I’ve heard a theory that when Conservatives are in power, the public is most receptive to vampire movies, and when Liberals are in power, it’s zombie films the public wants. The idea is that unchecked Conservatism is like Dracula draining the blood from the populace, while unchecked Liberalism is like brainless masses threatening to tear down civilization.
The characterizations of the news from Madison certainly seem to match up with those two monstrous mythic archetypes. From the standpoint of those who’ve been marching the streets and filling the Twitter feeds since last Monday, Governor Scott Walker is a vampiric figure funded by the Koch brothers and protecting the interests of the wealthy at the expense of the common person. The accusation is that Walker actually manufactured this budget crisis in order to impose draconian cuts.
Recently, however, the Twitter feeds have begun to reflect an equally outraged Tea-Party backlash at the demonstrators, and today will see the first organized Tea-Party protest at the Capitol. I can only hope that the events remain as peaceful as they have been thus far. But given the tone of Tea-Party messages on Twitter and blog entries, I have to worry.
Those messages routinely and unfairly use the word “thug” in referring to the people assembled over the past week. The messages claim an atmosphere of hatred and an undercurrent of violence. In truth, it is those messages themselves that raise the emotional stakes to a dangerous level.
Frankly, I’m tired of being called a “union thug” and accused of “bullying” Scott Walker just because I see things differently than Tea Partiers do. From my perspective, the economic crash of 2009 and the irresponsible oil spill in the Gulf last year alone ought to show us that the Vampires are still in control. I’d rather take my chances with the Zombies for now.