I’ve been having a little back and forth with reflectionephemeral from the blog, Poison Your Mind about whether small, annoying instances of government over enthusiasm essentially pave the way for right-wing, anti-government rhetoric. But, he’s convinced me that I’ve reversed the causal dynamic. Many people are annoyed about things like toilet water usage rules, but I think RE is ultimately right that this is manufactured outrage, and that absent such rules/regulations the right-wing perpetual outrage machine would just find something else to rail about and would convince a certain percentage of the population that this is another example of creepy tyranny on the road to serfdom or something.
Anyway, he’s right, I was wrong.
But I come about being wrong honestly in the sense that a lot of these little annoying government rules and regulations (and stuff like the idiocy of the TSA) annoy ME, and I was projecting my feelings onto the broader populace when in reality there is scant evidence to support my argument, and more to support his. Anyway, read his full The Point Of The Resentment Is The Resentment. A snippet:
There didn’t appear to be all too much antigovernment resentment during the Bush Jr. presidency, as the GOP pushed for Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the executive’s asserted power to wiretap and to detain & torture US citizens without charges or a warrant, surpluses turned into deficits, the right in Raich v Gonzales to imprison folks for activity legal under state law, and the invasion for bogus reasons & failed occupation of an arbitrarily selected Middle Eastern country.
The cause of the receptivity to the talking points is the right wing’s efforts to gear up the resentment machine, which then trickles into the public consciousness. It’s not the result of anything that the government has done.
On the other hand, I was right about Romney winning the nomination easily.