I admit that I was expecting this crowd to look weirder. Not hippie
weirder, though I did expect a bit of that, but nerdy weirder. So I was
surprised at how extraordinarily normal everyone looked. The left, if I
may use that radioactive word, sure has changed since “my day,” i.e.,
the nineteen-sixties and early seventies.
Regular readers here know exactly where he made his mistake. Since the liberals were going down in the 1960s, and atomizing into their various tribes, he expected to see leftist tribes.
But the precise opposite is happening. Liberals have spent the last 7 years coming together, united through their hatred of Bush-ism and their determination to find something better.
It is conservatives who are atomizing into their various tribes. There are neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, free market absolutists, and apocalyptic Christians all running around screaming "the sky is falling," damning both the incumbent Administration and everyone else, threatening death to all who dare disagree with their particular paranoia, and all the rest of it.
They’re the hippies. The Right is the hippies, or rather, the Haties. It’s the wackiest political ship since Chicago 1968. You’ve got your brownshirts, you’ve got your nativists, you’ve got people predicting the Apocalypse. Does anyone notice how completely incompatible these loonies are, not just with the rest of us but with each other? This is what The Right is reduced to. And anyone with half a brain is running the other way.
Hertzberg is like a visitor to a 1967 YAF convention looking for H.L.
Mencken or Sinclair Lewis. They’re not there. These people at YearlyKos
and at similar events around the country are the sane ones, the
suit-and-tie wearing, black coffee drinking, white paper writing,
parental units of our country.
The left is sane. The right is crazy. The only excuse I can give for
Hertzberg is that, as he writes, he was there back when the left was
going down. He remembers it, and he expects the rise to look like a
mirror of the fall. But the rise never looks like a mirror of the fall.
It looks like a mirror of the last rise, only adapted for new
realities, new media, and new business models.
Here, Hendrik, do some studying-up. And while you’re at it, look in the
mirror. You’re 64 years old, man. You don’t look like the picture above-left, you look like the one above-right. You’re old enough
to be some college kid’s grandfather. So no more talk of patchouli and
pot, OK? The kids are into oxycontin and meth these days. Go by the NCSC if you need to get fixed-up.
Ask for Rush. (And the password is DelGaudio.)