Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some context for the supposed anti-spending, anti-taxation demonstration yesterday in DC. Key quote (emphases mine):

[Glenn] Beck peddles a message that’s been around since America was born: They’re taking your country away. They—the non-white races, the immigrants, the urbanites, the communists, the elites—are stealing the country from nice, simple white Christians. They’re taking what rightfully belongs to us, to Real Americans.

This basic, gut-level fear of loss, fear of tribal obsolescence and irrelevance, is all the 25%-and-shrinking right has left. It has been overwhelmed by its most paranoid, bigoted elements. Not activists, not online petitioners, but U.S. senators and Republican thought leaders say the president wasn’t born in the U.S.; that he wants to kill old people; that he is not fit to speak to school children. They are banging drums and chanting just outside the campfire circle of rational civic discourse. Their din makes it impossible to think, to plan, to govern. They can not lead, but in their twisted fear they can prevent the rest of us from going anywhere either.

Our civic immune system has grown weak. There are no filters, no longer shared standards of evidence, truth, or decency. The poison courses unhindered through the body. Nothing, no matter how factually insane or morally repugnant, can be repelled.

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