Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hurr, ha, hee, heh, etc.

I was all prepared to rip into this one with gusto. But two things got in the way:

1) I can sum up what's wrong it in a single sentence: I "needed" a car as a teenager, but I needed back surgery at 21. 

2) The comments are far more compelling, and not for the reason I expected.

Apparently, a lot of commenters believed that this was a real news item. That blows my mind, because it so obviously reads as a joke, and ends with a caps-locked disclaimer spelling it out for those who need that sort of thing. The Internet is littered with conservative satire vociferously defended by its target audience against liberals, who they say need to lighten up and have a laugh no matter what the actual facts are. Such works are made by righties, for righties. This one seems no different.

Which is why it threw me for a loop that its comment section is jammed with people who seem genuinely terrified and upset over this "news." Rather than take this as just another (attempted) deconstruction affirming their belief that Obamacare is a horrible thing and having their version of a laugh, they're taking it at face value. After thinking it over for a little while, I think I understand why.

Because they want this to be true.

They want to think that President Obama really wants to force everyone to buy a new car in 2014. They want to believe that the federal government will micromanage what drivers do with their vehicles. They want to believe that this is simply the latest phase of the evil Democratic Black Muslim administration's plan to enslave every citizen. They get a charge out of the outrage, and an ego boost from feeling like they're the ones who deserve to take their country back.

I hope I'm right, anyway. It's a more comforting thought than the idea that some Americans are just that gullible.


Kimberly Domangue said...

I think it's also ego-defensive, in a way, for a lot of them. They think President Obama is that ruthless, tyrannical, morally bankrupt - as they've been told by the snake-oil salesmen of the tea party every step of the way. If they question one thing, then they may have to question more, and it might chink against the armor of a belief system they've fervently held for so long. Politics point to a specific worldview, and they're quite personal for a lot of people. So instead, they only look at the words on the screen through one eye, and go on blathering about the sad state of their country and the evil President who has had the "gall" to simply be on the other side of their spectrum and fight for the principles he believes in.

Ian McGibboney said...

Exactly right, Kimberly, especially regarding "gall." I think a lot of these people really think the other side is fighting for what it knows is wrong. How do you even begin to work on that?