There’s nothing new in the phenomenon: an angry conservative republican, generally a middle age, middle class white male, fed up with all the filth, corruption, secular humanism, socialism, or what ever else those people represent these days. No doubt many of them fantasize about a Charles Bronson Death Wish rampage and unfortunately, some of them carry out such fantasies, egged on by plain old crazies with bullhorns.
But most of them just vent their anger by listening to and perhaps calling talk radio, commenting online and by talking it out in their daily lives. But why is this premise so pervasive? It’s certainly not unique to American conservatives. The nazis capitalized on the dolchstoss idea decades ago. It comes up in many internet comment threads as well, put forth by people coming from a vast range of cultures and nationalities, both within and across cultural, ethnic, national and other boundaries.
It’s a powerful feeling and, paradoxically, it can be satisfying. You are not responsible for your current unhappiness with your lot in life. It’s the rotten so-and-sos who are holding you and your country, group, religion, ideology, etc back. You have been acting in good faith and they have been nefarious.
But now you see what’s what. And you’re mad. As hell. Not gonna take it anymore. Righteous anger flows through you and your enemies are going to regret doing you wrong. And make no mistake, those people are your enemies. It’s a zero sum game and you must destroy them like the vermin they are. There is no room for compromise or conciliation. They are not really even people in the strictest sense.
We’ve been seeing more and more of this lately. Get ready: we’re going to see a lot more of it in the coming months and years. Some of it will unfortunately be very violent. Other instances won’t be physically violent but will nonetheless try to shut down civic (and civil) discourse and silence anyone who doesn’t agree with the 20%ers. The trick is to not get mad and descend into the mud but, rather, to recognize the tactic for what it is and to carry on rational discourse with those who are of a mind to engage in it.