We live in a culture where getting on television makes you a celebrity, and being a celebrity makes you an expert. Joe the Plumber has stretched his fifteen minutes of fame into a political campaign. Apparently, speaking on Youtube has prepared Joe the Plumber to run for Congress. Last Friday he made the statement quoted above, saying we should put a fence across the entire border of Mexico and start shooting at the immigrants who try to get across. According to this article, at the same event, another Republican candidate pointed a gun at a reporter. And, of course, what rally would be complete without an expert on Obama’s fraudulent birth certificate?
This plunge into political insanity by the fringes of the Republican right may be good for the careers of comedians like Jon Stewart, but it is hard to imagine how democracy can long endure such barbarism. In the light of recent shootings, such gun waving seems incredibly inappropriate. If you want to know what coversations in terrorist camps sound like, just translate this kind of rhetoric into an another language and imagine we are on the other side of the fence.