I’m a ranter by nature. That’s my thing, my raison d’etre. I don’t often rant about politics, mostly because I am far outranted there. Anything I can say has been said a hundred times better and a hundred times louder.
But today, reading the news idly and watching horrifying news trickle in from the various elections, I had a thought. And it’s one that I haven’t heard articulated before, so forgive me from departing from my usual spiel for a moment. I promise I’ll be back to ranting about pop culture and movies soon enough.
Andrew A. Sailer is a registered Republican, which often surprises people as I travel in circles where saying one is a registered Nazi would generate less scorn. The reason for this is coming of age in the Clinton era, when there seemed to be no accountability for any number of moral and ethical failings so long as the stock market stayed high. I stay thusly registered because of a strong streak of contrarianism–telling me that all the cool kids are doing something is a great way to get me to never try. I also have a strong fiscally conservative streak.
But that’s neither here nor there. My point is that because of this iconoclasm, I often get told exactly what people think about the Republican candidate de jour. And it’s usually that the candidate is a dangerous radical who will start a world war the second their finger is on The Button. I’ve heard it said that everyone from Reagan to McCain was a trigger-happy fundamentalist, even such milquetoasts as Mitt Romney. It’s become such a staid refrain that among my relatively few friends on the right, being vehemently attacked has become something of a badge of honor: if you’re being shouted at by people you disagree with, you must be doing something right.
But something’s happened now. My pals on the left have cried wolf once too often. So now that there is a candidate who really is their worst fears given life and physical form, they’ve got nothing. He’s as trigger-happy as they said Reagan was, as intolerant as they said Bush was, as bullheaded as they said McCain was. But since it’s all been heard before, and hollowly, it falls on deaf ears. It seems like the old refrain of “if they’re attacking them, they must be onto something.”
When you cry wolf one too many times, no one heeds you when the real wolf is at your political door. And then, ladies and gentleman, we are all devoured.