Freepers say really nasty things. So do the denizens of LGF, Powerline, and a host of other rightwing venues.

And it can be important to know what exactly it is that these folks believe, even if it disgusts us.

But this

Worries me. I got about halfway through the Freeper Report, and the only thing i felt was afraid.

Remember this is The Base, the hardcore 30% Bush-stroking voters that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman cherish, court and depend on for their victories. Welcome to Bush’s America.

What exactly, are we doing with this information? What happens once we know that these people think this way? The work of the SPLC, for instance, is not just the collection of hateful messages, but the analysis of the groups that produce them, legal work to determine if sanctions are available, and advocacy to foster a better enviroment.

Look, I know it’s scary. And there’s a certain trainwreck appeal to simply watching the horrors of the hateful right. But I’m asking myself more and more about what it is exactly that I feel when I read these things, and what it is that I plan to do about it in reponse. For now, I think I’m on hiatus from reading such things.