Further uses for wingnuts:

One reason I enjoy covering Rod Dreher is that he rekindles my love for America. We are surrounded by conservatives who insist that they love America, and describe it as a horrible place where the unfortunate deserve only the back of the hand of power, which must be maintained by endless wars. After a bellyful of their patriotism I sometimes begin to doubt my own. Maybe they’re right, I begin to think: maybe the ugly America they celebrate is the real America, and I have only deluded myself that it was something better.

But when brother Rod denounces the West, as he is increasingly prone to do, my defensive reaction troubles me less. Because while I would agree with him, and his sources, that there are many things wrong with this country, his judgment of general rottenness on our way of life so offends me that I turn into a regular Yankee Doodle Dandy. When he says “[Patrick] Deneen raises the possibility that events — economic, especially — will do more to enhance traditionalist conservatism’s prospects with the public than anything else,” and I realize he is praying for catastrophe to befall us so that we will all come running to Jesus and the Old Ways for protection, I feel the sort of things that liberals of old must have felt when student radicals threatened to burn the motherfucker down: this is still my country, and if we are ridiculous about a number of things, I will certainly side with it against the likes of you. […]

Heaven knows I get mad about what’s going on in this country, and often treat its leaders, opinion or otherwise, and even its citizens with raw contempt. So I’m thankful that Dreher and The Anchoress are around to set me straight. The American people are often ridiculous and sometimes do horrible things, and I have turned my wrath on a broad array of our native fixers, crackers, dupes, dopes, and scumbags. But they are still my people. I too want more than I could possibly deserve, chafe at well-meant and even reasonable restrictions, and prefer a good time to a Great Awakening. And in the last ditch I’ll take my stand with our credit-, pleasure-, and freedom-addicted folk against our would-be saviors.

I don’t torment myself with wingnuts as often as I once did. There are any number of reasons for this, all of which are different ways of saying “because it is hateful and I hate it.” And one of these ways was me wondering “well, why don’t you move to Russia, then, since you seem to like it so much?” I didn’t mean it like that, obviously – I meant the Russia of Putin, unashamed of its corrupt plutocracy and torturing police state and leader cult, where one can have one’s despotism taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy. Which come to think of it, is the Russia of a century and a half ago, and the Russia of a half-century ago, too, though sadder and with different lyrics. So maybe I did sort of mean it like that, but I only meant that you’d be happier there, and I’d be happier with you there, and we could all be happy in the knowledge that everyone was happier, and that’s utilitarian Yahtzee.

Or maybe I didn’t mean Russia so much as Mexico. Or maybe not Mexico. Maybe some South American place like, I don’t know, Paraguay? or, you know, one of those places on which the composite South American dictatorships you see in movies are based. I might mean Argentina, or El Salvador, maybe – I confess it all blends together. In any case, you’d get all the advantages of Russia, better food and weather, and El Presidente might not look quite so much like Angus Scrimm. And you could get American TV! So why don’t you move to a composite picture of a banana republic, then?

And then, having exhausted my knowledge of both the real-but-distant and not-really-real-but-based-on-a-shocking-true-story worlds, I start to look around, and notice that most places where there’s an important button around here, there’s one of your fingers. Well, not your fingers obviously, which are otherwise engaged, but the sorts of fingers which you would just as soon see there. And as that’s the case, I start thinking “well, why don’t I move to Russia, then? Since what’s the functional difference at this point, anyway?” And the best answer I can come up with is that “it’s cold, and they talk Ruskie.” Would my DVDs even work there? Plus, moving’s kind of a pain generally. And I’m not having so much fun now that the valenki is on the other foot.

… And also this field guide to the fauna and/or flora of wingnuttia.