and said some very divisive things along those lines, possibly
involving metaphorical violence, possibly involving the forceable
insertion of frozen pineapples into delicate orifices and perhaps
breaking into people’s houses and peeing on their pillows and shaving
their pets. I seem to recall hearing a lot about “responsible dissent“,
and “fever swamps”, and how saying mean things was tantamount to
fascism, and I recall thinking that the people saying these things
should blow it out their pasty, pockmarked asses. But who can
remember, so long ago? The point is, there’s a difference between
openly advocating violence and calling people not nice names, or
needing to calm the fuck down and stop being such a spaz, or being an
idiot, or making shit up, or any of the myriad forms of douchebaggery
which are the inevitable result of letting people speak their minds in
our infinitely stupid democracy. I’m not saying there’s some
invincible firewall between militialand and FOX News – there certainly
isn’t – but that doesn’t mean they are the same thing. Being a
terrorist and being a crazy loser are distinct modes of being, even if
there are occassional overlaps on the reading list. Being vague about
this, or purposefully conflating the two, gives cover to the former as
it smears the latter.
I think the obvious difference between so long ago and now is that the majority of the comments that caused wingnuts to yammer about responsible dissent and fever swamps and fifth columnists were made by filthy hippies in the streets and on web sites a relatively small percentage of the population reads and not, you know, by US CONGRESSWOMEN and nationally televised commentators. I think what largely freaks out people right now is that the people who are now calling for uprisings have a slightly bigger microphone into which to yell, by virtue of being employed by wealthy douchebags or elected by the same. And there’s the hypocrisy, too, which is always a nice whipped shit topping on the shit sundae.
Still, in the same way Julia Roberts gets to say whatever she wants about America because she pays her taxes like everybody else, Michelle Bachmann gets to be batshit crazy as much as she wants without actually handing out ammo on the street corner (can you do that in Minnesota? if it’s legal I guess she can) and stupid lunatics get to take their cues from her or not. Is it vile? Should people say it’s vile? Absolutely on both counts. But that denunciation has to also recognize that Glenn Beck and Rush and Michelle are morons who no more intend to join the actual revolution than I do, and not excuse the idiots who follow them by saying they were mind-controlled. Deluded, sure, but not robbed of the responsibility to seek out truth and knowledge for themselves.