fear and loathing and michael savage
The radio was already tuned to WABC, the dial set there on my ride home from work where Sean Hannity usually keeps me entertained. So when I got in the car early last evening for a trip to the Dairy Barn (the only store I can go to wearing blue shorts, a green shirt and no bra), I was stunned by the squawking that came out of my radio. For a brief second, I was sure that my nightmares had come true and Crazy Eddie was back.
No, it was just Michael Savage.
I had never heard Savage before. I've made an effort to avoid him at all costs, knowing what I know about him. I long ago stopped listening to or reading things just for the perverse pleasure of making my blood pressure rise so I can then launch into an expletive filled tirade.
I slipped. I usually turn the radio back to FM, back to K-Rock (hey, it's all we have) before I turn the car off. I'd rather be unpleasantly suprised by some crap pop punk than by a gravelly, irritating voice presenting me with a warped view of the world. I don't know what happened yesterday that I forgot.
So there I was, mismatched clothes, braless, already frazzled from the usual events of the day when Michael Savage's voice attacked me.
He was going on about cultures. How, when people come to the U.S. from other countries, they should be told to leave their cultures at the door. For instance, Savage thinks that Muslim-American women should not be allowed to wear face coverings in America. Because, you know, there might be a terrorist man under that veil, pretending to be a woman.
While Savage himself doesn't frighten me - he is just one man - the fact that he has an audience does. There are people out there who think like him, who preach like him, who call him and praise him. It's a cult of hatred that exists only on the fringes of continually blurring political line in America.
What side the voice comes from doesn't matter. Whether it's Savage or Moore doesn't matter. What matters is the rapid speed at which the two screeching trains of hatred are headed towards each other. With each passenger either side gains, their volume is louder, their movements are swifter, their reach extends.
What happens when these two amped-up entities meet head on? Are we coming to that point where they will be the vocal majorities, where America will be nothing but a steel cage match between two cults of extremism and hatred?
When the most hanging-on-the-edge-of-an-extreme people are the only ones being given a huge forum, when they are the only ones to have their voices heard across the nation, do they smother the voices of the smaller groups who are striving for something better, something less acidic?
This is why Michael Savage scares me. Not because he is nothing but a ball of hate and ego; there are many just like him that don't get any attention paid to them. I fear him in the same way I fear Michael Moore, in that they are the conducters of two very disparate, speeding trains that are going to run those of us standing in the middle of the tracks down. And there will be nothing left but them.