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At midnight on election night, my Tea Party-affiliated Aunt texted several of us family members a vitriolic rant, the vehemence of which indicated her shocked outrage that the re-election of the President had occurred.   It continues to be surprising how completely RightWingers live in the bubble yet also live among us, and believe every unsubstantiated thing they hear.

It is a widespread phenomenon that we are all dealing with in every part of the country, with our family, co-workers, or neighbors.  They know us, know that we are progressives and voted for the President, know that we are upstanding, normal people yet still somehow maintain that we support the total destruction of the Republic.  This is a problem.

This is annoying and insulting and socially problematic to say the least.  I can't help noticing that characteristics include many cult-like behaviors such as: over-compliance with a group, avoiding dissent and devaluing outsiders.  Even when those outsiders are people that you know well and have loved your whole life!   It is ironic that they think the same thing about us.  My aunt had sent us a YouTube video on Monday about how Democrats are zombies.  So she is sure that we are the cult members.  Since I regularly read 10-12 different news sites of all different persuasions and several news aggregators, I am fairly certain that this is not the case.  Also, I have demonstrated a practical idealism that is more than willing to listen and debate ideas.

I will brook no nonsense so I can't talk to her or others in this bizarre state of mind right now or God-forbid argue the points.  I will ignore the rants until they subside but will they?   I am at a loss as to how to proceed because I do not understand how this arose.  Since this is happening on a large scale, I can't help thinking that a more organized approach may be needed to nudge this in a functional direction.   It may be patronizing to think of them as cult-like, after all they are educated people with tons of life experience...  so what is going on?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know a Mitt voter who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri

    voted for Obama in 08 and is peeved at me for voting for Obama this time around. Presented me with a number of arguments about how Obama had tried to do various things during his first administration that were unpleasing. I had to point out that Obama had the House with him when he tried those things and hadn't managed to accomplish them. It would be even harder for him now. Doesn't seem to have mollified the situation, though. I can only imagine the reaction from a Tea Partier.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:12:14 AM PST

  •  I suppose it must be upsetting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri, tardis10

    to listen to and believe a bunch of total baloney about how the race is going only to have it turn out that the other side was right all along.

    People just don't like finding out that they were wrong. If anything sometimes it makes them dig in their heels even more. I wouldn't anticipate any immediate changes, but I suppose there may be hope that after they internalize reality for a few months, that some of them might start rethinking things a bit.

  •  Try sending her these two links: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:18:09 AM PST

  •  A Bob Hope clip defining the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri, jabney

    GOP approach to understanding current electoral politics.
    Priceless.
    I'd probably send your aunt this clip,also from 1940, and wish her a very nice day.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:19:12 AM PST

    •  True that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      The horrible part is that she actually was sort of a hippie for a minute and liked Bob Dylan.  I might try some humor and bring that up.  "What happened to you?"  
      However, she believes that she is the clear-eyed one in her perception so you just go round and round.  We should just agree to not speak until all of the things she said would happen don't actually happen.

  •  Think of this as mass psychoanalysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri, seattledoglover, tardis10

    Look, this is not a political phenomenon.  It isn't really a religious phenomenon, although it gets reinforced heavily by religious organizations.  

    Really, this is a deep cultural issue on a psychoanalytic level.  

    Is there such a thing?  Actually Wilhelm Reich, while he was still in Germany and practicing psychiatry more or less in association with Freud, wrote a book in which he studied mass pathology.  Given that this was German in the 1930s he had to flee to the US.  

    A lot of people are going on instinct, because they are afraid of what is going on and can't figure out who to intellectually believe.  I think any of us would find that frightening.  

    The instinct comes from the cognitive dissonance between the media, which is funded and driven by a need to constantly refer to the 1950s as if they had never ended, and truths that people find too shocking to deal with.  A human population of 7 billion that added 3 just since the 1970s and will soon mushroom up to 9 or 10.  That is really driving a lot of the world's trauma.

    Rising gas prices are never explained by the media in any real way.  Always, it is about short term factors, never the overall truth.  The term, "Peak Oil" is very seldom mentioned in the media.  Certainly connecting the dots with huge numbers of new drivers in places like India never happens.

    Climate Change denialism has become a way that a lot of people who are afraid of the world can be comforted.  But no one is probably fooled completely.  Hotter summers.  Record forest fires.  Tornados.  Floods, etc.  What kind of a person cannot see that something is out of whack?  Allowing oneself to think the obvious thought is of course, another thing.

    Because comfort is so precious and the complexity of a world requiring science to explain it is so anxiety producing, a lot of people would rather keep that comfort through being lied to and comforted rather than being asked to face the truth.

    They not only would rather be lied to, they are demanding to be lied to.  The unscrupulous preachers who keep these people in their pews and the unscrupulous politicians who keep these people on their mailing lists are only too happy to meet this demand.  

    It may be hard to impeach the liars because some people really don't want to give up on the comfort they can get, even if it is fraudulent.  

    Can we promote dispensing with the hucksterism that is threatening to ruin the whole nation if we let it?

    We can try.  Most of us come from a long line of people who survived because they were able to face facts honestly and deal with them constructively.  

    That aspect, which is actually conservative, should be our saving grace.  It should be an ethic which we can call on with those who are afraid to let loose of their comfort.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:42:03 AM PST

  •  There is a huge anger on the right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etatauri, tardis10

    They were certain that Romney was going to win...they were told this over and over again by right wing pundits, the media, after the first debate they were certain Romney would win.  It is a shock to realize that they were misinformed.   They are still ranting and are still po'd.

    Wall Street fell hard because the bankers realized they weren't necessarily going to get favorable treatment from regulators..the wealthy are doing some last minute shenanigans to "preserve" their wealth.  

    It wasn't suppose to be this way.  It is..they are in shock.  It will take some time to allow this to sink in and mellow these folks out..but I have hope that they will come around.

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