With respect to the humanitarian disaster in Europe, the very carefully architected narrative of the Right Wing Noise Machine is that this man had it coming because he was a scam artist and a parasite and that he stands for the thousands and thousands of other refugees who are likewise being painted as invaders, terrorists, scam artists, and terrorists.
Very simply, what is happening is this: that devastating photo of the child washed up on a beach created a propaganda problem for a Right Wing Noise Machine deeply complicit in creating this catastrophe.
Solution: weaponize the image by turning it against the refugees. And that strategy is working like a charm. All over the Rightwingosphere, the narrative is propagating as consumers of RWNM agitprop repeat the mantra: “That heartless bastard of a father! It’s not possible that he was a desperate man doing the best he could think of to get his family away from a region in which ISIS is uncomfortably close. No. The *first* thing we are to believe is that he is a grasping bully who regarded his children and wife as expendable–and they’re *all* like that. And no, there is nothing at *all* hinky about a concerted effort by a dedicatedly biased conservative media subculture whose very first response to that photo was, “How can we pull out the stops to damn and destroy a man who has just lost his family?” (In a similar way, there was nothing at all unusual or agenda-driven about the instantaneous rush by internet-fueled Encyclopedia Browns to smoke out the nefarious evils of the parents of Sandy Hook and figure out a way to blame them as the *real* culprits in the massacre. The motives of those who are “just asking questions” are always pure.)
Does that mean the guy who lost his family is a living saint? No. He may have lied, cheated and stolen to join the immense tide of human suffering currently fleeing the catastrophe our policies have done so much to help create. But guess what? That doesn’t mean he had this coming to him and it doesn’t mean he was unjustified in fleeing and it doesn’t mean there is anything sane or good about battening on him and crucifying him for the crime of being the father of the icon of this tragedy.
And it is the iconography that matters. Had his child’s body not been photographed and crystallized the horror of this event, the RWNM would have no interest in him at all. But because his baby is the icon, he must be destroyed and his child’s body weaponized, first against him, an ultimately against all the rest of the refugees. That’s the goal of the RWNM narrative. The purpose of the “This scumbag is a parasite” narrative is to apply it to all the rest of the refugees (or “so-called ‘refugees'” as the RWNM is intent on labeling them). And once that narrative is established, the goal is to make everybody who consumes RWNM propaganda a transmission vector for an entire narrative of contempt against a mass of desperate humanity, bent on ignoring the guidance of Pope Francis (aka “Francis the retarded” as one of my readers dubbed him yesterday).
Along with all this, of course, is the resurgence of the “demographic winter” narrative. It’s the Muslim Invasion of Europe and if we let these invaders in, then they will take over! The thought of evangelizing them never enters anybody’s head, of course. Only “retarded” Catholics like Francis think that Catholics should share their faith. Real Catholics know that the purpose of the Faith is to hide in a Fortress and curse the darkness, while fingering a dwindling supply of cultural treasures and hoping that somehow a contraceptive western culture of watery secularism will stay afloat. Evangelism is for Protestants.
So the threat is apparently Demographic Winter in Europe if Christians listen to the counsel of the gospel and show compassion to the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to the Right Wing Noise Machine. The desperate tide of humanity must be painted as Muslim invaders, parasites, scam artists, terrorists, and opportunists, seeking to overrun our genetic and culture stocks not as men, women, and children for whom Christ died. Got it. Narrative received.
But then we come to the US, where we are likewise hearing dark rumblings about the foreign invaders. John Zmirak, having labeled the Pope a tax-exempt celibate and a hysteric, indulges in one of the hoariest chestnuts of Know Nothing nativism to inform us that “the U.S. Catholic bishops” who speak about immigration are guilty of “clear conflict of interest.” Why? Because they are just “eager to refill the emptying pews”. So suddenly, the issue is not Demographic Winter at all. When we are told about the dire threat of the Breeding Tide of Muslims washing against our shores, it turns out that “more Christians” isn’t *exactly* what we need. It’s more Christians who aren’t, you know, Latino. In fact, if the orgasmic lovers of Trumpkin ideology are to be believed, we can actually stand to get rid even of American *citizens* who are Christian–by the millions–and there won’t be any harm to our Christian demographics.
How the Right Wing Noise Machine proposes to resolve this massive cognitive dissonance I do not know. But for my part, I pray the Church will listen to Francis and not to the self-styled Real Catholics who call him “retarded” for extending grace, mercy, and love to people for whom Christ died.