I’ve noticed lately, in talking to liberals, that their frontal lobes have been taken over by the Tea Party. Sadly, when I say this I don’t mean that they’ve embraced the Tea Party’s commitment to smaller government and greater individual freedom. I mean instead that the idea of the Tea Party sits in their brains, stimulating them to bizarre flights of rhetorical fancy. Two examples:
First example: I was talking with someone about vaccinations (in which I strongly believe). I mentioned that in my neck of the woods, despite the high level of education, many people are hostile to vaccinations, preferring “holistic” remedies, none of which have a strong track record when it comes to measles, polio, small pox, etc. The person to whom I was speaking instantly said, “Well, educated people often have completely irrational beliefs. Look at Nazis or the Tea Partiers.” A more accurate observation might have been that the people near me, most of them Ivy Leaguers, didn’t get a lot of bang for their bucks when it come to learning logical, scientific thinking at their expensive Ivory Towers.
Second example: I overheard someone talking to a colleague about someone with whom they both worked: “Ignore him. He’s a completely fruitcake. When it comes to this project, he’s like one of those insane Tea Partiers.” Tea Party = Crazy.
This is not a local phenomenon. David Letterman is playing the same game: