In recent weeks I’ve had number of interesting discussions with friends, Facebook and otherwise, about the bizarre shift towards totalitarianism in American politics. Of course, no political movement is possible without a corresponding cultural alignment, and the most lamentable trend in this regard seems to me to be the ascendancy of misanthropic polemical whores like Frank Luntz, who function more or less as the shock troops against the American tradition of anti-ideology, perverting our traditional inclinations into a cult of Mammon.
Wisconsinites, whom I believe to be reasonably typical victims of Luntz et alia, demonstrate some pretty mixed reactions to the word “protest”, judging by some friends’ anecdotes surrounding pre-recall canvassing going on in this state. One friend’s story particularly resonated with me: a man who angrily turned a canvasser away from his door saying that he was tired of all that protesting going on in Madison, and thought the “Wisconsin 14” had shown bad faith by leaving the state to forestall passage of Governor Walker’s union busting bill. … Read the rest