I wonder where Paddy Chayefsky is today?
I spent some time at a tea party get together. I was bored. I have never seen such undirected anger over the world's state and direction. Everyone there was thoroughly and completed cheesed off about the economy, their retirement (or lack of the same), falling home prices, rising taxes, unemployment, etc. etc. etc. None of the folks there really had any idea about how to solve the problems other than we should go back to the way things used to be and to "get government off our backs".
When I went around afterwards, trying to talk to folks about ideas, they were remarkably unwilling to talk about concrete ideas. For the most part, they devolved into various groups of folks with a common recreation interest. The fishing crowd was more interested in boats than ideas. The hunting crowd was more concerned about guns than programs. I found the off-roaders nearly incomprehensible.
Most of these folks just want their no-care, wrinkle-free lifestyle back. They are all taking it in the shorts right now. But the biggest reason they will fail isn't because they aren't angry, it is because they are bored with the give and take of politics. They don't realize that all of this mess is a result of our democratic process, they just see the mess and want it to go away so that that they can return to their petroleum-fueled lives of recreation.
I think that the decisions that need to be made are beyond a lot of folks in this segment of the population. They are not really interested in the democratic process. They are interested in the preservation of their perceived perquisites and the maintenance of the status quo that has allowed them their status symbols.
Hence they are easy meat for those who are the biggest enemy of our liberties and our society. These are the Sarah Palin's of the world. Simplistic and ego driven, they pander to an inchoate demographic like the tea-baggers. Simplistic solutions that will never work but are focus group tested are trotted out and turned aside just as quickly.
That is what I see happening next, these unsophisticated recro-commandos will buy into some manipulative, power-hungry demagogue who will promise them a return to the world that they want. There will be an attempt to subvert the government to get more power. It is my belief that the checks and balances of government may well be enough to hold off the attack, but they will be sorely tested.