What the Fringe Element Does for Us
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," hippie-dippy edition! Just stop by here for all the sex, drugs, and rock n roll you can handle. We'll fly the astral plane, take a trip around the Bay, bring you back the same day... da da da dum dum!
I'm just barely old enough to remember hippies. What I remember about hippies is what most people remember, if they think about it -- there weren't many true hippies. If you want to know what it was like to be a true hippie, read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe.
True hippies did the Timothy Leary thing: They turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. If they were political at all, they didn't live any one place long enough to vote.
When we think of "hippie," we think of draft protesters and flag-burners, and young people taking over college campuses (and getting shot for it). These people looked like hippies, but they were intensely engaged in the political process. And their influence was out-sized. Politicians courted them and listened to their demands. Thanks to these political "hippies," we no longer have a draft, people can vote at age 18, abortions are legal, and it's ok to burn the flag.
The counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s was led by a small group of loud people and was given big-time press coverage. It sent shock waves of fear through Mainstream America. The Summer of Love spawned the Moral Majority. It gave us Richard Nixon as a president. Ordinary folks were just shocked to the core by all this protesting ... and sex ... and drugs ... and long hair.
The backlash to hippies was the conservative resurgence.
Now we are faced with a new group of loud, politically active, outsider freaks who are getting a great deal of press time. They are the Tea Party movement, the Dominionists, the "Pray Away the Gay" morons like Rick Santorum. These people are a tiny minority of Americans, just as the hippies were. And just like the hippies, they're getting some political traction.
Fear not, gentle reader! The same ordinary, run-of-the-mill Americans who were shocked by the hippies will be equally shocked by the Tea Party and by people who want to re-name Washington, DC the "District of Christ." Fringe groups make a lot of noise, and sometimes they change national policy, but inevitably there will be a backlash against them. Illogical as it may sound, the Tea Party may usher in a prolonged period of liberal politics.
We at "The Gods Are Bored" feel pretty certain that the conservative fringe will get loud enough, and belligerent enough, to nauseate the mainstream. Eventually their traction will fail, and they'll all go limping off to the Elks Club, and Bible Study, and minor league baseball games. Their only legacy may be reducing the amount of health care Americans can get. Vote at 18 vs. reduced or eliminated Medicare. Well, I know which one of those options is better for our nation!
"District of Christ?" Meet "Summer of Love." We all wanna change the world.