Monday, April 20, 2009
The Thirty Percent Solution
Some people have told me to calm down. They might be right.
As is obvious to any of the tens of people who come here, some of the dissenters in this country drive me nuts. And, inferences to the contrary, it's not dissent per se, nor, most certainly, is it conservatives as a group. I've written more than once -- even as it has escaped the other-siders -- that I believe in the need for two strong parties. I've wished out loud -- because I wish it were true -- that the Congressional Republicans didn't have their heads so far up their asses. I may not have said it so gently.
The teabaggers bugged me because it seemed clear that much of their rage was based on false premises, and because it was so obviously ginned up by Fox News (sic) and their high-paid RWS™. Many, it seemed, continue to obsess about Obama's country of birth and his past pastor proclivities.
It bugs me that the pater familias of current far-right thought, to whom all bow in obeisance, can say such stupid things as torture "works" because it broke John McCain, overlooking the fact that it made him produce FALSE CONFESSIONS!!!!!; and that, having heard such a stupid thing, no one on the right has the balls to call him on it.
And then I stop and think.
There will always be people who believe in black helicopters, space alien abductions, fake moon landings, FEMA concentration camps. Even as it was undeniable that the economy was tanking, that the war in Iraq had made things worse, that the Constitution was being ignored and we were being lied to about torture, about 30% of people still thought George Bush was a great president. It's simply impossible, given human weakness, to get all people on the same page. For reasons of their own, of which they'll never be aware, nor admit, there will always be people who need to ignore all evidence and to believe, for example, that Earth is six thousand years old. It's human nature. I don't entirely understand it, I don't like it, it makes progress harder, but I have to accept it. None of these ideas is any crazier than that Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, or that he has a secret plan to destroy the US. If I can smile and marvel at the ability of the brains of some humans to construct walls impenetrable by other facts, why should I let the political idiocy get to me any more deeply?
Well, as long as these folks are just among that irreducibly complex number, the thirty-percenters, I guess I should chill a little, even as the loudspeakers blare that Obama is a traitor while a predictable number of heads bob in agreement. Heck, I could get all conspiratorial about the recently-released DHS memo, to which the RWS™ successfully manufactured all sorts of frothy rage, completely and complicitly misapprehending the whole point of it. Yeah, I could see the rightie reaction as an attempt to debunk the concerns, in order to facilitate the recruitment of a couple of sharpshooters, depressed after their fifth Iraq tour, unemployable, suffering from TBI, happy to take out the "traitor" to our nation, after they've heard it repeated over and over, louder and louder, on the teevee. Even if it's only a few people saying it.
But that would make me a thirty-percenter myself, wouldn't it?