Some people still have trouble wrapping their heads around what makes climate-change deniers like me tick. I’ll cut right to the chase:
We are all familiar with assholes. Driven by their own fears and insecurity, assholes posture themselves to look superior to others. By tearing others down, assholes attempt to build themselves up. Once you understand that we are nothing but assholes, our behavior is explainable.
Now assholes have been around since the beginning of time and they can actually do us some good. For example, sometimes assholes benefit us by attacking and exposing other assholes. And fights between assholes can be fun to watch.
Even emotionally-developed adults are sometimes forced to act like an asshole to defend against other assholes who are too broken to handle any other way. Sometimes reasonable people screw up and act like an asshole to people who don’t deserve it. And some people feel like they have to act like an asshole to get stuff done for the greater good. They’re usually wrong and we much prefer and admire people who aren’t assholes and who still accomplish quite a lot precisely because they aren’t an asshole.
But as people like Donald Trump and climate-change deniers like me demonstrate, a new super strain of asshole is in ascendancy. Today’s media environment provides a stage for us to mainline our juvenile stupidity and venom directly to our audience and bypass existing societal defenses that used to thwart us. It’s now possible for assholes like me to take big, fat, public shits on others and their work with our own bullshit to sate our badly dysfunctional egos. Not only that, we are rewarded for our anti-social behavior with lots of attention and adulation from other idiots and assholes. They, in turn, mimic our behavior. As a result, our culture thrives and spreads like a cancer.
The best pathological assholes do a good job of presenting themselves as normal people to other assholes. We can be polite, gracious and even self-effacing to the other assholes that agree with us but we behave like assholes toward just about everybody else if we can get away with it. That’s how we build community and solidarity with each other. The biggest assholes love other assholes like us who take their side of an argument even if our ideas have no basis in reality. Because it’s not our logical thought they embrace; they like us because we are assholes, just like them.
So there you go. You can now stop pretending we are logical, rational people and can be reasoned with like normal people. The best offense against us is to call us what we are: straight-up assholes. I hope this profound insight helps clear shit up for you.