Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Whole World Makes Them Mad

 

I drove from Orlando to Savannah this weekend and stopped for gas somewhere along I-95 in rural Georgia. I pulled into the pump right behind a Subaru station wagon with Virginia plates (which I presume are from Alexandria, not Roanoke), with the back covered in all sorts of left-wing bumper stickers: Coexist in religious symbols, Eat Local, all sorts of peace vs. war stickers, Love Our Mother (with a picture of the Earth), Hillary 2016, and so on and so forth.

I suspect these are standard equipment, or at least an inexpensive option, on a Subaru. There were two women in the car, I’d guess in their late 20s, who I believe were partners. One had shoulder-length blondish hair, the other had a crew cut. Both wore baggy jeans and sweatshirts, both were a bit overweight (I cast no stones here…), and both had nose rings. Crew cut girl had a wallet in the back pocket of her jeans, with a long silver chain attaching it to her belt. They looked like they were doing a parody of lesbians – working hard to meet every stereotype. If they were in a Saturday Night Live skit, they would get complaints from the LGBTQ community.

When I went into the gas station to use the restroom, I noticed that someone was walking behind me, and I reflexively held the door open and stood aside, allowing that person to enter first. It was one of the ladies from the Subaru, and she brushed past me without looking at me and mumbled “thanks” in a sarcastic tone, like I had just handed her a used Kleenex. She was pissed. And she exuded unpleasantness. I thought to myself, “There goes a very unhappy person.”

I have two lesbian couples in my medical practice. All four of those ladies are over 60, in stable long-term relationships, are conservative politically, and are just the nicest ladies you’d ever want to meet. I always look forward to seeing them. They’re happy, comfortable in their own skin, and they care about other people.

I have no idea if young lesbians tend to be progressive and if older lesbians tend to be conservative. That is not what this post is about, and I hope the comments below don’t pursue such speculation.

My point is that it was obviously not her sexual preference that made the Subaru lady unpleasant at the gas station. It was her progressive politics. It seems that her progressivism makes her unhappy. And it’s easy to see why.

She hates the evil oil companies who seek to destroy the earth, but she just gave $50 to Exxon.

She hates big banks and giant international corporations, but she paid that $50 with her Visa card, who makes a profit on her support of Exxon.

She hates capitalism, but she just bought a tall can of organic iced tea in a gas station in rural Georgia. That is possible only in a capitalist system, and she knows it. Saint Bernie says capitalism gives us too many choices of shampoo etc, but nobody in rural Georgia drinks organic iced tea. Only urban progressives traveling through. So they have it.

She worships planet earth like a god and hates humans for having any impact on the natural world at all. But she travels by interstate because it’s so convenient.

She hates the condescension of the patriarchy, but when some chubby guy in sweats opens the door for her, what is she to do but walk through? A snarky “thanks” does little to conceal her understandable irritation.

I would be irritable too, if I had just done five things I hate in the past two minutes.


The whole world must make her mad. No wonder she’s irritable. I just can’t imagine. I don’t have the energy to maintain that much frustration. Especially if my life has been made obviously and immeasurably better by the oil companies, banks, international corporations, capitalism, highways, and western culture. Could some of those things stand some improvement from time to time? Sure. But so could I, frankly. And presumably, so could she. But self-improvement is difficult and unpleasant. It’s easier to demand improvement from others, I suppose.

But is it? Because if the only way for you to be happy is for other people to do what you want, then you’ll never be happy. Never. Happiness becomes absolutely impossible at that point. So anger becomes your only option.

The anger of progressives is scary. And getting scarier. Political violence has always been a characteristic of the left, and I can see why. The whole world makes them mad.

And the better our lives become, the angrier they are going to get. So how do you make people like that happy? I hate to even contemplate that.

What an unhappy existence. I feel bad for progressives. I really do.

I also fear them. Our public discourse has gotten nasty and vicious. I suspect that increased political violence is very likely soon, perhaps even in this next political election.

This is going to get nasty.

It’s understandable, I suppose, if you try to look at it from the perspective of progressive true believers. The whole world makes them mad, and they reach the point where they feel the need to lash out.

I feel bad for them. But I feel worse for the rest of us. This is going to get nasty.

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  1. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Another brilliant post. Thank you!

    • #1
    • March 10, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat:

    I would be irritable too, if I had just done five things I hate in the past two minutes.

    That really sums it up doesn’t it? The cognitive dissonance these people live with, every minute of every day, must cause them an incredible amount of psychological stress. If only they could understand what they’re doing to themselves.

    • #2
    • March 10, 2020, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  3. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yep.

    • #3
    • March 10, 2020, at 6:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. I Walton Member

    It seems to work for progressive politicians, or people who pretend to be. Progressivism (or whatever the age chooses to call these kinds of political parasites) moves always toward providing more money for them to spend, benefits to extract, and power to exercise. Why should they change if there are so many angry stupid people who can be manipulated.

    • #4
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Front Seat Cat Member

    This post is funny, sad and so true. It just amazes me that here we are in the year 2020 with more technology, abundance, opportunity, more, more, more and misery seems to have increased ten-fold. I agree with your analysis of this double-standard world view. But more than that, I believe its the ditching of the Judaeo-Christian foundations that have changed people into the selfie-absorbed, problem riddled societies that we now witness across the world. I hate to say it – but this virus, the stock market plunge, many restrictions on what we are used to having and getting, even possibly in the long term, could be a day of reckoning for people that have no solid spiritual reference to help them through.

    Your kindness doesn’t do unnoticed. These people are lost.

    • #5
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  6. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    It all boils down to not having any agency in life. These people invest in so many “isms.” Atheism, environmentalism, socialism. These are their religions and they are deeply unsatisfying outside of the immediate gratification of signaling their virtue. Peel back the layers, and there’s nothing underneath. Their identities are defined by isms instead of the isms being a part of them. They invest in things over people, no matter how much they say they hate materialism.

    It’s no wonder they’re a miserable bunch.

    • #6
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:18 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  7. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for the post and as a resident of Northern Virginia I apologize for the my fellow residents. In addition, they probably both had federal jobs where they can use their anger against fellow citizens. We can continue smiling and living the truth. 

    • #7
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    People who identify themselves as being at one with the urban elites or simply one of the special interest group coalitions that drive the elites’ power really don’t like mingling with flyover country, which they see as a hotbed of negative ‘-isms’ (Flyover Country’s trepidations about the urban centers tend not to be looking down their noses at their lessers, but fear of just the shear volume of people and the possibility of being a crime victim).

    As for the violence, we’re still for the most part in the post-9/11 mindset, even with everything that’s happened over the past 18 1/2 years, in that 50 years ago you had people who, if not apologists for domestic terrorists, were at least rationalizers of their actions. (i.e. — “Sure, setting off a bomb in the U.S. Capitol bathroom was a bad thing, but look at the horrors of Vietnam and the racial injustices of the nation…“). The groups that would be the most likely to take up the cause of violence because they don’t see their ideology being accepted still realize if they do it, they’re going to be linked to the 9/11 terrorists, and not greeted as some heroic freedom fighters by the general public.

    In areas with sympathetic pols, you do see Antifa groups engaging in violent acts (which does get defended by some who simply shout “Charlottesville” over and over again). But we’re not to the point yet where random violent acts are viewed as a workable option. How long that will hold is open to question — you can scan Twitter and find random people perfectly happy to cheer on something like James Hodkinson’s Alexandria ballfield attack, but that’s not a place where any mainstream outlets are going anywhere near for now, and the lack of backing’s going to restrain the angriest groups from taking it up a notch.

    • #8
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A comment on a blog that I remember from several years ago went something like this:

    “If you are bitter, you are basically announcing to the world that you are a failure in your own eyes.”

    If this is true…and I think it is….there are an awful lot of people who are failures in their own eyes.

    • #9
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  10. Vectorman Thatcher

    iWe (View Comment):

    Another brilliant post. Thank you!

    Why hasn’t Dr. Bastiat been promoted to Contributor status?

    Enquiring minds want to know…

    • #10
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:57 AM PDT
    • 20 likes
  11. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Doc,

    Another nice post. You said, “the better our lives become, the angrier they are going to get.” Why are they going to get angrier, and I entirely agree that they will get? @frontseatcat in comment #4 added that this increased dissatisfaction has come with the decline in our faith. I agree with that as well. It seems that our demands for total freedom and total control have increased as we have had more freedom and had increasing abilities to control our lives (at least in some material ways). Do you think this is the nemesis which always confronts societies which have material success and the luxury of improved health and personal wealth?

    • #11
    • March 10, 2020, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. PHCheese Member

    Let’s examine the word progressive. These people need to understand things can and often do get progressively worse the more government is involved.

    • #12
    • March 10, 2020, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    Dr. Bastiat:

    She hates the evil oil companies who seek to destroy the earth, but she just gave $50 to Exxon.

    She hates big banks and giant international corporations, but she paid that $50 with her Visa card, who makes a profit on her support of Exxon.

    She hates capitalism, but she just bought a tall can of organic iced tea in a gas station in rural Georgia. That is possible only in a capitalist system, and she knows it. Saint Bernie says capitalism gives us too many choices of shampoo etc, but nobody in rural Georgia drinks organic iced tea. Only urban progressives travelling through do. So they have it.

    She worships planet earth like a god, and hates humans for having any impact on the natural world at all. But she travels by interstate, because it’s so convenient.

    She no doubt has a cell phone and expects there to be electricity available 24/7 to charge it.

    She hates the condescension of the patriarchy, but when some chubby guy in sweats opens the door for her, what is she to do but walk through? A snarky thanks does little to conceal her understandable irritation.

    You’re not chubby, just amply endowed. Hehe . . .

    • #13
    • March 10, 2020, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. AUMom Member
    AUMom Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    . I suspect these are standard equipment, or at least an inexpensive option, on a Subaru.

    My Subaru, sporting no stickers of any kind, goes to many happy places. Shoot, with the way these cars turn on a dime, how can you be unhappy driving one?

    I wonder if progressives are unhappy because they are so angry all the time or are they progressives because they are so stinking upset at the way they live their lives. 

    • #14
    • March 10, 2020, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. Housebroken Thatcher

    Mr. Cheese caused me to consider that progressives must really hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    • #15
    • March 10, 2020, at 8:38 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Concretevol Thatcher

    Well said Doc!

    • #16
    • March 10, 2020, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I have no idea if young lesbians tend to be progressive and if older lesbians tend to be conservative. That is not what this post is about, and I hope the comments below don’t pursue such speculation

    I hate to violate a request in such a good post, but I think the reason may be that the older lesbians (and African Americans or other minorities) have lived long enough to see things change for the better and that the system works. The younger have not seen much change.

    • #17
    • March 10, 2020, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  18. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat: in all sorts of left-wing bumper stickers: Coexist in religious symbols, Eat Local, all sorts of peace vs war stickers

    I parked next to a car with an anti-fluoride bumper sticker. I didn’t get a chance to see the person, but I was/am curious about this person. The imagination runs wild…

    • #18
    • March 10, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    Years ago I was out of town with my friend and CEO in a town outside Denver. We stopped at a local restaurant/bar for a bite and a beer and sat at the bar. My buddy couldn’t help himself and started chatting up a pretty young woman at the bar. They seemed to be having quite a pleasant conversation, until the girlfriend arrived. She was much like your tea drinkers, mullett, t-shirt, sleeveless denim jacket, tats, plump. She walked straight up to my friend and sucker punched him right in the face. It was more shocking than hurtful and bouncers immediately formed out of the ether, picked her up and threw her out of the bar. This was obviously not the first time. One of the bouncers had to stand at the door to keep her from re-entering. She paced the front of the bar, pounding on the door, peering in windows, yelling epithets and swearing vengence. My friend enjoyed this and took further pleasure in his friendly conversation with the outcast’s amante. Eventually the pretty girl left and the ordeal was over.

    Sometimes being a lesbian is difficult. It’s an equipment problem.

    • #19
    • March 10, 2020, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Kephalithos Member

    Dr. Bastiat: My point is that it was obviously not her sexual preference that made the Subaru lady unpleasant at the gas station. It was her progressive politics. It seems that her progressivism makes her unhappy. And it’s easy to see why.

    Eh. I don’t think that progressivism makes people unhappy. It’s more likely that unhappy people gravitate toward progressive politics, and then use progressive politics to stick their metaphorical thumbs in the metaphorical eyes of all the (seemingly) well-adjusted people around them, whom they resent. But the number of well-adjusted people in the world is dropping like a rock, so the whole enterprise is becoming a bit . . . um, tired.

    At the moment, resentment may be the strongest force in American political and cultural life. None of us are immune to its charms. The women you’ve described, like a lot of urbanites and young people, have built a community around their shared resentments. For what it’s worth, the political right is trending in the same direction, but that’s to be expected — our civilization is ailing, and nobody knows what to do about it . . . except resent the fact.

    • #20
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat: When I went into the gas station to use the rest room, I noticed that someone was walking behind me, and I reflexively held the door open and stood aside, allowing that person to enter first. It was one of the ladies from the Subaru, and she brushed past me without looking at me and mumbled “thanks” in a sarcastic tone, like I had just handed her a used Kleenex. She was pissed. And she exuded unpleasantness. I thought to myself, “There goes a very unhappy person.”

    They thrive on being unhappy. Being happy makes them miserable. So, in the spirit of giving, as she stomps on by whisper “ It’s not about who you are; it’s about who I am.”

    • #21
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:12 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. The Reticulator Member

    AUMom (View Comment):

    . I suspect these are standard equipment, or at least an inexpensive option, on a Subaru.

    My Subaru, sporting no stickers of any kind, goes to many happy places. Shoot, with the way these cars turn on a dime, how can you be unhappy driving one?

    I wonder if progressives are unhappy because they are so angry all the time or are they progressives because they are so stinking upset at the way they live their lives.

    My Subaru doesn’t have any stickers, either. Did I get ripped off by the dealer?

    • #22
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  23. Bob Thompson Member

    Dr. Bastiat: She hates big banks

    This one got my attention. It might be the only point where my simpatico is almost total for your characters. Have you noticed that President Trump is pushing for a liberal loan policy for small businesses. No, I should re-phrase that. He is pushing for a loan policy for small business that doesn’t even exist in many places since the disastrous legislation favoring the big banks was installed in the first decade of this century. Have you noticed that there is no competition in the banking industry? I don’t think that makes any attempt at a free market to have much potential for success. It works for the big industries but there is nothing there for small business. California, usually put forth as our great economic leader, has just made major moves to kill the ‘gig’ economy that drives so many small entrepreneurial types.

    • #23
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. PHCheese Member

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    Mr. Cheese caused me to consider that progressives must really hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Yes , when was the last time you saw the wind build a sandcastle on the beach instead of blowing one down.

    • #24
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:26 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: in all sorts of left-wing bumper stickers: Coexist in religious symbols, Eat Local, all sorts of peace vs war stickers

    I parked next to a car with an anti-fluoride bumper sticker. I didn’t get a chance to see the person, but I was/am curious about this person. The imagination runs wild…

    Bad teeth at the very least??

    • #25
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:27 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Bill Nelson Member

    Maybe she just was having a bad day.

    • #26
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. The Reticulator Member

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Maybe she just was having a bad day.

    Or a good day, so didn’t tear him limb from limb. All sorts of possibilities there. 

    • #27
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Roderic Coolidge

    Someone summed it up for me this way: “The left is a violent hate group.”

    • #28
    • March 10, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I recommend against using the word “progressive.” I generally use “Leftist” or, more recently for the current strange outbreak, “Wokeist.”

    I think that language is important. I do not think that there is a single policy advocated by the radical Left that, if implemented, would result in “progress.” So why would one be willing to use the other side’s misleading and propagandistic word for themselves?

    • #29
    • March 10, 2020, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Good OP, by the way, Doc.

    The OP does not appear to be specifically addressed to issues of homosexuality, but the examples relate to homosexuality. Douglas Murray’s recent book, The Madness of Crowds, draws a distinction between “gay” and “queer,” contending that “gay” has to do with sexual conduct and nothing more, while “queer” views homosexuality as merely the first step in a radical political project aimed at overthrowing the entirety of the existing order.

    I find there to be an interesting chicken-or-egg question in these circumstances. Is there something about homosexuality that may tend to lead people, or at least many of them, to radical politics? Of is there something about radical politics that may tend to lead some people to homosexuality? Or are they unrelated?

    • #30
    • March 10, 2020, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 3 likes