Thursday, September 16, 2010

Liberal "crazies"

(Hofstadter pointed out that the left is certainly not free of this mind-set, and so Dick Cheney and Halliburton have often served as the designated superhumanly competent malefactors for the other side, as in the 9/11 "Truth" movement.)

[. . .]

Is it any wonder, then, that a growing number of Americans insist on believing that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim? This fantasy is the last piece needed to make an imaginary international Islamic conspiracy fit the formula for political paranoia laid out by Hofstadter 46 years ago. (Laura Miller, “The paranoid style in American punditry,” Salon, 15 Sept. 2010)

liberal crazies

The thing to be careful of is equating the crackpots--the "extremes" on both the right and the left. If they're on the right, they are those of such psychic fragility that they cannot stand when society changes or grows too much, so when it does they cannot but come untethered. If they're on the left, then they're those of such psychic healthiness that they can see that the next period of American political life will largely be about coating ongoing economic disparities and war in a way Obama-liberals can well live with, feel right about; and are hardly in the mood to cooperate with this evil. Both will scream and screech, only one will register madness, while the other, fair alarm; but to Obama-liberals they'll both neatly be grouped within the same arising wave of loonies-emerging.

Also, if you're a liberal who is coming to understand that s/he is going to be of the ones who'll actually prosper under Obama, one who still gets, is in sync with, his "style," his age, then its pretty easy for you to remain becalmed and rational. What emotional agitation you do feel can safely be expressed, manifested through the rest of us, so you don't have to be at all troubled by it.

Link: The paranoid style in American punditry (Salon)

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