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Constituency of Rage: Strange gods, 'realishness,' and the rise of the Hysterical Right


Constituency of Rage: Strange gods, 'realishness,' and the rise of the Hysterical Right

Nicoll, Peter-James (2013) Constituency of Rage: Strange gods, 'realishness,' and the rise of the Hysterical Right. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Nicoll_MA_S2013.pdf - Accepted Version


The advent of the Tea Party movement shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama signaled the beginning of the Republican Party’s rapid shift to the far right. By exploiting the Tea Party as a ‘constituency of rage,’ and anti-Obama sentiment in general, the Republicans undertook a deliberate project of legislative obstruction for purely political and ideological reasons, resulting in an unprecedented gridlock in Congress. That a major political party should undergo such a dramatic and far-reaching change in only four years is remarkable. Meanwhile, a certain collective hysteria became more and more evident on the Right, together with a rejection of facts, science, and even reality. This paper establishes a conceptual model and an accompanying social mechanics to provide a new critical perspective through which such changes can be analyzed and understood. This model uses an extended relativistic physics analogy of ‘sociopolitical spacetime’ in order to unify hysteria with the influence of ‘strange gods’ in the political media (such as Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh), the convergence of which creates ‘warps’ in which Tea Partiers and Republicans experience a collective phenomenon of ‘realishness’—the ontological and phenomenological analogue to Stephen Colbert’s ‘truthiness.’ Finally, I provide my own assessment of the state of right-wing politics in the Obama era, and what this suggests for the future of social conservatism in the twenty-first century.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Nicoll, Peter-James
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:30 April 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Best, Beverley
ID Code:977205
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 16:31
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44
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