The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

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PoliPoint Press, 2009 - Political Science - 281 pages
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The Eliminationists describes the malignant influence of right-wing hate talk on the American conservative movement. Tracing much of this vitriol to the dank corners of the para-fascist right, award-winning reporter David Neiwert documents persistent ideas and rhetoric that champion the elimination of opposition groups. As a result of this hateful discourse, Neiwert argues, the broader conservative movement has metastasized into something not truly conservative, but decidedly right-wing and potentially dangerous.

By tapping into the eliminationism latent in the American psyche, the mainstream conservative movement has emboldened groups that have inhabited the fringes of the far right for decades. With the Obama victory, their voices may once again raise the specter of deadly domestic terrorism that characterized the far Right in the 1990s. How well Americans face this challenge will depend on how strongly we repudiate the politics of hate and repair the damage it has wrought.

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The eliminationists: how hate talk radicalized the American right

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Vile, slanderous attacks in politics are not new. But their distribution via modern technology is. Neiwert sees the language of Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter, Michael Savage, and others ... Read full review

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This book provides an interesting but relatively unscholarly look at some of the worst impulses in American culture, written in the style and tone of a polemicist who is unable (or perhaps merely unwilling) to understand the motivations of his modern political opponents, yet all too willing to impute to them the worst motivations of their intellectual forebears. Neiwert's hatred for the people whom he has made his subjects is pervasive throughout, and serves as a powerful distractor for anyone who thinks is it irrational to demonize right-wingers rather than seriously attempt to understand how they came to be as they are.
I would recommend one look elsewhere (e.g. James Aho, John George, Laird Wilcox) for a more scholarly treatment of right-wing hate, or perhaps look to Jon Ronson for an entertaining firsthand account.

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About the author (2009)

David Neiwert's writing has appeared in The American Prospect, on, and in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report. The author of three previous books on related topics, Neiwert won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000. His blog Orcinus, which reports on the crossover between the mainstream and the far right, received the Koufax Award for Best Series in 2003 and 2004. He is also the managing editor of the popular video blog, Crooks and Liars.

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