Great American Hypocrites
Great American Hypocrites
Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics
Crown, Hardcover, 9780307408020, 304pp.
Publication Date: April 15, 2008
A takedown of the GOP’s deceitful propaganda machine from the hugely popular blogger of Salon.com’s Unclaimed Territory and the author of the New York Times bestsellers How Would a Patriot Act? and A Tragic Legacy
Long since Americans were wooed by images of Ronald Reagan astride a horse, complete with cowboy hat and rugged good looks, the Republican Party has used a John Wayne mythology to build up its candidates and win elections. Their marketing scheme of evoking brave, courageous, heroic warriors has been so persuasive and strikes such a patriotic nerve, that many citizens have voted based on this manipulative imagery even when they’ve flat out disagreed with the GOP’s positions on key issues.
Glenn Greenwald puts this bogus GOP mythology under microscopic critique and successfully argues that none of these men is, in fact, a brave, strong moral warrior—far from it. Rather, most have dodged military duty, have strings of broken marriages and affairs, and live decadent, elitist lives, which they so ruthlessly condemn Democrats for doing. Such false archetypes—that GOP leaders are exclusively ﬁt to command the military, represent traditional family values, and are fiscally restrained and responsible because they’re just regular folk like us—are so firmly entrenched in our culture as to allow the GOP to sit back and let their time-tested marketing ploy spin itself silly while avoiding debate on real issues. When they actually do voice opinions, it’s nothing more than a smear campaign of the supposed weakness and elitism of the Democrats.
To prevent this tired marketing scheme from succeeding again, Greenwald takes off the gloves and knocks down the hoaxes and myths, exposing the tactics the right-wing machine uses to drown out both reality and consideration of real issues. But he also calls on Democrats to shake off the defensive posture (“We love America too,” “We support the troops too,” “We also believe in God”) and start attacking the Republican candidates for the hypocrites they, in truth, are.
The ﬁrst book to dissect the Republican Cult of Personality and leave it openly exposed in its unabashed, shameful depravity, Great American Hypocrites is a deeply necessary call-out to Democrats to attack the GOP with their competitor’s very own weapons.
Ever since the cowboy image of Ronald Reagan was sold to Americans, the Republican Party has used the same John Wayne imagery to support its candidates and take elections. We all know how they govern, but
the right-wing propaganda machine is very adept at hijacking debate
and marketing their candidates as effectively as the Marlboro Man.
Myth: The Republican nominee is an upstanding, regular guy who shares the values of the common man.
Reality: He divorced his first wife in order to marry a young multimillionaire heiress whose family then funded his political career.
Myth: Republicans are brave and courageous.
Reality: It’s a party filled with chicken hawks and draft dodgers.
Myth: Republicans are strong on defense and will keep us safe.
Reality: They prey on fears, and their endless wars make America far less secure.
Myth: The Republicans are the party of fiscal restraint and small, limited
Reality: Soaring deficits, unchecked presidential power, and an increasingly invasive surveillance state are par for their course.
"The best book I've read on how the media works since Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. . . .If you want to understand how politics and the media work today, how the Republican party has betrayed the principles it purports to defend, and how opinion is manipulated by appeals to fear, prejudice, and other irrational emotions, Great American Hypocrites is indispensable.
"You won't be able to put it down, and you'll never read the paper or watch the news the same way after."
“Those who ignore what Greenwald has to say act at our collective peril.”
—John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and author of Conservatives Without Conscience
“There are few patriots on Capitol Hill. You can count them on your hand. . . . Glenn Greenwald, constitutional lawyer, is one such patriot.”
“One of the smartest and most important new voices to emerge in politics in years.”
—Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily Kos and coauthor of Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
"Glenn Greenwald has done it again. He’s about to release another great book. . . . From the myth that John Wayne was a great American hero (he was a WWII draft dodger), to how the media perpetuates false images of right-wingers (so much for the “liberal media”) . . . to the falsehood that Republicans bring us smaller government, Glenn lays it out beautifully."
"I rely on Glenn Greenwald, above all, for understanding the assaults by this administration on the Constitution, and for pointing the way toward regaining a republic. There's no one whose work has impressed me more."
"This book is written with such vicious joy that it is just really fun to read....I'm always amazed by the clarity of [Greenwald's] writing and his ability to indict the conservative mindset with well-articulated factual patterns."
—Matt Stoller, Open Left
"The peerless Glenn Greenwald."
"One of the best political commentators out there . . .Unlike most other bloggers, Greenwald practices journalism . . . Few others are better than Greenwald at sussing out the accidental propaganda inflicted on us by the mainstream press"
—The Village Voice
"Perhaps the most influential civil-liberties writer on the Web"
—The American Prospect
"Among the most intelligent and widely read practitioners of blogging"