You and I have seen Howling Mobs, although, if we’re lucky, not up close and personal.
This is a Howling Mob (in Fallujah, with murdered contractors hanging in the background):
This is a Howling Mob (in London, a part of the Danish cartoon riots):
This is a Howling Mob (with thanks to Zombie, from a series on protests at the Berkeley, CA, Marine Recruiting station):
This is a Howling Mob (showing protesters in San Francisco stomping the Israeli flag, with thanks to Zombie):
Oh, here’s another Howling Mob (this one burning George Bush in effigy, again with thanks to Zombie):
And now a few more Howling Mob pictures for the gallery.
This is a picture of the Howling Mob that formed against American Muslims immediately after 9/11:
[Sorry, couldn’t find one.]
This is a picture of the Howling Mob that formed against American Muslims after the Food Hood massacre:
[Sorry, again, I couldn’t find one.]
This is a picture of the Howling Mob that gathered to boot Hispanics out of the country once Arizona passed its statute requiring police to comply with federal immigration laws:
[Whoops! Once again, I seem to be missing some pictures here.]
Here are some members of the Howling Tea Party Mob, gathered together to protest Barack Obama’s economic policies:
Oh, my God! Run for the hills, Dude! They’re out to get us.
My point, obviously, is that the Howling Mobs are not to be found amongst Americans united to support traditional American values, such as secure borders, national security, and economic conservativism. Nevertheless, as Michael Barone points out, America’s political class, and especially America’s Democratic/Progressive political class, envisions ordinary Americans as gun wielding, torching bearing, axe swinging lynch mobs, anxious for politically incorrect blood:
Why the reluctance to state the obvious truth, that we are under attack from terrorists motivated by a radical form of Islam?
My theory is that these well-intentioned folks see the American people as a Howling Mob. They think that if Americans find out that Islamists are attacking us, they will go out and slaughter innocent Muslims. They think that Americans are incapable of understanding the simple truth that, while most terrorists are Islamists, the large majority of Muslims are not terrorists.
Of course, the evidence is that Americans are quite capable of holding these two ideas in their heads. Even after September 11, there were only a miniscule number of attacks on Muslims, and many more Americans went over to their Muslim neighbors and offered to help if they had any trouble. They didn’t even need to hear the almost instant assurances from Rudy Giuliani and George W. Bush that all Muslims are not terrorists to bake a cake and bring it over.
The Howling Mob theory explains a lot of otherwise puzzling things. It helps to explain why Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security Department, tasked with finding possible terrorists, set about tracking disgruntled military veterans and gun owners. Just the kind of people who turn into a Howling Mob!
It helps to explain journalists’ desperate search for racist epithets at tea-party gatherings — and their lack of interest in the actual violence that has been common at rallies against the Arizona immigration law and at antiwar marches. It helps to explain the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against the New Black Panthers who were physically intimidating voters in Philadelphia on Election Day.
It helps to explain why Solicitor General Elena Kagan was willing to work in the Clinton White House after Bill Clinton signed the law banning open gays in the military — a law Kagan has said she detests. Hey, he was just trying to propitiate the Howling Mob.
Michael Barone has much more to say on the subject, and I suggest that you read it here. And as you read, please try to keep in mind the identity of the real Howling Mobs, both at home and abroad.