I voted Republican from the ages of 18 to 32. I was a Young Republican. I thought feminists were just ugly chicks who couldn't get dates. I believed in the sanctity of marriage, the flag, the fetus, and supply-side economics. In short, I was what Rush would describe as a "young skull-full of mush." And he would shape that mush into something hard, cold, and kinda evil.Look, the key here is Jim started thinking instead of reacting. The reason so many wingnuts behave like two-year-olds is they act on emotion without bothering to think things though.
But over the years, my life as a dittohead would die the death of a thousand cuts. The world that I lived in refused to conform to the world Rush was telling me about. When my best friend turned out to be gay, I discovered it was easy to hate "the gay agenda," but it was hard to hate "Scott." Abortion was cut and dried until I heard my friend Amy's story. After that I decided maybe I should just keep my womb-less self out of it. I believed whole-heartedly in the gospel that tax cuts led to more federal revenue until W hammered the last nail in that particular coffin. No one thing changed my mind. Rather, everything would change my mind.
The “gay marriage” issue is a perfect example. While gay unions would hurt no one or destroy no other kind of marriage, the rightwing position steadfastly, and literally inexplicably, remains that gay marriage will “destroy” the institution of marriage. Why? Because they are acting on their revolution to the notion the two guys might be butt-fucking. “Oooo, icky, I don’t like them.” And that’s all the deeper their thinking goes. It’s purely emotional.
I particularly like this line of Jim’s:
The world that I lived in refused to conform to the world Rush was telling me about.Whenever I listen to wingnut radio, I often wonder just who it is they’re talking about. They have this whole universe of “liberal” straw men with straw beliefs. It’s like they create this alternate reality so they can then knock it down. The paranoia, xenophobia and subtle racism seem to create mirages of a world I just don’t see in reality. The evil school systems, and teachers that work in them, are always somewhere else. “The gays” with their “agenda” are people they don’t really know. Evil foreigners are cartoonish villains. Flag burners are on every corner lighting the night sky with the arson of Old Glory. George W. Bush is a smart man. It goes on and on.
None of this is to suggest there isn’t a legitimate “conservative” point of view or reasonable arguments from the right on certain issues. Rather, the talk radio version of the world just doesn’t have much in common with people’s every day experience. But then that’s the thing about fear mongering; it works best with the lights out and a good story teller.