18. August 2009 · Comments Off on The Politics of Fear · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Politics, Tea Time

Still – like da Blogfaddah – tracking the fall-out from the raucous and rancorous town-hall meetings about Obama-care. It kind of restores ones faith in the general good sense of the mostly-silent middle, knowing that not everyone is paying more attention to American Idol or whatever the current mainstream TV fixation is. Not everyone drank deep of the hopey-changy kool-aid last November, or listened to the siren-voices of our legacy media, who were mostly on their knees with their eyes fixed adoringly on the One. My faith in that old saw about fooling some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not being able to fool all the people all the time is somewhat restored. Yes, indeedy – people are paying attention, getting involved in political matters and speaking up, just as we were always told to do by our high school civics teachers, and the plummy-voiced media plutocrats at NPR.

Except that what ordinary here-to-fore-uninvolved people are saying isn’t what the Administration and it’s acolytes wanted to hear, and good lord – are they screeching about that! Nazis and KKKers and haters, oh my! Nancy Pelosi looks like she bit into a breakfast taco and discovered half a cockroach in it, and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership aren’t looking any happier. Henry Waxman looks about to die of dyspepsia … say, does he sleep during the day in a sealed coffin half-filled with Transylvanian soil? Just asking – even when he smiles, he still gives me the creeps.

And the legacy media piling on, along with the leftish or Kossack side of the blogosphere, all screeching together like a chorus of howler monkeys: all those rude and inappropriately-dressed people showing up, asking disconcerting questions and getting in the face of those poor, well-intentioned overworked, innocent representatives who are selflessly only doing their best, and are too busy with their exhausting schedule to actually read the damned legislation. Of course, all those pushy people just must be racists, and organized by the health insurance companies, or the Republican Party, or Fox news, they just must be repeating the lies that Rush Limbaugh told them … really, it infuriating but mostly sad to read much of this, and to also know that the people saying it will in the next breath be congratulating themselves on being so intelligent, independent, perceptive and non-judgmental.

Like J.Lawson, who commended on my last post – and I have also tried to disabuse certain of our internet acquaintances of this kind of delusion, but to no avail. There’s this hysterical insistence that what they say must be so, and after a certain point one just kind of gives up. It’s almost as if they are angry, too angry to be reasoned with. After thinking it over a little more, and digesting comments on blogs like Belmont Club and Neo-Necon, I am thinking that a lot of this anger can be chalked up to fear.

Fear of having been made a fool of, fear of having anchored yourself with chains to a doomed piece of legislation, and to a hollow man in a good suit, fear of embarrassment at having to admit that you made a mistake, and even a good chunk of embarrassment at being outflanked by thousands of ordinary citizens using your own tactics against you. There is also fear of being made to apologize to people you have insulted and demeaned, or of having the dirty tricks you used against others being used against you and yours. And what might be the biggest fear of all, with elected officials and the legacy media who do their bidding, especially when it touches on the Tea Parties: that there is no real leader, that the Tea Party is some huge political amoeba, moving at its own pace and in it’s own time. Imagine that – no leader, to be isolated and cut down with ridicule, no central authority to be corrupted or interdicted. There is no one person or power with a collar and a choke-chain exerting control, as if anyone could control a swarm of bees! While some of us made a hobby out of being local gadflies on some issue or other, most Tea Party volunteers weren’t on anyone’s political radar – so here is this large group of people who came out of apparently nowhere, controlled by no one, and accountable only to our own conscience and set of beliefs. That has got to be as scary as hell to politicians and the commentariat who love them.

Myself, I’m having two scoops of schaudenfreude, with a sprinkling of toasted almonds, some whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top.

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