Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Joe the Plumber uses Holocaust to justify unrestricted gun laws

Cross-posted from Spin and the Media

If only the Armenians and Jews had guns, they could have defended themselves from genocide. This is the ridiculous claim Samuel Wurzelbacher makes in his new ad. "Joe the Plumber," made infamous by the McCain campaign and the mainstream media in the 2008 election season, is running as a Republican in Ohio's 9th district. The video reinforces American exceptionalism, uber-Bush-era style patriotism and the idea that Obama wants to "take away our guns."

On its own, this propaganda is disturbing enough. But like anything election-related, it must be looked at in context. These themes are pervasive in Republican propaganda, and the claims in this video will make sense to those who fit these themes into their own ideologies. Just remember the Tea Party (who we hear little about these days ...hmmm), who at the height of their media popularity, were repeating the same themes about guns. Even in the wake of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford's shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, mainstream Republicans, particularly Glenn Beck, and Tea Party alike behaved in a most expected reactionary manner: doubling down on their gun rights as well as the notion that guns are needed to defend oneself against a tyrannical government. Exactly the point Joe the Plumber makes.

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