Monday, April 9, 2012

Found This Interesting


The right-wing need for affirmation, reassurance, is something that fascinates me in particular.  In every family you'll find 'that one'.  There's almost certainly one in your family, Zeus knows that there are several in mine.  The person whose total disagreement with you on every political point might be perfectly tolerable except for their insistence on asserting their hateful claptrap on little or no pretense.  It could be something like saying the word 'cat' just like that Muslim socialist did in a speech last week.  I've come to realize in the past few days that; however obvious it may be to the groaning relatives that nothing but an ugly fight can come out of their actions, it isn't necessarily the fight that they are so aggressively seeking out, at least not primarily.  Rather these people are agreement junkies who are seeking out their next fix from whatever person they have the slightest vanishing hope of getting it from.  Bigots and right-wing authoritarians are largely defined by a knee jerk phobia towards 'strangeness' and need to be reassured of their own normality. 

In as much as they are deliberately seeking a fight, it is only methadone.  If they cannot get agreement from anyone around the table they will grudgingly settle for showing off the superior intensity, certainty, and willingness to fight for their own position.  If they cannot be assured by another that they are right; then at least they can assure themselves that a tendency towards severe, punitive, or exclusionary conclusions is a sign of superior courage; that tolerance is never chosen out of any sincere innate desire but only out of cowardice. 

And of course it's a hopeless catch 22 for every non-asshole to the table.  You can only either take the bait and contribute to the problem of turkey going uneaten and whiskey going undrunk, or you ignore the bloviator; confirming in their eyes that they and they alone are man enough to fight for what they believe.

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