Sunday, March 21, 2010

Waiting for the Stupid to Get Ugly

The problem with overheated, over-the-top rhetoric is that, by crossing that line, you back yourself into a corner.  Two very bad things happen simultaneously.  First, by reinforcing the extreme beliefs of others, while at the same time they reinforce those same extreme beliefs in your worldview, you can actually override your own ability to see what is true, and what is nothing more than ideological madness.  You can come to believe the most unlikely things are true.  Then, if you promise extreme actions, and exhort others to take extreme actions too, you end up in a position where you'll look like a hypocritical blowhard if you DON'T take extreme action.  Many, perhaps most will sag at the shoulders, thrust out their lower lip and trudge home in defeat.  Some will be unable to overcome both the pressure they placed on themselves and that placed on them by their peers, and they will do something.  Something violent, and destructive, and ugly.  And that's where we are tonight and tomorrow.  Be especially vigilant, and keep your head down to avoid stray rounds.


  1. I'm really hopeful that it's just a sporting event for people, a hobby in which they will jump up and down if their team wins or cry if they lose.

    That's just stupid hope though.

  2. I think it would be reasonable hope if they hadn't gone SO FAR with the extreme framing that leaves the less tightly wrapped ones with no way to climb down.

    Most of that was because this reform bill's provisions are basically what the pre-insane teabagger republicans supported as health insurance reform. They had no basis to reject the basic bill, so they had to make up a bunch of increasingly insane crap, and now they're in the position of having to wear that imaginary horror. If you truly believed this would be the end of american freedom and democracy, the loss of liberty and the ruination of america for all time, you'd HAVE to fight.