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opinion

The Decoupling of Reality on the Right

Between the birthers, deathers and the general right-wing lunacy on show in the US, I think David M. Green picks up a few important threads that we’ve seen:

Can we really live in a country populated by so many fools, people who can so readily, proudly and belligerently be made into tools of their own destruction? Can the greatest political, economic, cultural and military power on the world’s stage possibly be so incredibly backward at its core?

This is what I don’t get: where have all these … nutjobs come from? What makes these people, who ostensibly have some education, behave in such an irrational manner, especially over a topic as apparently uncontroversial as health care?

[W]hat seems to me new about this moment is the political road rage, the thuggishness of masses of Americans who not only are venting about insane nonsense, not only are undermining their own interests acting as marionettes of laughing corporate predators, and not only are taking down democracy around themselves in order to do so, but are in fact also destroying the entire Enlightenment project of rationality-based management of public affairs as well. The single most frightening characteristic of this movement, to my mind, is that fact that no amount of evidence or logic could persuade these folks to abandon the lies they’ve attached themselves to[.]

It’s certainly astonishing to me that these people are arguing against a government service. Virtually everywhere else in the world, government services are considered good, exemplary even. You pay taxes, and in return the government provides services. Sure, commercial entities might be able to do the same deal, but at least you know with the government they’re not looking to make a buck out of it.

But I think the point being made above is that some time in the last 40 years, logic disappeared from the public sphere. It’s as though the last generation to witness truly involved war refused to educate their children about some basic things about respect for others and their views; that or some were taught too well and ended up on the left side of the nominal fence, while those who didn’t pay attention to lessons about humility and the importance of reason ended up on the right side. That or these people truly are pawns of a vaster conspiracy.

Anywho, go read the whole article before I repeat it word for word.