It must be so sad living as a right-winger. The world keeps changing, and it's scary. They just don't understand the things they see around them, so they get scared, and say things that make people laugh at them.
Today, for example, a sizable chunk of the wingnut crowd seems to believe that the U.S. Army is trying to take over Texas. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert have, predictably, run with this paranoia. New Republic's Brian Beutler examines why:
This particular kind of theory has a unique allure. And I think it’s directly traceable to a southern—and particularly a Texan—political culture that thrives on civil war–style fantasies.
There’s a good amount of mythical and self-important thinking going on here, but there is also a very real sense in which these conservatives conceive of themselves as beleaguered, bent over a barrel by the federal government, living every day at the breaking point. It helps explain why Cruz believed a missive about using the Second Amendment as an “ultimate check against government tyranny” would make for a winning fundraising pitch, and why South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (also running for president) had to remind him that armed insurrection didn’t work out so well for his state a while back.
But this reasoning collapses without a foil. The secessionist impulse can’t be attributable to the ebbs and flows of social policy alone. If we live our lives on the razor’s edge of rebellion, there must be an equally reactionary adversary somewhere in the middle distance threatening our autonomy. That's what gives rise to a projection of the kind we’re seeing in Texas today. Without an enemy, real or imagined, threatening our autonomy, we're not patriots. We're merely zealots.
I...I just don't know, man.