Christmas Week Rain; Insecurities and Lack of Imagination

Finished my Christmas shopping today — I had to be done today — though one or two ordered items won’t be here until next week.

It rained fairly heavily last night and the residue set in today; supposedly not raining, according to iPhone Weather, but still overcast and drizzling just enough to trigger the wipers regularly. I’m always amazed — pet peeve alert — by how many drivers don’t understand they should turn on headlights in such conditions so that other drivers can see them, lest their cars go unseen in the gray fog; it’s not about their being able to see better through the rain. (My car has a setting that turns on the lights automatically in dim conditions.)

After cardiac therapy stopped in Montclair Village for my last round of Christmas Shopping. Found some things on my list, not all. So it is.

One more thing: in yesterday’s mail came not one not two but three “Christmas cards” consisting of postcard sized photo collages of various family members. Including some family members who had seemed to cut me off, back at the beginning of the pandemic. Nice to see such lovely families.


Links from today: how the Fox News audience’s hostility towards Anthony Fauci shows its insecurity, and resentment of those who know things; how Joe Manchin’s lack of imagination betrays a similar hostility toward change and making things better.


Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 22 Dec 2021: Why they hate him: Dr. Fauci triggers the right because he reveals their deepest insecurities, subtitled, “The GOP’s obsession with Dr. Fauci reveals the deep insecurities driving the movement”

Amanda Marcotte on the same topic I covered yesterday, with a remarkably similar take–

when I saw Tuesday’s news that Fox News’ Jesse Watters, a man who radiates a strong “I paid some nerd to write my term papers” energy, threatened the life of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been the top COVID-19 advisor to President Joe Biden. Oh, Watters pretended it wasn’t a threat when he told an audience at the conference for right-wing youth group Turning Point USA — founded by Charlie Kirk, who blames his lack of a college education on minorities supposedly taking “his” spot — to “ambush” Dr. Fauci with a “kill shot.” Watters pretended he was speaking metaphorically, encouraging “deadly” questions instead of actual violence. But obviously, the garish rhetoric, especially in light of the growing violence on the right, was meant to intimidate.

And then goes on to try to understand why these people feel so threatened by Fauci. She dismisses the notion that the Fox News audience is inherently dumb — “their ignorance is a choice, not a predetermined condition.”

In truth, the “smug liberal” is far more of a paranoid fantasy on the right than a reality. It’s the manifestation of their own resentment of people who did do the reading, people who do want to know more about the larger world. They are jealous of people who say yes to novel ideas and new experiences, instead of freaking out at the mere thought of having to learn something new. It’s not that such people are especially smug. Dr. Fauci, for instance, radiates kindness and patience. It’s that conservatives are just that insecure about their own shortcomings.

And then goes on with an odd example of a woman who stood up at a school board to insist that she didn’t want to have anal sex. So there. (Who asked?) Marcotte makes a crucial observation about this:

Still, there’s something about the screeching about anal sex that also underscores the larger problem here: bitter incuriosity. … It’s not that Bell doesn’t like anal sex, which is really just a matter of taste. It’s the self-righteous fury at the very idea that anyone would be curious about such a thing. It’s treating ignorance like a virtue, and intellectual dullness like a mandate.

This lack of “openness to experience” is a

personality difference is a central motivating factor in a growing fascist movement. The kind that wants to violently put down those who do express inquisitiveness and a willingness to be intellectually challenged. The kind of movement that leads crowds to cheer wildly at the idea of taking a “killshot” at an 80-year-old man whose main crime seems to be that he studied hard and knows things about science.


I think this idea informs another piece today, about West Virginia senator Joe Manchin…

Washington Post, Paul Waldman, 22 Dec 2021: Joe Manchin has all the power — and a catastrophic lack of imagination

Manchin, of course, is the “Democratic” senator who has apparently betrayed an earlier deal to support Biden’s Build Back Better plan, suspicious (as Reagan was) that recipients of governmental support programs would waste the money on drugs and hunting trips. (This is a senator who owns a Maserati and a yacht, presumably the gains of his support for the dwindling West Virginia coal industry.)

Manchin, Waldman says, is in a position to demand virtually anything in return for his support for that bill.

But what if just one lawmaker had, at least for a moment, all the power, and could get whatever they wanted? If that was you, what would you do with it?

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia is being asked that question. And what is his answer? Nothing.

Waldman offers examples. Windfalls for West Virginia.

But Manchin has no visible imagination.

Instead, all his demands have been negative — not what he might use this bill to accomplish, but how he can stop what other Democrats want to do.

Waldman goes on about Manchin’s lost opportunity.

But it seems to me there’s a connection here between lack of “openness to experience” and Manchin’s lack of imagination. Both show an inability to change and improve for the better — to tear down what others are trying to do instead.

This entry was posted in Conservative Resistance, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.