As the 2008 election neared and the magnitude of the rights’ impending defeat became apparent, the extremist rhetoric reached a strident crescendo including all the usual tactics - the fear mongering, the guilt by association, the character assassinations, the questioning of the opposition’s loyalty, patriotism, and even citizenship. The NRA spent $15 million telling people that if Obama was elected he was going to take their guns away. These tactics failed to arouse a public unusually focused on the real issues. The right’s frustration at their withering influence was apparent on blogs and openly expressed at public campaign rallies.
Obama won the election. He formed a generally centrist government with mostly competent, experienced people in his cabinet. None of the radical consequences predicted by the extremists came to pass. Ayers wasn’t put in charge of homeland security, the White House wasn’t turned into a mosque, and not a single effort was made to take away guns from law abiding citizens. The extremists, already emasculated by their resounding defeat, were further deflated when their apocalyptic predictions could not stand up to reality.
As momentum built for the Democrats’ signature legislative effort for health insurance reform, many on the right found renewed vigor by banding together and drowning out open and honest discussion at the “Town Hall” meetings. Some people got off openly displaying their weapons at these emotionally charged events. This created some controversy, which aroused them even more. As word spread the “open carriers” membership swelled and they began to hold rallies where they could strut their manhood in public. They are deliberately controversial in the hope of producing a backlash against them, thus validating their failed predictions. Unfortunately, they are having some success.
Debating them is not likely to be productive because they are out to make a point, not to engage in rational argument. It is all about them feeling better wearing their manhood on their hips, and their feelings are immune to facts and reason. Rather than erecting barriers to their manly love fests, which will only validate their point and swell their egos, we should laugh at them and ignore their movement until it dies a "little death" on it's own.