My eldest was mentioning yesterday, in reference to an Ezra Klein piece, how many comments on websites seem to be automatic rants triggered by single words or ideas in an essay. One reads a political piece, and the first comment launches into something about how Obummer is a communist and the sheeple better wake up; the second comment is something similarly unenlightening from a liberal perspective.
This isn't an especially original observation, I know, I know.
It is tempting to think that these two groups perpetuate each other endlessly, and if we could just get one side to stop for a decade or so, the whole mess would ratchet down. Tempting, but I think false. These people really think they are helping. They believe they are moving the world forward. These rants meet their own psychological needs and give attaboy encouragement to the other knuckleheads they chirp to, and thus are valuable.
In what universe is it useful to discover racism in more and more places, proving your sensitivity on the race-o-meter exceeds that of others who might not have noticed? How is it different from finding communists in the glove compartment in the 50's?
The folks chucklin' here became what they mocked.