How To Be a Denialist in Ten Easy Steps

In the latest New Scientist they cover the ever blooming fields of denialism that popped up everywhere or that bloomed anew in the first decade of the new millennium. One of their references is an important paper from Martin Mckee, and it’s at the European Journal of Public Health.
Here are his main points on how to be a denialist, I’ve expanded some bullets where I believe Martin conflated two separate tactics in the Denialist Arsenal.

  1. Allege that there’s a conspiracy. Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
  2. Use fake experts to support your story. “Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a facade of credibility,” says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
  3. Cherry-pick the evidence: trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest.
  4. Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited.
  5. Create impossible standards for your opponents. Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more.
  6. If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded, move the goalposts.
  7. Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking measures are Nazi.
  8. Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
  9. Manufacture doubt. Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature.
  10. Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when “dissenting” arguments or experts are rejected.

The Mainstreaming of Extremism on the Right

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok details the rise in militia, patriot, and extremist groups last year. The factor that he misses in this video however is not the rise of these groups, but rather their wider acceptance. Mainstream center right and even right-right politicians of years past would never have spoken at a convention co-sponsored by groups like the Oathkeepers and John Birch Society as this year’s CPAC event was.

There’s also no doubt that some of the leadership of the Republican Party is definitely pandering to these paranoid fools.

These radical right nutballs and dirtbags have always been out there, and Mark even mentions some of the outcomes of the past paranoia uprisings in the video, but they’ve never been accepted by the mainstream right like they have this past year. It’s highly disturbing  that fear, paranoia, and angst have replaced leadership, direction, and principle on the right. It’s why I refuse to call myelf a conservative anymore because if Oathkeepers, the John Birch Society and what I saw at CPAC this year are what it means to be conservative, then  I don’t want any part of it.

References for those who might not understand some of the Kookspiracy theories and groups mentioned in the video

New World Order Conspiracy Theory

The Turner Diaries (a book cited and read by many militia leaders and supremacist terrorists like Tim McVeigh)

You should also note that the 9/11 truthers are right in step with this kookspiracy surge, and that there are many crossovers such as Phillip Berg and others.

Lastly, here’s an example of one of the leech pundits, (also a truther) who makes his living feeding this paranoia. Lately you’ve seen him linked by mainstream right news sites like Drudge. His predecessor in the survivalist ’80’s was Howard Ruff — indeed you have to wonder why some of the new paranoia pundits haven’t been sued for plagiarism by the old school doom-criers, since most of the new doomsters are merely retreading old trash.

Bottom line: You have a lot more to worry about from Right wing Whackos like Oath Keepers or this “Operation Exodus” guy forming a police state or militia in your area than you do from President Obama and Fema camps. If the idea of un-elected and unappointed senile old farts with fifty cals thinking they are the law doesn’t bother you then I don’t know what will.

Politicians Who Suck for Signing up to Speak at a Bircher Sponsored Convention

Here’s the list from CPAC, where the John Birch Society and Oathkeepers are Cosponsors. All of the people below are listed as confirmed speakers at the CPAC website.  I’m a lifelong Republican, and I will not donate a dime to any of these people or their causes in the future. I will actively campaign against them and for their political opponents even though I will have to hold my nose in a few cases while doing so.

Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney – you suck. Mitt won’t be receiving any money from me in 2012 like he did last round if he speaks at a Bircher sponsored convention.

Hon. Dick Armey, Hon. John Ashcroft, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Amb. John Bolton, Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, Tucker Carlson, Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, Sen. Jim DeMint, Hon. Newt Gingrich, David Keene, Wayne LaPierre, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Tom Price, Hon. Mitt Romney, Hon. Marco Rubio, Hon. Rick Santorum, Hon. J.C. Watts, George F. Will