First, let me first comment on the photo chosen of Alison, suggesting the Wicked Witch of the Right. This is visual propaganda. I’ve known Alison for many years and never seen such an unfriendly expression.
Other comments have covered the ground well, including Henry Norr’s link to my Counterpunch article where I already cast my ballot with an exit interview.
But let me just add something about Spencer Sunshine whose attack on Alison, as Russ Greenleaf observes, seems to have provided a template for the JVP allegations. Eugene had its own encounter recently with Sunshine, who is associated with Political Research Associates, a small Massachusetts non-profit that has been criticized for using a “links and ties” guilt-by-association method of “research” (see Jeffrey Kaplan in The Cultic Milieu) and whose alarmist discourse on “paramilitaries” was circulated to incite a brief, hysterical “anti-hate” campaign in our community.
Guilt-by-association is certainly his stock-in-trade. I described his paper as “a confused mishmash employing familiar propaganda imagery and judgmental language to construct an ominous vision of an integrated, sinister, non-governmental force gathering to threaten our civil rights…conflating and discounting about half the US population into an artificially constructed, all-encompassing ‘right-wing’ category…citing no political science research validating the implied correlations between them.”
He uses the very questionable SPLC (www.counterpunch.org/2009/05/15/king-of-the-hate-business) as an information source, an organization that rakes in massive contributions to provide long lists of putatively hateful organizations that feed sales of their “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum to school districts terrorized by fear of lurking local extremists.
Sunshine ignores the natural alliance between people who may differ deeply on some issues but are united in opposition to American militarism and the surveillance/security state (e.g., libertarians and progressives). This discourages citizens from discriminating between a variety of perspectives or looking too closely, behind the media veil or beneath the surface of state policies and propaganda, tendentiously pointing public worries in the wrong direction, away from agencies and policies of US government, lobbies, militarized police, multinational corporations, controlled media, predatory banking, and other sources of institutional oppression.
Sunshine’s hit piece on Alison follows much the same formula. To attract his attention, she must be doing something right.