The Poor Man calls it the war on reality and I think this Cornyn thing might just be the clearest example of it yet.

What I think we ought to keep in mind here is that it’s not about “liberal professors” and it’s not about “activist judges” any more than it was about “biased media” for these wingnuts. And engaging them sensibly and having an argument that media bias does, in fact, work the other way round, and academic freedom is pretty shiny thing to have, and federal judges are appointed by the president the people elect (kind of, lately only sometimes) so they are, in fact, accountable, is just lending credence to a point they don’t even believe themselves.

It’s about the stamping out of any kind of factual assertion which might in some way impede the viewpoints which are conducive to getting them in power and keeping them there. The point is to have a circus unimpeded by any kind of sense, what’s actually in center ring is almost irrelevent.

Take this intelligent design nonsense, for example. Or the Schiavo case (Google it, the three of you who’ve been under a rock the last two weeks).

You can’t trust doctors, they’re not “independent.” You can’t trust judges, they’re “activist,” they’re making “political decisions.” You can’t trust the word of a man or woman who’s spent a lifetime studying the culture and history of the Middle East, he’s biased.

So you can’t trust the learned, the experts, the people tasked with giving others advice, who can you trust? Well, your gut, of course. And your gut, my gut, everybody’s gut is predisposed to vote for the people who tell you it’s easy to be a citizen of this country, all you have to do is hold on to what you’ve got and not give a flying fuck about anything else. Another country gets in “our” way? Blow the hell out of ’em. Your neighbor’s broke? Ignore that twinge of sympathy and the last stirrings of your mummified conscience. If that bastard’s broke he obviously didn’t work as hard as you, and don’t you be giving him any of what’s rightfully yours. You’re down on your luck? Well, that Arab-looking guy cut you off in traffic the other day, must be his fault, him and all his kind.

There’s an inherent attraction to that kind of thinking. Anger is strength. Protecting yourself and your own feels good. And at the end of the day it means you don’t have to do that much. And all those so-called experts saying that’s not exactly a healthy way to live? Biased, every last one of them.

Don’t listen to them. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Academic credentials? Medical degrees? Fuck ’em. They’re no better than you. And you have no trouble at all making up your own mind, do you?

I think the only reason things haven’t gotten far worse in this regard until now is our media’s need of expert opinions. Hence the entire structure of right-wing think tanks, publishing houses, “Christian” universities and associations and groups that sound very fancy but operate out of some guy’s garage. Who cares if the guy you have is a loony, at least he has a title.

If this keeps up, though, soon you won’t even need that. If every opinion’s as good as every other, and judges and professors enjoy no position to judge or profess, how long before there’s honestly no one left to answer anybody’s questions?