In a recent article about the racist right and science fiction, this caught my eye (boldface mine):
Scalzi said that it’s unwise to dismiss authors because of a single novel or late-career tendency toward the lunatic fringe, but that he’s seen a rightward shift in a baby-boomer sci-fi novelists in particular. “For some healthy slice of the baby boomers in general, 9/11 just caused a bend in their thinking and they’ve been thinking in a much more conservative and reactionary way,” he said.
Here’s what I don’t get: if our internal security forces hadn’t had multiple failures, the Oklahoma City bombing would have been the largest domestic terrorist incident in recent history, not Sept. 11, 2001. And keep in mind, for six years, Oklahoma City was the most devastating attack. Yet there wasn’t a massive derangement–if anything the country became slightly less insane. Republican congressman weren’t inviting far-right militias, often with white supremacist ties, to testify in front of Congress–and not as hostile witnesses, but patriots defending freedom.
While there were a lot of factors that led to post-9/11 hysteria (including cynical manipulation), it was as if some people wanted to be at war, wanted to be afraid.
I can analyze this, but, at some basic level, I still don’t understand how so many completely lost their shit for so long.