I'm sure we all have our right wing relatives and friends who we used to pal around with, even though we both knew that deep down we did not share much of the same views on life. Political debates never got nasty nor did one side enter into a trance where they started reciting strange talking points and ideas you never knew anyone with any sort of education or even just basic humanity would ever say out loud. It's becoming more apparent that as time goes on, the internet has offered so many avenues for self indoctrination that it's taken people on the right and galvanized them into this form that no one, not even their own relatives, could ever recognize. Slavoj Zizek was right. When the left fails, the far right flourishes. I know that there has to be equally batshit right wingers of many varieties in the Nordic countries, in S. Korea, and Switzerland, but the people of those countries seem to have a lid on them somehow, mainly because much of what the left has to offer is successful. Why fix what isn't broken?
I'm saying this because a lot of my friends are radicalizing, and they are in the under 30 crowd. The anti-government religion (and a religion it is, in all of its illogical glory) is strong with them now. This doesn't bode well for the future, especially in a sea of Ron Paul worshipers, who are libertine for social issues, but utterly intractable for anything else. I've had friends who were once Democrats become super religious and are now single issue anti-abortionists and others who admire wealth and aspire to be criminals-in-suits libertarians of the Grover Norquist mold. It also makes talking with them about anything other than puppies and sunshine impossible, especially when they conflate I-pads with health care or start saying that rape is somehow God's gift. They react to accusations that were never levied at them, arguments that no one made, and are incredulous that you don't think amorality is a viewpoint that should be legislated. "Liberals always say that our policies are racist," to which you ask them for a concrete example and they stare at you blankly. There's always a glimmer of human emotion, a splash of human sentiment that tells them that when they say a hospital should let someone die if they cannot pay, something is wrong with their morality. Usually, this dies away once they start going on about some story about an authoritarian figurehead (or God if they happen to be Christian).
To those of you who travel the Right Wing media circuit, and read the articles and comments...is there some mesmerizing quality to them? What could take clearly educated people and make them think that having no co-pays for birth control pills, even if it were just for purely medical purposes, was somehow morally wrong, and that somehow it isn't being used as a political wedge issue? I have a few ideas for why some of my friends have reached out to the right. Life didn't go their way. They're smart, but when push comes to shove they have to depend on parents, academia, or other friends and take wholly different life paths from what they started with. Some had really traumatic personal events like a divorce or death in the family, and then they wholeheartedly jumped into the world of libertarian Jesus, never to look back. I can see how failing to live up to what you were supposed to be would deflate your ego, but I have it worse than most of them, and I didn't give into fear and I most certainly won't accept the Darwinian cruelty of life without a fight.