Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition

Rick Perlstein

In Pennsylvania last week, a citizen, burly, crew-cut and trembling with rage, went nose to nose with his baffled senator: "One day God's going to stand before you, and he's going to judge you and the rest of your damned cronies up on the Hill. And then you will get your just deserts." He was accusing Arlen Specter of being too kind to President Obama's proposals to make it easier for people to get health insurance.

My response to that would have been, "Don't you dare tell me what your asshole God's gonna do to me for doing something you don't like, you arrogant sonofabitch!"

I wouldn't last long in politics. It's just as well.

So the birthers, the anti-tax tea-partiers, the town hall hecklers -- these are "either" the genuine grass roots or evil conspirators staging scenes for YouTube? The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk of carrying a pistol around a president -- too heartfelt to be an act. The lockstep strangeness of the mad lies on the protesters' signs -- too uniform to be spontaneous. They are both. If you don't understand that any moment of genuine political change always produces both, you can't understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.

The orchestration of incivility happens, too, and it is evil. Liberal power of all sorts induces an organic and crazy-making panic in a considerable number of Americans, while people with no particular susceptibility to existential terror -- powerful elites -- find reason to stoke and exploit that fear. And even the most ideologically fair-minded national media will always be agents of cosmopolitanism: something provincials fear as an outside elite intent on forcing different values down their throats.

There is something to be said for 'forcing different values down their throats'. The 'tards ain't gonna get 'em any other way. When I was a kid, I got cod liver oil 'forced down my throat' a few times. I damn sure didn't like it, but I was the better for it.

I'd rather force a little common sense, wrapped around a phone pole, up the wingtards' asses, but that's just me. Ya can't fix stupid.

The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills -- the one hysterics turned into the "death panel" canard -- is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of "complaints over the provision."

Good thing our leaders weren't so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill -- because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites.

Yeah, how's that workin' out? Yeesh.

Someone made the point the other day that 'good' Americans don't like being told what to do, but they don't seem to mind being told what to think, if 'think' is even the right word for what they do.

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