On Not Dismissing Threats

Jesse Taylor at Pandagon observes:

It’s often said that we shouldn’t dismiss the opposition to Obama as racists, or crazy, or potentially violent.  And the thing is, we aren’t dismissing them.  We’re accurately describing them, and taking their threat very seriously.  There’s an assumption in our discourse that by describing someone as a paranoid bigot, we’re marginalizing them and saying they don’t have influence.  This is largely because of a mainstream-media driven assumption that anyone who appeals to large numbers of people or makes their voice influential on the national stage must ergo be rational.  I, for one, am totally willing to admit that crazy people such as Baron Weephausen can have a huge, even outsized effect on the political debate while still potentially needing a steady supply of adult diapers for what we call “rage leaks”.

The fact that a movement gains momentum does not make it rational or worthy of driving public discourse; it just means that far too many people are gullible enough to believe that Barack Obama is hunting down grandparents and harvesting their worn-out organs to mulch his organic garden with.  They’re dangerous, they’re stupid, they’re angry, but what they are not is “dismissed”.


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