America’s right wing is a national embarrassment. On any given day, you can find its leaders spouting racism, pretending poverty doesn’t exist, mocking the idea that climate change is a serious problem, or attempting to restrict the fundamental rights of women. Here are some of AlterNet’s most popular and outrageous stories about the right from this year.
No. 1 | Why Americans Are So Ignorant — It's Not Only Fox News; There Are Some Understandable Reasons for It
Sure propaganda, government secrecy and Fox News have a lot to do with it. But there are broader societal pressures as well. "The majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates," writes Lawrence Davidson. "If something non-local happens that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions."
No. 2 | The Most Depressing Discovery About the Brain, Ever
Say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence or reason can provide the tools that people need in order to make good decisions. Marty Kaplan argues, “It turns out that in the public realm, a lack of information isn’t the real problem. The hurdle is how our minds work, no matter how smart we think we are. We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe.”
No. 3 | 10 Most Absurd Sex Tips from the Christian Right
Modern conservatives can’t stop talking about sex. And what they say opens a window into the strange, sexist worldview of patriarchal religion. “Throughout fundamentalist Christianity, one piece of advice rings out above all others, which is that marriage only works if wives submit to their husbands.”
No. 4 | Right-Wing Group Seeks Help Rewriting the Bible Because It's Not Conservative Enough
The King James Bible and more recent translations are veritable primers of progressive agitprop, according to the founder of Conservapedia. Writes AlterNet’s Richard Schiffman, "When Jesus greets his disciples with the blessing, ‘Peace be with you’ (John 20:26), the editors cleverly change the wording to, ‘Peace of mind be with you,’ so that nobody gets the wrong idea and thinks Jesus was some kind of lily-livered pacifist.
No. 5 | Shocking New Evidence Reveals Depths of ‘Treason’ and ‘Treachery’ of Watergate and Iran-Contra
New evidence continues to accumulate showing how Official Washington got key elements of two major presidential scandals of the Nixon and Reagan administrations wrong.
“Newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency,” writes Robert Parry of Consortium News. J. Edgar Hoover’s fingerprints are all over this one.
No. 6 | You Think You Knew Crazy? Think Again. 10 Shockers from the Increasingly Unhinged Right Wing
Nothing shuts down America’s far-right lunatic fringe. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said of Lucifer this year, “He’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”
No. 7 | Right-Wing Is Filled With Biblical Illiterates: They’d Be Shocked by Jesus’ Teachings If They Ever Picked Up a Bible
Jesus wouldn’t have supported food stamps?
No. 8 | 5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History
They’re not just delusional about science! Here’s AlterNet’s Amanda Marcotte relating craziness the Christian Right peddles about the founding fathers: “For people who downright deify our Founding Fathers, the religious right is really hostile to accepting them as they actually were, which is not particularly religious, especially by the standards of their time. But David Barton, a revisionist “historian,” whose name comes up again and again in these kinds of discussions, has spread the belief far and wide in the Christian right that the Founders were, in fact, fundamentalist Christians who are quite like the ones we have today. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirms this, saying that Barton “provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today.”
No. 9 | 10 Outrages and Crazy Statements by Right-Wingers This Week: Pope Provokes Free-Market Freakout
The right freaked out about a compassionate pope and transgendered people and spewed some really bizarre conspiracy theories. Writer Janet Allon shares how Fox Business Channel host Stuart Varney was just stewing about the pontiff’s remarks. “Capitalism, in my opinion, is a liberator,” he lectured Pope Francis from his television pulpit. “The free choice of millions of people is the essence of freedom. In my opinion, society benefits most when people are free to pursue their own self-interest. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it is not.”
No. 10 | Texas Judge Switches Parties, Denouncing GOP as Hate-Mongers Party
The GOP was called out by Judge Carlo Key for having a culture of “pettiness and bigotry.”