The author expresses his profound frustration about a friend's descent into right-wing attitudes and views. I share his feelings because there are teabaggers in my own family. Some days, it seems like I'm surrounded by such people.
Sure, start a dialog with even the most obtuse teabagger sort…attempt to convince him that the views he clutches are self-defeating…try to disabuse him of his calcified bigotry — but don’t be optimistic about the outcome of your efforts. Trouble is depressingly large numbers of people have invested a great amount of time, energy and identity in the maintenance of their reality-defiant attitudes…There is just too much fragile self-esteem, bulwarked by brittle pride, at stake.