The American body politic has been sick for decades, but the current insanity may signal that the raging political infection is getting better not worse.
A friend wrote me an email in a despairing tone. He fears that the craziness we’re seeing on the Left indicates a downhill slide in America from which there is no recovery. I currently incline towards a more optimistic, although gross, viewpoint.
First off, I don’t think we can pretend that the Left hasn’t gone crazy. Exhibit A from today (emphasis mine):
Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence and a regular contributor to NBC News, told MSNBC’s Brian Williams on Monday that President Trump’s decision to fly flags at half-staff until Aug. 8 may very well be a tip of the cap to white supremacist groups. Here’s what he said:
The president’s either getting really good advice and rejecting it, or he’s getting really bad advice. We have to understand the adversary and the threat we’re dealing with, and if we don’t understand how they think, we’ll never understand how to counter them, so it’s the little things and the messaging that matters.
The president says that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8, that’s 8/8. Now I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary demonstrated by the White House. The numbers 8/8 are very significant in the neo-Nazi and the white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them, the numbers 8/8 stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’
So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8. No one’s thinking about this. No one’s giving the advice, or he’s rejecting the advice.”
That is tinfoil hat crazy, yet Figliuzzi not only has been given airtime on one of America’s formerly respected major media outlets, he’s a former high level FBI employee.
Figliuzzi is not alone. The crazy is oozing out all over the place — and it’s that oozing quality that actually makes me optimistic.
America’s been sick for a long, long time. The infection entered the body politic in the 1930s and started getting aggressively worse in the 1960s. We reached a sort of stability in the 1980s, but 9/11 triggered another resurgence of the infection, with Obama signally weakening the immune system of the body politic. However, even though the infection was coursing through America’s system, superficially things looked sort of normal.
That changed in 2017. Starting with Trump’s inauguration and pussy hat marches, complete with women all over America dressing as giant vaginas, it was as if America started throwing out overt symptoms of this decades’ long infection. Think of them as a mass of disgusting, puss-filled boils suddenly breaking out all over.
Here’s the thing about boils: On the one hand, they show that the infection is reaching a crisis stage. If not treated, the poison turns inwards and the body dies. On the other hand, though, they also represent the body’s effort once and for all to expel the poison. Apply heat to them and they’ll burst, exuding toxins away from the body.
I think the crazy we’re seeing on the Left is the political equivalent of boils. I think they’re ready to burst and it’s in our interest not to stifle them and send them back into the American body politic but to push them further and further out into the open. Those parts of America that are still healthy will reject this insanity.
At least that’s what I hope.
And that’s all I’ve got for today. I’m probably thinking in terms of illness because the cold that’s been plaguing me for over a week is finally on its way out, but it left me exhausted. I’ve never been a daytime sleeper (so much so that, even as a baby, I wouldn’t nap), but today I already slept seven hours . . . and I’m ready to head back to bed again. I expect to wake up tomorrow bursting with energy but today just typing is wearing me out. No podcast, obviously. Thinking and talking at the same time is too much effort.