Know-Nothings On The March

A reader writes:

I agree with your post. The question I have been wrestling with over the past 6 to 8 months is how best to push back. I have written 'letters to the editor', I have started my own blog, I have tried to engage people who accept lies as fact, but to little avail. Ultimately, it seems that the far right wing is not interested in facts, attempting to find out what is happening around them, or even engage someone like me in civil conversation. The people I have spoken with just get pissed off, and move away. They are ”know nothings“ in a very real sense.

Knowledge is the work of the devil, it seems. It goes far beyond anti-intellectualism. It teeters on the brink of some sort of mutated religious fanaticism: it is an act of faith, a bizarre and dangerous belief that the country is being run by fascists, communists, atheists, Jews, Blacks, all distilled into one person, President Obama. Anything and everything they believe is a “right” guaranteed by the constitution and god. So what to do?

My guess is that someone or some group will fall into the abyss and turn on one of their own who has strayed from some imagined orthodoxy. They must purge their group before than can proceed with their ambiguous mission. It will play out in a tragic way. Only then will people stop and reflect upon our degenerating state of affairs. What happens after that reflection, I cannot guess. Perhaps the violence and destruction that occurred in Europe and Asia during the last century will visit our relatively tranquil shores, and the American psyche will change for the better. I have been an unredeemed optimist my whole life, but for the first time dark clouds are all I see.

I think I will drink more over the next years.

One response is also simply to challenge the Palinites to tell us specifics: what programs do you want to cut? Which war do you want to end? Which taxes do you want to raise, if necessary? How do you insure the uninsured? Instead of flailing at the dumb extremism of them all, it's important to keep demanding they contribute to the substantive debate.

But, boy, it really struck me after this email. What a perfect epitome of know-nothings than a candidate who literally knows nothing. Which is why Palin remains their candidate, and a Peronist threat to democratic life and discourse. Which is why the Dish will continue to follow her closely, even as others move on.