I was driving home from work tonight and wound up following behind a guy on the freeway in a late model Jeep Grand Cherokee. I'm a Jeep driver myself and always notice the darn things. Anyway, this guy had a sticker on the back of his car that said "I'll Keep My Guns, Money and Liberty. You Can Keep the Change."
Well, this drove me into a state, I can tell you.
There is so much wrong with that set of thoughts: it is completely we-they, it is completely about the big ME who owned that nice buggy, it posits so many false-hoods about the man it impugns by implication, it betrays a complete surrender to lies and bigotry, and, well, who knows what else. I had to see what kind of self-absorbed, delusional dorf was driving.
I pulled around into the lane to Dorf's right and came up alongside to peer in. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was this nice looking older couple, he in a plaid short sleeved shirt, she with nicely done hair and a yellow sweater. Maybe they were coming back from their boat or the golf course or an afternoon with friends. Who knows. They weren't poor, they weren't threatened and they weren't in jeopardy of losing anything of value as far as I could see.
What occurred to me next was that nice, reasonable, polite people a few years ago would never have expressed such wildly unreasonable sentiments on their car's butt. However, we now live in a time in which crazy has become normal, that "polite" has been shoved into a corner as "political correctness", and the ME generation of the 80's has matured into the ME-or-else generation of the 2010's.
There is probably a long treatise to be written about how nice people became this venal, this captured by lies, this frightened, this mean, and so vulnerable to putting us under the rule of true authoritarians to protect them against their little exaggerated fears.
When did such a large segment of Americans become so scared, and why were they so vulnerable to the fear-mongers?
I thought for a moment, these people need something real to fear, like getting sideswiped at 80 miles per hour by an enraged Progressive only slightly younger than themselves in a slightly newer Jeep Grand Cherokee.
But the moment passed and then I just watched them recede in my rearview mirror, going just the speed limit in the left lane of a four-lane interstate, paid for with taxpayer money, with a line of cars piling up behind them, as they drove home from the taxpayer-supplied marina where they moored their boat, or from the taxpayer-supported golf course in the nearby recreational park, buckled up safe-and-sound in the crash-protected car brought to them by government regulation.
And I pitied them just as I loathed them. Focused on ME in a world full of US.
They believe in lies and want a fascist dictatorship to keep their little world in status quo.
Right up until they pass into the care of the state under Medicare or Medicaid.
7:28 PM PT: Oh my, Rec list! First time! Humble thanks, gentle readers. Gratifying to know there are kindred souls in the neighborhood.