I wrote earlier that even the mighty propaganda juggernaut that is Fox News led by Roger Ailes had to abruptly reverse course and take Donald Trump back into its bosom after the furious reaction they got from their own viewers at their obvious attempt to sandbag him at the first debate.
Erick Erickson is another person who did not see it coming. He is the creator of an extreme right wing group called RedState that has an annual gathering to which all the Republican presidential candidates were invited. This was scheduled a couple of days after the debate and Erickson, riding the wave of what seemed like strong anti-Trump sentiment following Trump’s statements about Fox News personality Megyn Kelly, in a fit of righteous hauteur disinvited Trump.
He clearly did not expect the fury with which his own supporters reacted. The level of vituperation they unleashed on him, sometimes at the rate of 100 messages per hour, is incredible and has to be read to be believed. Chastened by the onslaught, he has taken on a martyr’s tone and appealed for calm.
But folks, this is anger at an unhealthy level. It is anger that has gone beyond the righteous anger of repeated betrayals from Washington. It is an anger that has become unhinged and is potentially uncontrollable. Anger at that level is more often destructive than constructive.
But I don’t get this anger. If this is the anger that flows out of Trump supporters, I do not think it is sustainable. Yet it comes daily. It is poisonous to debate, to democracy, and to the soul itself.
The people above and those like them are not happy warriors. They are malcontented souls who need prayer. If you read those emails above and nodded with them, I do hope you will consider that a recalibration of your anger is order.
For Erickson to deplore angry rhetoric as “poisonous to debate, to democracy, and to the soul itself”, that is “unhinged” and “uncontrollable” is rich in irony because that has long been his stock in trade. Erickson has a history of saying the most inflammatory things and siccing his followers on those whom he saw as enemies of his toxic brand of conservatism. This man, who referred to Supreme Court justice David Souter, as mild a man as you would encounter and someone of unblemished reputation, as a “goat fucking child molester” is now lecturing his followers for being angry and using foul language, when they have merely taken his prior actions as a model.
I did read the emails he provided. I did not nod in agreement because the contents are truly awful. But I could not resist a feeling of schadenfreude that people like Erickson, who carefully cultivated and nurtured a horde of political piranhas to unleash on their enemies, and are now finding that they are turning on their creators.
He now seems to want to ingratiate himself with the political establishment but like so many others before him, he sowed the wind thinking that he would not suffer any consequences, with disastrous results. Ask not for whom the whirlwind comes. It comes for thee.