During the latest iterations of the Far-Right Conservatives dickishness -- I am speaking here, among other things, of Ann Coulter's amazing column on Why Soccer Is Bad, and (more locally) Republican Senator Jason Rapert, here in Arkansas, attacks on the judge and the ruling overturning our state's gay marriage ban -- during these times, as I was saying, a general truth emerged to me.
You all are familiar with Ghandi's rules for how revolutions progress: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
It occurs to me that the inverse is true for those on the other side of this hegemonic discourse, and our dealings with that side. Which is to say:
First we fight them, then we laugh at them, then we ignore them, and then we've won.
Those on the losing side of this battle -- Coulter, Rapert, Rod Dreher, Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Schlafly, Dennis Prager, Mike Adams -- for a while, they had a nice gig going.
They only had to speak to be taken seriously, by the media, and more importantly, by those of us who were fighting them.
Progressives would spend hours and weeks battling their most ridiculous statement, while they received praise and (frequently) book deals for their reactionary fluff.
So when Schlafly said, in 2007, that rape within marriage was not rape, because women consented to sex by marrying a guy, she got a lot of attention.
When Rush said we didn't need to protect the environment, that there were more trees in America now than "when Columbus discovered the continent," many people took time to consider and refute his bizarre contention.
And when Coulter (who has said so many ridiculous things it's hard to keep up) wrote her pile of nonsense, Slander, in 2006, Progressives went nuts refuting it.
Even here on this blog, I used to spend a lot of time refuting and disputing Right-Wing bullshit.
That was during the stage when we were fighting. It lasted, probably, from about 1850 to somewhere around 2010.
Now we're mostly laughing. Limbaugh's constant racism and Schlafy's constant sexism and Mike Adam's tinfoil hat fantasies no long seem worth refuting. We just roll our eyes and maybe snort in derision.
When Jason Rapert started his fulminating after the Piazza Ruling (for reference, Rapert also runs an Impeach Obama movement here in AR), we likewise just rolled our eyes and snorted. "Now he's just being a dick about it," I posted on FB.
We are very nearly through the laugh at them stage, in other words; we really have begun to (mostly) ignore those whose worldview used to be hegemonic.
Soon they will all be what most of them already are -- the equivalent of those cranks who corner you at a party or in front of the Wal-Mart and complain at you lengthily: how you can't tell the men from the women anymore (these haircuts!), or how kids today have no respect, or how women used to cook for their families, back when America was Great!
Really, we're already laughing only a little, and mostly ignoring them.
Really, we have already won.
Update: This is what I'm on about (Probably apocryphal, but none the less!)
8 hours ago