Conservatism's Fuel: The 'Stabbed in the Back' Meme...
February 20, 2007
For more than sixty years the American Right has been fueled by a "stabbed in the back" meme. As Kevin Baker wrote,
Every state must have its enemies. Great powers must have especially monstrous foes. Above all, these foes must arise from within, for national pride does not admit that a great nation can be defeated by any outside force. That is why, though its origins are elsewhere, the stab in the back has become the sustaining myth of modern American nationalism. Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.On Sunday, Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns and Money noted current developments in back-stabbing: