Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Anatomy of a Tantrum

Remember, if you can, when not getting that candy bar or toy was just unthinkable. You were two, probably, and the big people who controlled everything were inexplicably insisting that you go to bed, eat your peas, withholding life itself. Most of us were so young when we threw our last tantrum that the specific memory is lost; still you may be able to recapture those feelings: how you built up the horror of not having your way to such an unbearable pitch that your anger and frustration were out of control. The evil was so great, so incomprehensible that you had to make them see at all cost! 

It's called "awfulizing." The child's wish must be fulfilled, or the world will come to an end. A socialist nightmare will be unleashed! There will be death panels! People will be dragged into FEMA camps and turned into socialist zombies! Making health insurance more affordable is the greatest possible evil that ever was or ever could be!

And if you are trying to stop the greatest possible evil, then any evil you commit is a lesser evil. Obamacare must be stopped! It does not matter what harm we do.

A child is so dependent on his parents, so helpless that their refusal to fulfill a desire is terrifying. Today, a candy-bar. Tomorrow, food itself? Hugs? Starvation! Death camps! The tantrum is therefore the parents' fault. Their cruel and inexplicable refusal made him scream and break things.

The Teaparty loudly protest their independence, love of freedom, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Yet, their behavior is infantile, histrionic, authoritarian. They blame Obama and the Democrats for what they themselves manifestly do and cause. Their relationship to government is precisely the relationship of a tantrum-throwing child to its parents.

It can scarcely help that daddy is suddenly, inexplicably, and—for two elections now—willfully black.

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