So the birthers, the anti-tax tea-partiers, the town hall hecklers -- these are "either" the genuine grass roots or evil conspirators staging scenes for YouTube? The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk of carrying a pistol around a president -- too heartfelt to be an act. The lockstep strangeness of the mad lies on the protesters' signs -- too uniform to be spontaneous. They are both. If you don't understand that any moment of genuine political change always produces both, you can't understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.
There's an econ prof here at Hilltop that calls me Nephew. He's one of my favorite humans ever; I call him Uncle. He's emeritus now though he still teaches an occasional class. He's as stone an unfettered free marketeer as I am a redistributionist (as he calls me). We had lunch today.
I said, Your fans are lunatics.
He said, You work with the fans you got.
He said, How do I explain to you that exploitation is the only truly fair economic and moral system without you thinking me a monster?
He said, You are the darkest, most cynical judge of humans I know. You know - you know - what domesticating humans to your satisfaction demands, you'd sanction the breaking of spirit for peace, why not let the exploiters win, the complicit survive comfortably, the lazy survive poorly, because you already do.
He said, You credit yourself sophistication for your acknowledging your complicity and credit yourself generosity for demanding of your betters a better minimum wage for your lessers when what you are doing is willfully spiting progress for the benefit of your conscience.
He said, We bait the stupid because they genuinely hate you, the equivocater with the college degree and better job and high-speed internet and barely muffled disdain for the simply devout because our reasoning with you has fallen on as deaf an ears as your reasoning has fallen on the deaf ears of those "crackers" you hate so much.
He said, They understand they're powerless better than you understand you're powerless, and they'll be damned if they'll take orders from you.
He said, you're a goddamn English major, you don't understand the exploitative matrixes of narrative?
Yes, Uncle. I do.