A new poll showing that more than four in ten registered Republican voters believe an "armed revolution" may be necessary in the next few years echoes rhetoric employed by Fox News personalities.
The poll, released on May 1 by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, found that 29 percent of Americans, including 44 percent of Republicans, agreed with the statement, "In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties." From Talking Points Memo:
The survey, aimed at measuring public attitudes toward gun issues, found that 29 percent of Americans agree with the statement, "In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties." An additional five percent were unsure.
Eighteen percent of Democrats said an armed revolt "might be necessary," as compared to 27 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans. Support levels were similar among males and females but higher among less educated voters.
The belief that armed rebellion may be necessary is reminiscent of rhetoric heard from Fox figures, who have agitated for and invoked revolution over President Obama and his administration's policies.
Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow told a Tea Party rally that they're like "slaves" who have become "enslaved by the notion of ever-increasing taxes," health care reform, and gun laws. Ablow told the crowd that those grievances "can't stand, because slaves always revolt."
Ablow spoke at an April 13 Tax Day Tea Party Rally in Boston. In a video of the speech posted to YouTube, Ablow, who was billed as a "FOX NEWS expert on psychiatry," attacked President Obama as someone who is psychologically damaged because he was "abandoned" as a child (a frequent critique by Ablow).
Near the end of his remarks, Ablow invoked slavery:
ABLOW: Dependency on anything, a drug or the government, does not last. It can't last because deep in our souls, we know that only independence works. Not far from here, my mentor, Ted Nadelson, once told me, "You know, the thing with slaves is you can't keep them, they always revolt." And that's what's going to happen here. Enslaved by the notion of ever-increasing taxes; told that we can't spend our money, even the money we do take home, the way we want to; told that adulthood starts at 25 [a reference to the Affordable Care Act allowing dependents to stay insured until age 26], if ever; told that nobody really should be able to hold a firearm and know that he can, or she, can defend his family or her family, if push comes to shove. That can't stand, because slaves always revolt.
Ablow has a long history of launching incendiary attacks against progressives and dispensing "pop-psychology nonsense" as a member of Fox's purported "Medical A-Team." Ablow once blamed the rise of conspiracies about President Obama's birth certificate on Obama supposedly "sever[ing] himself from all core emotion." Following the 2012 vice presidential debate, Ablow claimed that Vice President Joe Biden may be suffering from dementia. And Ablow regularly launches anti-LGBT attacks that, in the words of an American Psychiatric Association fellow, "have little basis in current clinical practices."
Fox News is trying to shift the national conversation on public safety laws, pointing to recent mass shootings to question the effectiveness of expanding background checks on gun purchases. But Fox's criticism ignores several other mass shootings committed by people who bought weapons without undergoing background checks, as well as the significant gun violence that experts say background checks will prevent.
On Thursday, the Senate defeated a Republican filibuster threat against tougher gun laws on a vote of 68-31. The vote cleared the way for a full debate on gun safety measures, including expanded background checks, next week.
In response, Fox News ran a segment premised on the idea that background checks are largely unnecessary because they would not have prevented Adam Lanza and other recent mass shooters from acquiring the guns they used.
In fact, the loophole in federal law that allows prohibited persons to buy firearms without undergoing a background check has resulted in mass shootings. In October 2012, a shooting at a Wisconsin spa left three dead and four wounded. The Associated Press reported that the alleged shooter purchased a handgun from a private seller without a background check, and obtained the weapon two days after becoming the subject of a restraining order that required him to turn over all weapons to a county sheriff.
Other mass shootings in which shooters obtained their weapons from private individuals rather than licensed firearm dealers include the September 2011 shooting at a Nevada IHOP, which left 4 dead and 7 wounded, and the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, which left 13 dead and 21 wounded.
Moreover, this criticism misses the point; while background checks will not prevent all gun violence, they will prevent a significant amount.
Fox News psychiatrist Keith Ablow erroneously claimed that recently enacted state legislation failed to address firearm access for individuals with mental health problems who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others. Ablow also fearmongered that proponents of gun violence prevention legislation would like to "disarm the whole population."
In fact, legislative packages enacted in New York and Connecticut specifically address mental health and the U.S. Senate gun violence prevention legislative package has a provision to improve records of individuals with mental health problems who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others. Furthermore, no state proposals involve disarming gun owners; instead new state-level gun laws have included bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as expanded background checks.
During the April 5 edition of America's Newsroom on Fox News, Ablow seriously mischaracterized gun violence prevention legislation when he told host Bill Hemmer that recently enacted gun violence prevention packages did not address mental health:
HEMMER: Whether it's Colorado, whether it's the push for gun laws in New York or Connecticut that we saw this week, with Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, or the national gun push that we're seeing. Is there anything in those laws that would prevent a future [James] Holmes or Adam Lanza when it comes to mental health that you see?
ABLOW: So let me be exactly clear. Zero. Zero. Our shattered shoddy slipshod mental health care system is the thing that needs attention. The folks who are piggybacking on these tragedies and saying it's guns are simply exercising a political agenda getting nothing done.
Ablow - who heavily criticized the alleged failure of Holmes' psychiatrist to notify the proper authorities of her patient's dangerousness - is wrong.
From the March 13 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
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From the March 6 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
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Fox News psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow attacked President Obama's State of the Union address as the "psychological projection of an abandoned boy's vision" and claimed Obama has a message of distrusting initiative that is "remarkably toxic" to young people's "psychological well-being."
In a February 13 FoxNews.com op-ed, Ablow continued his campaign of attacking Obama's policy proposals by highlighting his non-traditional upbringing. Ablow claimed Obama's State of the Union address was "psychologically predictable" because he was "abandoned as a boy by his father, and then his mother." He also attacked Obama's policy proposals on stronger gun laws and health care, asserting his core message was toxic to the "psychological well-being" of young Americans:
The president is psychologically predictable. He does not surprise. Having been abandoned as a boy by his father, and then his mother, only to then learn that his grandmother feared people of his race, he seems inherently to distrust individual initiative and intention and to place his trust only in the collective--i.e. the state. What benefits a burgeoning central authority is good for all. When a child's guardians keep letting him down in profound ways, that child can grow up to want a lot of power himself and distrust the idea of giving anyone else very much.
Many millions of young Americans listened to Barack Obama on Tuesday night, as they have listened to his core message for nearly five long years. And his message has remained remarkably consistent and remarkably toxic to their psychological well-being: Do not rely on yourself. Entitlement Nation will parent you, until you forget about growing up, period. Stay on your parents' health insurance, even if you are 18 and in great health and would rather -- wisely or not -- use that money to start an Internet company in your basement. It's okay to blame rich people if you can't earn money.
Welcome to the psychological projection of an abandoned boy's vision of how much you can rely on other individuals and on yourself. The less, the better. When your mother and father take off on you as a kid, when your white grandmother seems to fear people of color, you probably figure putting any trust in individuals is crazy.
Fox News contributor Keith Ablow has reportedly told Boston's FOX 25 that he will not run for Secretary of State John Kerry's former U.S. Senate seat and will back the candidacy of Republican State Rep. Dan Winslow. Ablow reportedly gave the station the following statement:
"As I made clear, with the sprint to the Special Election in June, a primary fight was not in my blood. I have conferred with my chief advisor Roger Stone, who agreed with my assessment of a primary as an unwise choice for me. I am, therefore, very excited to lend my full support to Dan Winslow in the 2013 race for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. Dan is a man of great intellect, creativity and compassion. I will join Dan's Exploratory Committee and work hard on his behalf.
Ablow previously claimed he would be open to "seriously" considering a run if neither former Sen. Scott Brown nor former Gov. William Weld sought the seat. When both decided not to run, Ablow then claimed he would run "If all the leaders of the Party united around me - to preclude a primary."
Since he won't run for office, Ablow can continue to push "pop-psychology nonsense" on Fox News. Ablow, a member of Fox's "Medical A-Team," has drawn widespread criticism and mockery for his Fox News analysis. Ablow once blamed the rise of birthers on President Barack Obama supposedly "sever[ing] himself from all core emotion." He claimed that Vice President Joe Biden may be suffering from dementia. And Ablow regularly launches anti-LGBT attacks that, in the words of an American Psychiatric Association fellow, "have little basis in current clinical practices."
In recent years several Republicans have used their Fox News employment to launch bids for office. Fox News host Geraldo Rivera said today that he's "leaning" toward a run for U.S. Senate from New Jersey and will be on the network "until five minutes before" he files.
Fox News contributor Keith Ablow said today in a press release that he "would run" for Massachusetts' U.S. Senate seat if "all the leaders of the [Republican] Party united around me - to preclude a primary ... Such unity looks improbable at this time." Ablow's statement:
"We face an unprecedented assault on the Constitution and our individual liberties. If the Republican Party in Massachusetts and the Republican National Committee ask me to run at this time, and offer their support in that effort, I will run. If they support another candidate, I will work hard to elect that candidate. If that candidate should lose, I will, in all likelihood, again offer to be a candidate for Senate from Massachusetts in 2014, under the same conditions. The Party can't afford to spend precious resources on a divisive primary. If all the leaders of the Party united around me - to preclude a primary, I would run. Such unity looks improbable at this time."
Ablow is one of several Republicans, including most recently Geraldo Rivera, who have attempted to use their Fox News platform as a potential springboard into political office.
From the January 22 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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From the January 17 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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What is it about President Obama's inaugurations that bring out the craziest of the right-wing crazies?
Four years ago, Obama's historic swearing-in sparked months' worth of teeth-chattering paranoia, trumpeted by the conservative media, about how the new Democratic president posed a mortal threat to America and that drastic action might need to be taken.
In 2009, a far-right Newsmax columnist determined that a "military coup "to resolve the 'Obama problem'" was not "unrealistic." That's about the same time Glenn Beck used his then-new program on Fox News to game out bloody scenarios for the coming civil war against the Obama-led tyranny. Note that the armed rebellion rhetoric was uncorked just weeks after Obama's first cabinet had been confirmed.
Now, four years later as Obama's second swearing-in approaches, the same misguided insurrectionist pageantry is back on display. (The fringe John Birch Society is probing the likelihood of "armed resistance" against the government -- "an unlikely prospect, for now at least.") And this time, Adolf Hitler stars in a leading role.
In fact, there's a disturbing collision now underway featuring two signature, conservative paranoid fantasies. One holds that Obama is like Hitler; that he's a tyrant ready to undo democracy at home. The other is that Americans need access to an unregulated supply of assault weapons in order to fight their looming insurrectionist war with the government.
In the last week we've heard more and more conservatives try to tie the two wild tales together: Obama's allegedly pending gun grab will prove he's just like Hitler, which will demonstrate the need for citizens to declare war on the government.
Ignoring nearly 250 years of our democratic history, conservative voices across the media landscape have been nodding their heads in agreement suggesting it's only a matter of time before the United States resembles a tyrannical dictatorship that will be either fascistic or Stalinist in nature (or both, if the rhetorician feels no obligation to historical accuracy).
So much for the notion of American exceptionalism -- "the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history" -- that conservatives love to preach.
Another Fox News contributor is thinking of making a run for office as a Republican.
Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow is reportedly considering running for John Kerry's Massachusetts Senate seat in the event Kerry is confirmed as the next secretary of state. Ablow, who has a long history of making outrageous (often anti-gay) comments, is the latest in a long line of conservatives who have attempted to use their Fox News platform as a springboard into political office.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, Ablow released a statement indicating he would be open to "seriously" considering a senate run if neither Scott Brown nor William Weld run for Kerry's seat:
Ablow, 51, of Newbury, who state records show has supported the campaigns of Republican candidates for office, including Charlie Baker's failed 2010 run for governor, could not immediately be reached for comment this morning, but in a statement said: "The dysfunction in Washington and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut are both signs this country needs help, and, if neither William Weld nor Scott Brown is the candidate to bring that help from Massachusetts to Washington, I will take those who have asked me to run much more seriously.
"It is time, on so many levels, for real leadership based on the truth," he added.
Ablow is a member of the "Fox News Medical A-Team," and a regular columnist for FoxNews.com.
From the November 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the October 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday:
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