We're mad as hell
A Facebook chum pointed out this NPR program, "Angry America," about how fierce and apocalyptic the talk has gotten on the airwaves.
We’ve been there before. John Adams was a closet monarchist who was going to destroy our freedoms. Thomas Jefferson was going to turn lose the Jacobins and slaughter owners of property.
In the 1820s and 1830s, the Masons were going to take over the country. Then there were the successive bouts of nativist hysteria. If you have in your ancestry anyone of German, Irish, Italian, Eastern European, Jewish, Chinese, Japanese or Hispanic extraction, you can be assured that your ancestors were denounced as the scum of the earth and the doom of the Republic.
In the early days of the past century, Socialists took over the country with minimum-wage proposals and eight-hour workdays and an end to using children in factories and other outlandish ideas.
Franklin Roosevelt was going to destroy all wealth in the country. Harry Truman was a patsy for the Soviets (and so, depending on which flavor of conspiracy you favored, was Dwight Eisenhower).
Later, Richard Nixon was undermining the Constitution (oh, wait, that one happened), and then Ronald Reagan was going to get us into a nuclear war with Soviet Union and the elder George Bush was a pawn of some secretive internationalist group called the Trilateral Commission that was going to absorb the whole country and, well, you know.
We like to picture ourselves as a friendly, easygoing, generous-spirited folk, and often we actually are. But we have never lacked for a core group of very angry and resentful people — on the right and on the left and on ground apparently receiving signals from outside this solar system — who are confident that Bad People are involved in a malign conspiracy that will destroy everything we hold dear.
Such people appear to need this — we can’t be for something unless we are strongly against something. We could give them a lot of attention, or maybe we could suggest that they put a cold cloth on their foreheads and lie down for a while in a quiet place.