“Everything seemingly is spinning out of control…”
This classic reference from the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web column was adopted during the Golden Age of Taranto (when the column was written by James Taranto) to describe the sometimes (often?) hyperbolic headlines predicting disaster at every turn.
In an example of life imitating art – since January 20, 2017, everything seemingly spinning out of control has transmogrified from a casual comedic reference into the modus operandi of the progressive left. Now, every single thing is an extinction level event, the enforcement of every previously ignored law is unconstitutional, every issue is the only issue, all speech not spoken by a progressive is hate speech and every thought is racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic and Islamophobic if it has a non-progressive provenance.
But it isn’t. When everything is spinning out of control, nothing is.
Call it a “boy who cried wolf” or the “Chicken Little” syndrome if you will – but from all appearances, the progressive left has developed a porn addiction. They are addicted to outrage porn.
In a corruption of René Descartes’ philosophical proposal of cogito ergo sum (I think; therefore, I am), the progressive left has adopted the concept of iratus sum, ergo sum (I am angry; therefore, I am). No longer are our positions to be validated by logic, reason and truth, now the importance and significance of any position is to be measured by how angry we are.
We are in trouble as a society when we are so blinded by emotion that the accepted practice is to raise the insignificant to significance and then double down by elevating that significance to the paramount.
This is not to say that all anger is invalid. It is rational to be angry when witnessing or experiencing true injustice, true unfairness or true violation of established, moral conduct but as we learned from Dean Wormer, being fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life – and in this case, being fat, perpetually outraged and stupid is no way to go through life either. It is also no way to run a country, especially when the “outrage” is merely a tool to gain political advantage but lacks any factual, rational or logical basis.
As examples, we are witness to protests over the Trump administration taking away “abortion rights” there is no effort to take away, there are oil pipeline protests over a couple of thousand miles of pipelines out of the 2.4 million miles of existing pipelines in the US, the alleged “hunting” of young black men by white law enforcement officers based on nothing but the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie and protests to shut down “hate speech” that is nothing but free speech.
This addiction to outrage is nothing new. We’ve seen it all before – too many times. It’s the equivalent of Koran burning to the progressive left.
In the Muslim world, there have been instances where crowds have been so enraged by rumors of the desecration of a Koran that the alleged perpetrator has been beaten or burned to death. In 2015, the New York Times reported the story of Farkhunda Malikazada, a 27-year-old Muslim woman from Kabul who was accused of burning a Koran. Farkhunda had confronted men who were desecrating the mosque by selling magical amulets, Viagra and condoms. These men consciously used the ignorance and emotion of the crowds to murder this woman.
Of course, the Times stumbles over the real story of the irrationality of the mob mentality to twist it into a story about the persecution of women, but it is still worth a read due to the parallels it draws to the many outrage porn protests today. If you didn’t understand it before January 20th, you can see it now. In the world of a progressive leftist, the institution of government is their Allah, Washington, DC is their Mecca, progressive judges are their imams and their Koran is the Federal Register.
If America is to continue to exist, it can’t be dominated by a bunch of emotionally fragile adult babies, addicted to outrage porn and determined to go through their lives fat, angry and stupid.