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Crazy Aging White Guy Syndrome.

by Pitt Griffin on August 17, 2016 · 0 comments

in Election 2016, Media, The Angry Man

“It is sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.” ― Henry Rollins

Everyone has one in their family – that father or uncle who used to hold center right/left or even liberal political views who has gone full bore reactionary. He watches Fox News for hours. He forwards scaremongering right-wing emails. He posts baseless conservative memes on social media. Sadly he is the victim of Crazy Aging White Guy Syndrome (CAWGS).

It overwhelmingly affects white men of a certain age – but women and minorities have succumbed. I’m not a doctor, so I cannot say that CAWGS is a product of physical changes of the aging brain. Nor am I a psychiatrist, so I do not know if it is simply a psychological deficit. But as an observer of the human condition I can say that CAWGS is real and somewhere on the dementia spectrum.

Take Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.). Once a highly respected  intelligence analyst, Flynn has turned into a rabid pro-Trump partisan. Is the enemy Russia’s territorial ambitions, ISIS’s terrorism, or China’s economic/military expansionism? No. In Flynn’s warped mind “The enemy camp, in this case, is Hillary Rodham Clinton.” Then he stood nodding as the crowd chanted, “lock her up”.

The military expects its members to carry out their duties without regard to politics. Senior officers are expected to keep their political opinions to themselves – by custom into retirement. Not only has Flynn embraced the lunacy of the far right, but he has also cast the usual right-wing aspersions in typical extreme language.

To Flynn, President Obama is a “liar” and the U.S. justice system is “corrupt”. He has lobbied for closer relations with Russia and has even shared a table with Vladimir Putin after a paid speech to RT – Putin’s pocket media voice.

But enough of Flynn. What about Rudy Giuliani?

Rudy was a New York Republican, which meant that he was generally to the left of conservative Democrats. Most strikingly, he was a vocal spokesman for immigrants. In 1996 he said, “You look back at the Chinese Exclusionary Act, or the Know-Nothing movement—these were movements that encouraged Americans to fear foreigners, to fear something that is different, and to stop immigration.”

But since his abortive run for the presidency he has become an unapologetic conservative extremist – with a Doberman’s mindless protection of his political master, Donald Trump – the most notorious xenophobe to run for president in years (ever?)

Trump himself was once liberal on social issues. He always had a racist streak, but was otherwise politically expedient – not passionate. As he has repeatedly said, he consorted with any politician who gave him a business advantage.

In the early days of his campaign, remarks about Mexican rapists and the like were shrugged off as Trump just generating some headlines. But a year later it’s obvious he believes his own bullshit. It may have seemed political strategy at first, but now it’s obvious that the racism, xenophobia, and paranoia are his core convictions.

What causes CAWGS? I don’t know. I suspect it occurs because love needs work, while indignation is a walk in the park. And letting Fox do your thinking for you is easy.

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