer to why weren't we shut down for COVID one through 18?" Now, I know that as a parent I frequently find myself saying things like "There are no stupid questions," but in this case, well, um. It wasn't a surprising take from a man who has made a career of being ignorant and saying ignorant things. In general, playing his guitar loudly over his ignorance has allowed people to pretend they didn't hear him.

On Tuesday night, Nugent did a Facebook Live where he told his audience he had contracted the virus. "Everybody told me that I should not announce this. I have had flu symptoms for the last 10 days. I thought I was dying. Just a clusterfuck." Nugent also repeatedly used racist MAGA-virtue signaling that put the blame on China. He described his experiences over the last ten days, saying he could barely crawl out of bed because he was in such bad shape. He said he was finally tested Tuesday, thus the diagnosis.

Nugent has been a very public COVID-19 denier, telling conservative radio personality David J. Harris Jr. in August that he thought all of the reported coronavirus-related statistics being put out by world health organizations and our own country's scientific communities were made up. "They claim 160,000 people dead from the Chinese communist virus. Bullshit. They claim millions and millions have been tested positive [for the virus]. Bullshit. They claim that the ICU units are overcrowded. Bullshit." He also called himself a "radical for justice" during that same interview, but he seems to have been mum on all of the deaths of citizens at the hands of law enforcement. Racist much?

And even though Nugent has now experienced the virus, he still says he won't get vaccinated against it: "If you can't even honestly answer our questions of exactly what's in it and why are you testing it on human beings and forcing it on people in such a short period of time," which isn't a real thing. You can read about the vaccination and what's "in it," on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. If you have other anxieties over the vaccine that's fine, but don't bullshit about why you're afraid of things.

Nugent's bad, destructive takes on the public health questions and policies of our country go hand in hand with his crotch-grabbing support of Donald Trump. (Nugent literally illustrated some kind of point about "blue states" at a MAGA rally by grabbing his crotch.) He has also promoted the need to carry guns in order to rid our government and country of "evil, dishonesty, and scam artists" who he said are liberals, Democrats, RINOs, Hollywood, fake news, and the media, saying: "There are rabid coyotes running around, you don't wait till you see one to go get your gun, keep your gun handy. And every time you see one, shoot one."

Michigan GOP Senate Candidate Linked With Far-Right Figures

Michigan Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters' Republican challenger John James is running on a platform of unity and nonpartisanship, but behind the scenes, he undercuts his own claims by associating with individuals and groups that promote violence.

On Thursday, after the bombshell revelation that the FBI had uncovered a kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, James was perfectly politic and nonpartisan in his public response.

Read Now Show less

How I Escaped Being A Right-Wing Extremist

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

How do you change the mind of a right-wing extremist in America today? How do you change the mind of a diehard Trump voter? You don’t. It’s a waste of your time and you have better things to do. We are not going to unite as a country anytime soon after what has happened.

I was raised in the ’80s to be a right-wing extremist like my father. I was sent to an extreme right-wing (John Birch Society) summer camp where I was brainwashed to be a heartless, paranoid conservative, just like my dad. I used to believe that homosexuals, atheists, immigrants, liberals, and anyone who wasn’t white like us, were out to take away our rights as good, god-fearing Americans. When I heard the words humanist, environmentalist, feminist, educated, and equal or civil rights, I’d get irritated, suspicious, and angry.

I was taught that if someone challenged my statements or beliefs, they did so because they were scared or intimidated and afraid of the cold hard truth. I was taught that liberals and Democrats were brainwashed and trained to ignore the truths regarding what was really going on in America. Arguing with a liberal was a complete waste of time, my dad would say. They were too dumb, too brainwashed and there was no way we could change their minds.

Every time someone argued with me about anything, I felt contempt. I felt ridiculed. I felt like they were telling me I was stupid and wrong. I felt they were telling me that my parents and everything I knew to be true was a lie. Just having someone argue with me or having my point of view challenged made me angry, regardless of the facts presented. I was taught not to believe your facts.

If you are wondering how to deal with a member of America’s extreme right, forget it. It’s a waste of your time. In fact, the harder you try to convince right-wingers or Trump voters that Trump is destroying America, the more they’ll support Trump and argue with and belittle you. As much as we all want every American to be mature, compassionate, and to believe only in actual facts, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. They think of us as their enemies. The GOP has been overthrown by the extreme right and they have zero interest in working together to actually keep America great.

It’s taken me over three decades to reject the filth, paranoia, and brainwashing that my dad, the extremist John Birch Society and the National Rifle Association emphasized. Both of my parents hate me for rejecting their nonsense. If I was more like them or Donald Trump, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Cruz, Ted Nugent, or David Duke, they’d be happy. Since I was 17—I’m 48 today—I’ve worked hard to not be anything like my dad. I’ve countered much of the ideology and negativity that was ingrained in me, but it’s been a struggle overcoming the lack of reasonable and honest judgment that was omitted from my upbringing.

I first began writing my thoughts down in 2011, after getting extremely frustrated with both of my parents when visiting with them for family events. I was also freaked during the 2012 presidential election when a few of the candidates started speaking nonsense and hate—things I had heard when I was an impressionable teen. That 2012 election revealed a lot about America when extremism began making the gradual shift from the fringe to the mainstream, and its cause gained a serious amount of traction.

Over time, it became obvious that I was writing a book about the role my parents (specifically my dad) played during my childhood, intentionally or not, in corrupting my life by molding me to be just like them. I shudder to think of what sort of person I would be today had I not escaped the influence of my upbringing. I’ve always known that there was something wrong with my parents. Had I not come to understand this, I’d likely be dead, in prison, or be a right-wing extremist politician.

Hate or Be Hated: How I Survived Right-Wing Extremism is my story of being raised by a paranoid, white-trash hillbilly in the woods of western Washington preparing for the impending communist invasion or overthrow of our country. One hundred percent of all book sale proceeds are going to the ACLU. It’s about how it took 30 years to undo the right-wing brainwashing I endured as a child. It gives a glimpse into what kind of family produces Americans who are primed to believe fake news and put their trust into anyone who seems as angry as they are.

This book is about my personal journey and the way these attitudes directly caused so much suffering in my own life as well as how they are still influencing the choices and decisions being made by a large percentage of people in this country today. It’s about my anger and embarrassment over who I was and how I was raised in an environment that didn’t value empathy, honesty, or caring. I am angry and embarrassed that on some level, I still want my dad to be proud of me.

Only in the past few years have I been able to look back over the life I’ve lived and seriously examine my childhood. I’ve had to come to terms with the thoughts, decisions, and actions that were a direct reflection of what my parents taught me as a young boy. This examination has been stressful and unsettling and has brought to the surface a lot of deep-seated anger which I’ve carried most of my life. I never understood it until recently. No child should experience the paranoia, despair, and isolation that my dad instilled in me. No child should be taught by radical right-wing American extremists that the only options in this life are to “hate or be hated.”

The United States of America has undergone a major upheaval and most people are still struggling to understand what the hell happened. What’s happened is done. The Republicans won and we need to get over that and never quit fighting to save this country. The only issue left at hand is that all of us, the Democratic Party, the progressives, and the true lovers of freedom must unite now or we’re going to be looking at more than just four years of this terrifying situation. We have to work together. All of us. Just like they did.

IMAGE: Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hold their hands to their chest as the national anthem is played at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl

Sid Miller, Texas Republican Official, Calls Hillary Clinton ‘C-nt’ On Twitter

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller took to Twitter on Tuesday to call Hillary Clinton a “cunt.” The tweet was quickly removed, but not before it was retweeted multiple times. Miller initially blamed the message on hackers, then said it was a retweeting oversight.

According to Politico, Miller was celebrating a new poll that shows Trump ahead in Pennsylvania.

“TRUMP 44 Cunt 43,” Miller’s tweet read. “Go Trump Go!”

That tweet was scrubbed from Miller’s account soon after it appeared. Miller claimed he’d been the victim of hackers, writing, “@MillerForTexas HAS BEEN HACKED. The disgusting re-tweet has been removed and we have changed all account passwords. Be advised.”

That tweet was then erased as Miller and his staffers decided to go with a more believable story. In two subsequent tweets, Miller wrote, “The campaign was retweeting information today and inadvertently retweeted a tweet that they were not aware contained a derogatory term. The tweet was taken down as soon as possible. Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologizes to anyone who may have seen it.”

That excuse doesn’t really make sense, considering that the original “vulgar” tweet wasn’t a retweet. We know this because Twitter labels retweets, and Miller’s tweet included no such indication. Politico suggests that the tweet, which was manually posted, originated with “pro-Trump, alt-right account, @TheRickyVaughn.” Weirdly, Miller, or one of his staffers, copied the language of the first tweet, left the word “cunt” in there, but added the phrase “Go Trump Go!”

A Politico reporter got Miller on the phone, and he told the media outlet that someone in his office was responsible for the mistake.

“I can assure you I did not post that,” he said. “Maybe the staffers took a screenshot and posted that.”

Which is also funny—though not in a ha-ha way—since Miller recently made a big deal on Twitter about how he writes his own tweets. He also made fun of Hillary Clinton for not doing the same.

“#CrookedHillary needs a dozen people to check her tweets,” Miller tweeted. “My thoughts are my own. Healthy as a bull here. #wikileaks.”

The Texas Tribune notes that Miller “has previously had to answer for a post suggesting the United States nuke the Muslim world, and another comparing Syrian refugees to rattlesnakes.”

IMAGE: Far-right rocker Ted Nugent endorsed Sid Miller for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in a TV ad. Screenshot from Youtube.