'The True Believer': Actor Mark Ruffalo Has a Mass Movement in Public

Mark “The Hulk” Ruffalo climbed onto Twitter on Thursday to have a mass movement in front of everyone. Ruffalo posted:

What does Ruffalo mean by “one way or another”? Nobody knows. Maybe not even Ruffalo. As things stand, an a**kicking-through-election or impeachment seems unlikely. One could take “one way or another” as vaguely menacing–with an emphasis on “vaguely.”

And what does “Keep your anger, fear, and love where they belong” entail? Also unclear. Ruffalo seems to be at war not just with Donald Trump but with specificity itself.

Here’s a thought: maybe by “#KickTrumpsAss,” Ruffalo means “Wait until 2025 when Trump leaves office.” This would amount to the old “Let him punch us until his fists get tired” strategy. Don’t laugh: Democrats seem to believe that time is on their side, and all they must do is abide, as the country slides to the left over the next decade. And they may be right.

Ruffalo’s sloganeering brings to mind Eric Hoffer’s classic work of political thought The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Hoffer writes:

A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness, and meaninglessness of an individual existence. It cures the poignantly frustrated not by conferring on them an absolute truth or by remedying the difficulties and abuses which made their lives miserable, but by freeing them from their ineffectual selves–and it does this by enfolding and absorbing them into a closely knit and exultant corporate whole.

“All for one and one for all” indeed.

“Poignantly frustrated” describes many on the left these days, as the impeachment circus starts pulling down its tents and selling the pipe organs for scrap metal. The CNN crowd is crestfallen. The show was supposed to go on and on, until President Snidely Whiplash was carted away in chains.

Impeachment was supposed to restore democracy; but like Rocky Balboa, The Donald keeps getting back up. Just like that, the credits are rolling. Someone queued up the wrong movie.

How will Ruffalo fill the time between those choice film roles and Oscar parties now? Boredom will set in soon, for Ruffalo and the people who have nothing better to do than to drink in his unvarnished observations on politics and economics–two of many, many fields in which Ruffalo has no experience or talent. But hey: when you’re bored, why not run your mouth? Hoffer observes:

There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society’s ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom. In  almost all the descriptions of the periods preceding mass movements there is a reference to vast ennui; and in their earliest stages mass movements are more likely to find sympathizers and support among the bored than among the exploited and oppressed. To a deliberate fomenter of mass upheavals, the report that people are bored stiff should be at least as encouraging as that they are suffering from intolerable economic or political abuses.

Ruffalo and the left are looking not so much for a solid leader as Obama 2.0–the charisma candidate who will spark a new mass movement and overwhelm President Trump and his reactionary MAGA-hatted minions.

The pandering, vagueness, and flip-flopping on issues by Democrat candidates amounts to treading water. The real question is: can Democrats find–or create–a candidate performer who sings a song independent voters dance to, thus overlooking the fantasy platform Democrats have presented to them?

So far, the answer is “no.” Bernie and Biden have all the charisma of cinder blocks. As I have already argued, there is only one realistic possibility: Michelle Obama. But running her for prez presents logistical difficulties. And there’s no guarantee Michelle wants to take on a very, very difficult and time-consuming job. She seems more interested in sitting back and making bank off the Obama brand.

And so President Trump may very well win reelection, and frustration will grow and grow, a simmering mass movement with no spear point. Hoffer writes:

What ails the frustrated? It is the consciousness of an irremediably blemished self. Their chief desire is to escape that self–and it is this desire which manifests itself in a propensity for united action and self-sacrifice. The revulsion from an unwanted self, and the impulse to forget it, mask it, slough it off and lose it.

A chilling thought: if the left does find its new Lenin, its Che Guevara the Younger, what might happen then? What havoc will unfold when a spear point emerges–either in 2020 or 2024–and the leftist institutional tyranny comprises not just the emoji overseers and university administrators, but all the estates of the federal government?