Read this excellent article from Bruce Bartlett.
Bartlett is a former Reagan conservative whose scales fell from his eyes under the mis-administration of Bush. His experience at being ejected from the right-wing misinformation bubble caught my attention, and I would like to call out this passage:
A couple of weeks before the 2004 election, Suskind wrote a long article for the New York Times Magazine that quoted some of my comments to him that were highly critical of Bush and the drift of Republican policy. The article is best remembered for his quote from an anonymous White House official dismissing critics like me for being “the reality-based community.”
The day after the article appeared, my boss called to chew me out, saying that Karl Rove had called him personally to complain about it. I promised to be more circumspect in the future.
Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.
Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.
The right-wing noise machine works just like the social isolation practiced by any cult. Outside ideas are suppressed and inside ideas are reinforced. And invariably, when a cultist finally breaks out of the bubble, they almost immediately are revulsed by the ideas inside the bubble.
This is winning elections for the Democrats now. Here are some examples:
Benghazi scandal, Fast and Furious, oh my, oh my!
Noisy, grandstanding fools and attention whores, irritating me
Obama socialist kenyamuslimofascist incompetent bribing minorities with gifts
Obama got Osama. Rescued economy. Leashed BP. Helped with student loans, lowered my taxes, knows what is important to working people.
What happened to "my" America? 47% freeloaders! Odumbo Hussein!
What is up with those hateful racists?
Bartlett's observation that people inside the bubble don't even read non-bubble news sites is important. The GOP went over a cliff this election season believing their own bubble-induced delusions, and now it is obvious they are never going to get it.
Readers of any of my material will recognize that I thoroughly enjoy provoking and confronting the right wing's bullshit. I don't do it just to be an asshole, although I'm sure many see it as nothing else.
No, the purpose of my very confrontational tone is to push back against the noise machine, and to make the people inside the bubble uncomfortable, and remind them that their opinions are not mainstream, not factual, and not accepted. And to give others in the reality-based community out here the tone, and the rhetoric, to do the same. It is in fact going to be necessary to laugh these people off the national stage.
Politics is actually a conversation
It is a conversation about "what are we the people going to do?" I think it is vital to the survival of our nation that we face reality head on. History is replete with examples of self-deluding societies who authored their own total destruction, and I suspect if you could go back to those eras you'd find a gaggle of self-deluded loons just like the Fox News cohort going around in their own bubble, bullshitting themselves into thinking everything they do is just fine, and nobody has any right to criticize them, and those people don't matter anyway.
And then after that bubble forms, finding that the society collapsed. Rome. Easter Island. Pick any fallen civilization, I guarantee that bubble formed before it fell. Any time power demands a divorce from accountability, you are looking at trouble. In a bubble.
So for me, this conversation demands that we laugh at, mock, belittle, and deride opinions that are based in flawed reasoning, lies, self-reinforcing bullshit, and willful delusion and ignorance. Silence implies acceptance.
It's vital to speak up.
The bubble of Fox is shrinking and the right wing is sliding down a demographic rabbit hole they created for themselves, decades ago, with the Southern Strategy. So poke the bubble. Be unkind about it. You're not going to convince them . . . I never intend to do that. Just join as a throng and make it clear that this bullshit will not go unchallenged.
Reality is winning folks. Let's go for the kill. Yes, the hydra-headed beast of unearned privilege and unaccountable authority will always come back out of the swamp, but that is not an excuse to just sit here and let it.