Friday, September 07, 2007

The Bipolar Republican Terror Reflex

It is an interesting dichotomy.

Republicans are terrified shitless of anything that might remotely hint at Arab extremism. A couple of brown-skinned men speak Arabic, or what a white woman sitting near the toilet thinks is Arabic, and an entire airplane of otherwise rational humans spins into panic. It doesn't matter that the men in question are Americans hired by the United States Army to help train soldiers for the Iraq War. Show Republicans a photo of a man wearing a kufi and no provision of the Constitution is safe. Show them a flowing white thawb and they have an uncontrollable urge to wage war on a sizable part of the world. They can't wait for proof; they don't even care if the nations they attack are even involved in the crimes they are avenging. They willingly surrender their every freedom in a paroxysm of fright. They are scared, terrified, and every action they take screams unreasoning panic.

Show these same people proof that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. Point out that other signs like rapid desertification, more powerful tropical storms, killer brushfires and heat waves around the world all strongly support the theory the world is heating up and climates are changing in ways that, on balance, will injure mankind. Note that fossil fuel burning and widespread deforestation point to humans as at least contributing causes. Suggest that the world ought to work together to arrest the causes and mitigate the effects of this climate change and these very same Republicans are the picture of fecklessness. Now, proof is insufficient. They refuse to even consider action until the causes and effects are calculated to the fortieth decimal point. Should one elderly man in a remote village in Latvia be found to benefit from a warming Earth (For example, the rising oceans that will flood Florida will give him beach-front property) then that is reason enough for them to do nothing forever.

I have said many times that I just don't understand Republicans. They seem to have a bipolar terror reflex. The very existence of dark-skinned men terrify them into a panic that would embarrass a three year-old. Conversely, if you put their La-Z-Boy recliner into an oven and slowly turn up the heat they will continue passively munching on Cheetos without a care. They have a gut wrenching dread of dying at the hands of a Middle Eastern tourist when the effects of climate change are far more likely to snuff them. I'd like to just dismiss Republicans as irrational lunatics but, damn it, frequently these wackos gain control of my country.

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