It seems like attempts by progressives to engage Right Wing Nut Jobs are so frequently met with disproportionate anger and outright denial (avoidance of facts and reason) that the dynamic reflects a deep weakness within their camp that can be exploited to move the debate forward. I think on some level they know there is a lack of consistency between what they actually believe and what they say they believe because they are paid to do so either directly or indirectly. So when people calmly point out times when their supposed devotion to specific moral values comes and goes depending on who is paying them to say what, their sense of self as good and fair is replaced by a sense of moral compromise. But rather than shore up their moral integrity by decreasing the hypocrisy, they attack the messenger. Yet the cognitive dissonance remains, and builds, until eventually attitude change occurs among all but the most irredeemable.
I think their anger reflects some level of self-awareness that in pursuit of money they have become morally bankrupt tools for people who pursue selfish and antisocial goals for the most privileged among us with little regard to everybody else - that is, they're whoring their moral integrity for pay. That knowledge must undermine their sense that they are good people, deep down, or they wouldn't be so upset when people merely point it out. They may be able to justify some degree of moral compromise to provide for themselves and their families, but that defense isn't sufficient to protect them against the growing self-awareness of evidence that their behaviors and judgments are harmful to others and destructive to the fabric of society.
Does fear of self-awareness fuel their outrage? How can knowing this help us address their volatility, and increase their ability to engage the rest of us? Can the recovery movement teach us anything here about confronting people in denial about their addiction to destructive ways of thinking and behaving?