I get e-mail from a friend on the high desert plains of the Mountain West:
On the other hand, maybe if we hadn’t been so polite for so long, they wouldn’t have had reason to think they could get away with this sort of thing: holding the country hostage to their latest demands.
It’s been a long time coming, no doubt about it. You could say it started decades ago, with that famously loopy math: “Let’s balance the budget by cutting everyone’s taxes and spending more on the military! That’ll work!”
Was it ridiculous on its face? Of course it was ridiculous on its face. And here’s the scariest part: Things have gotten much worse since then! The fringe thinking that gave us the Age of Reagan couldn’t even get a hearing now from those who claim to worship him! Too “moderate.” Not “pure” enough.
They’ve got their own loopy math. Twenty-first-century loopy math. And their own economic theories, too — except that they’re not theories, they’re certainties. Matters of unshakeable faith. And since they’re certainties, why waste time listening to anyone else’s views on the subject? Expertise is overrated.
So they’ve got their own economics. They’ve got their own climate science, of course. They’ve got their own history. (Paul Revere, anyone? Slavery and the Civil War?) They’ve even got their own electoral history. (2008 was a glitch. Barack Obama isn’t really president.) What’s next? Their own geography? Their own gravity?
And we’ve let them get away with it.