06/07/2006 06:22 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

All-American Hate Speech

Let's believe her. When she says she's a patriotic American and that
she typifies patriotic Americans, let's agee that she does. American
history is filled with people who have used hateful words to enrich
themselves and to destroy others who were quite often weaker or more
vulnerable than themselves. On every middle school playground in
America, right now, some bully is tormenting some other, weaker child
out of the sight of the adults, and some of the other children are
egging him on, and still other children are watching from the
sidelines. It's as American as apple pie. As she demonstrates with the
filth she spews out of her mouth and her pen, Americans aren't nice or
decent people, and conservative, overtly patriotic Americans are even
less decent and less nice. They do harm, and they like to do harm, just
as she likes to do harm, and they even expect to profit from the harm
they do. At the very least, they expect to get a laugh. That's been her
defense all along--she's just making jokes and liberals don't get the
jokes. But there are other motivations: Maybe her real motivation is
making a buck, and obviously, making a hateful buck is easy, because
it's the all-American thing to do--look at Father Coughlin or Jerry
Falwell or Pat Robertson. The number of bucks she's making is an index
of how hate-filled and indecent Americans are--not fake Americans, but
real Americans. If real Amerrtican didn't have her on their shows and
buy her books, then they would have nothing to be ashamed of, but they
do, and they have.

Or maybe she was just not reared properly. If I were to laugh at her
"jokes" or buy her book, I would be ashamed of myself, but if I were
her parent, I would really be ashamed of myself. I would say, is it
nurture? Did I just not teach her how to be a good person? Or is it
nature? Is there just some inherited flaw of temperament that she got
from my family or her father's family that shows that we shouldn't have
had children in the first place? Because clearly, she is bringing
world-class embarrassment to me as a mother, and I would want to hide
the fact that she is my daughter. If I were, for some reason, to take
any pride in her "success" as a purveyor of hate, well, then there it
would be--prima facie evidence that I, too, am an indecent and hateful

She looks crazy and frantic, even in the few pictures I've seen of
her online. She's losing weight, as if there's some kind of underlying
pathology going on, as if she's eating herself up from inside. Fear and
hatred and paranoia do take their toll, and if this is her problem, I
would normally be sympathetic, and see her utterances as a cry for
help, but then we are faced with the enabling problem--members of the
mainstream culture must be enabling her for some reason of their own,
and so we get back to the first principle--Americans, true patriotic
red, white, and blue Americans like hate. They feel comfortable with it
and always have. Over the years, they've hated the Irish, the Italians,
black people, foreigners of all kinds, Catholics, Chinese workers on
the railroad, Jews, Hispanics, gays, fans of the White Sox--the list is
as long as your arm. And, of course, it makes any decent American
uncomfortable, but "real" Americans are beyond shame--they are so
ignorant and poorly brought up and fearful and pandered to by haters in
the media that they don't even hear themselves disgorging sewage from
their mouths, they don't see the ignorant, vicious looks on their
faces, they don't hear the stupidity of their own laughter.

Every time she opens her mouth, she poses a test, and every customer
who buys her book fails that test. Every show that puts her on the
airwaves fails, too. She's not the only one--there are others on radio
and TV who pose the same test, but she's the craziest one. The test is
a test of humanity. How low can you go? What sort of vileness it is
that you enjoy? How base are your motives? How little shame do you
have? And what does that say about America?