When you write a newspaper column that some people don’t agree with, they send you mass-circulated emails of unknown provenance to show you the error of your ways. These emails are usually ridiculous.
But how kind of these readers, just the same. They feel the need to make sure that the political message of the zealot community is understood, lest it be thought that good sense has any part of it.
You should see some of these emails. Actually, you wouldn’t want to see them. You’d shake your head so much that a chiropractor would have to be called.
When not outright lies easily debunked by a glance at any fact-checking website, such emails are often crass, vicious and just plain stupid. The ones that pretend to be serious are humorous in a pathetic way, and the ones that try to be humorous are about as funny as the average funeral.
All of them have long been untethered from the anchor of reality and flow on a tide of bile. They are messages in a bottle of vinegar thrown onto the electronic waves.
But by what hands? Old and bitter hands, I am guessing. Call it the Revenge of the Conservative Codgers. Not that they are all that old. The rot appears to set in at about age 50. GOP? As an elderly but perceptive reader suggested to me, it might stand for Grumpy Old Party.
Judging by my correspondence, I conclude that the worst of the email swappers resent that life as they knew it has changed — a president born in Kenya, can you imagine? Why, yes, these folks can imagine. They are susceptible to any implausible suggestion lobbed into their inbox.
They are prepared to swallow anything that echoes their prejudices, no matter how foolish. They are a Fifth Column sending the equivalent of political pornography to each other.
My favorite is the one that said President Barack Obama had ordered half the cattle guards in Colorado to be fired, not knowing — hee, hee! — that cattle guards are the grids on roads that keep the cattle behind their fences. What a dope that Barack Obama must be. More to the point, what sort of a dope could believe this was true and email it on.
If you do not have faithful emailers to feed your inner crazy, then go to www.snopes.com and check out the political section among wacky urban legends. It has grown to historic proportions during Obama’s first term. He is the president they love to hate.
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