Leopards Eating People’s Faces

There’s a famous tweet from the early days of Trumpmania that’s still cited eight years later whenever some MAGA enabler sounds surprised at what populism has wrought.

The analogy between a demagogic political movement and a wild animal is obvious enough that I’ve used it myself. It’s not just that both are dangerous and won’t ever be tamed. It’s that they’re unpredictable and yet very predictable.

You can’t anticipate what they’ll do moment to moment. But you can rest assured that, eventually, they’ll try to eat your face.

Weirdly, some people who spend an unusual amount of time around feral animals remain in denial about this. 

As those of us who’ve seen the film Grizzly Man know, a certain type of animal enthusiast will come to believe that he’s forged a special bond with the objects of his affection. He’s sure that he understands them more deeply than other humans do, so he considers himself at no risk of having his face eaten.

If you haven’t seen Grizzly Man, I’ll leave you to guess how that turns out for him.

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