October 1, 2016

YOUR FIRST ERROR WAS DEFENDING THE TEA PARTY:

WE TRACED THE DEMAGOGUERY, IT'S COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE (Gabriel Rossman, 10/01/2016, American Scene)

One of my favorite novels is Neal Stephenson's Anathem. It's a hard sci-fi novel based on the premise that scientists live in monasteries cloistered off from the rest of society. People outside the monasteries have attitudes and beliefs about them that the science-monks resent and consider ridiculous. Over the course of the novel our protagonist, one of the science-monks gradually comes to learn that the hazy and confused notions people outside the monasteries had about them were grounded in a kernel of truth about the science-monks doing some pretty scary things to reality and memory.

This is a bit like being a conservative in 2016. For years we've been subject to libsplaining about right-wing authoritarian personalities and dog whistles to racism and our entirely sincere reaction was "that's ridiculous." For instance, when the Tea Party was in full swing, it was a really common thing to call it racist. (A Google search for "tea party racist" just gave me 1,070,000 hits). And the conservative response is what are you talking about, this is a small government movement and sure they have an unfortunate penchant for revolutionary war cosplay, PAC scams, and primarying anybody who doesn't threaten a government shutdown over a bill to repeal the New Deal, but their hearts are in the right place, and have you heard how they clean up trash after their rallies?

And then Trump happens. 

Posted by at October 1, 2016 6:10 PM

  

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