Thoughts on the conservative mindset

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Dear Thom,

During yesterday's show, one of your callers asked how it was that so many conservatives don't believe in global warming. I beleve that either you or he also mentioned the recent studies showing how many don't believe in evolution. You blamed the global warming thing on misinformation spread by big oil.

While I think you're right about that, I also think there's something more basic amiss in the conservative mindset. (I grew up fundamentalist, and got to know how they think while I was getting out.) Essentially, conservatives believe that your perception of the evidence is entirely colored by your presuppositions. You think the evidence supports evolution because you already believe in it. You think Obama's good for the economy because you're already a liberal. It is only when you have the right beliefs -- creationism, conservatism, whatever -- that you can truly see the evidence for what it is.

This means that conservatives are free to dismiss any evidence that contradicts their positions because it comes from people who disagree with them. Any news stories that undermine the Fox narrative must show liberal bias. The statistics Paul Krugman quotes must be bogus because they come from Paul Krugman. Obama's birth certificate must be a fake because it comes from Obama.

At its most extreme, you have Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman saying with a straight face things that are patently false -- Paul Revere was warning the British, or the founding fathers fought tirelessly against slavery. Thise things must be true, because Bachman and Palin believe them, and their hearts are pure.

Given that this mindset is leading the country -- and possibly the planet -- over a cliff, I think it's up to progressives to show it for what it is every chance we get.

Thanks,

David King

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David King
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Comments

What you are describing is hardly a trait that you will see only in conservative circles. In fact your whole post here reflects the same mindset that you are decrying. You are speaking in absolutes about conservatives and painting with a broad brush on what conservatives beleive.

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Workerbee, I'm not sure what you're saying. I maintained that conservatives assume that how you judge evidence is controlled entirely by your beliefs, so they dismiss any evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs. You're saying that my post reflects the same mindset. How exactly? Am I dismissing evidence that conservatives don't dismiss evidence? Am I also adopting the assumption that evidence is controlled by beliefs?

Also, with respect, can you give me an example of a leading figure on the left saying something as patently false as the two examples I gave from Palin and Bachnman?

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David King
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Feb. 14, 2012 7:50 am

"Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress"- President Obama

I chose this one because it is verifiably false, not a matter of opinion or interpretation. Furthermore this is something in the fore front of the political scene so something clearly would have been discussed amongst the president and his advisers. As a professor of constitutional law at Harvard this is something he should clearly know is false.

People, like politicians, who have microphones in their face all the time inevitably say dumb things. Whether they be exaggerations, taking things out of context, misstatements or historically inaccurate things. With that in mind I am generally fairly forgiving of stupid things that politicians say.

I maintained that conservatives assume that how you judge evidence is controlled entirely by your beliefs, so they dismiss any evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs. You're saying that my post reflects the same mindset. How exactly?

Because of the distorted examples you have cited. You start with a conclusion and then cite questionable examples to support it.

Global warming; Progressives routinely dismiss any evidence that factors other the humanity are linked to warming. Scientists who present evidence or contrary theories are dismissed as stooges for oil companies and compared to holocaust deniers.

Krugman; An economy is an incredibly complex thing. Reasonable people can look at the same statistics and numbers and reach different conclusions. If a progressive does not agree with Milton Friedman is that evidence that they "dismiss evidence contrary to their beliefs" ?

Birth Certificate; This is a fringe conspiracy theory embraced by a handful of odd balls and Trump.

The fact is that the "facts" are often opinions, the issues of the day are akin to a rorschach test where two people look at the same thing and seeing it totally different. Each convinced that the other is blind or crazy.

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Not to mention that the "theory" evolution has holes in it large enough to drive a truck through, yet anyone who points that out is shouted down as a fundamentalist kook by the left.

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mauiman58
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Jan. 6, 2012 6:45 pm

here's a simple explanation. Conservatives don't understand the song from the Elvis who didn't die on the crapper-"What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?"

lovecraft
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May. 8, 2012 12:06 pm

liberals are far more likely tol actually look at evidence and evaluate the data, unlike workerbee. The climate problem is a greenhouse gas problem. Evolution is just as real and true as gravity. The only hole are in your head

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MEJ
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Will the real conservatives start showing up and speaking out? Today's "conservative movement" is superbly packaged scam of a box, that's chock full of paper and lots of other smaller boxes tucked to lure the victim of a practical joke on Christmas morning or during a birthday/anniversary party. At least on Christmas morning and during these parties, the jokers by and large have included something of special value that's catered to reflect the person the gift's given to, and seldom do the "victims" complain.

Not so with today's clown jokers who probably wouldn't hesitate to invent a new (but obviously not so improved) version of Solitaire included by all computer manufacturers. Today's big-mouth bloviators harp about the necessity to strangle government to almost nothing (all the while looting what's still usable ($$ and mineral/land/air/sea rights, etc.) to fatten their wallets while cranking up start up companies, ala former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's failed computer game business, which went belly up in Rhode Island thanks to a bankruptcy filing last week. Rhode Island taxpayers will have to pick up the tab twice since he mooched their state for government funds, on top of what he mooched from the Feds.

He didn't come up with a 51-card version of Solitaire, but he might as well have. And so it goes with a who's who's rogues list of "ya gotta do it on your own, remember we're in an ownership era now, kiddos" advocates of the new "look" of fiscal conservatism. Here's another baseball "example:" Remember a former owner of the Texas Rangers who then went on to mis-manage the "Washington Federals"? There'll be lots of fancy wrappings on the boxes of promising returns on ventures they (almost never admit to) asking Ma & Pa Taxpayers to subsidize; and you can count on them making their way out the back door before the joke's been finally recognized.

The same goes for the way they conducted war, rang up bills in half-baked prescription programs that were deliberately shaped to favor a handful of already scandalously wealthy big pharma companies. Remember how they soclalized the risks taxpayers had to take up for Halliburton and Blackhawk? Let's not forget their tax scam of 1981 that's been fine tuned to be forever reactivated by these so-called "conservatives" who'll put the proverbial circular bomb around the taxpayers' necks set to go off the moment cheapskates like Cantor, Ryan, Romney, Mitchell and DeMint don't get their way when the annual December tax battles start anew. In the meantime what will they care if student loan interest rates double. After all, the Republican Party and its "fiscally conservative" wing has long been in the back-pockets, or beds of the pimp lobbyists trolling Washington DC for the shylocking pay-day loan "industry."

Get ready folks: this "conservative movement," is going to continue repackaging conservatism into something it was never intended to be ... an unapologetic, shameless and disgusting appeal to the lowest common denominator found in most politico wannabes: GREED.

Forget patriotism. Remember the co-founder of Facebook? Some patriot he was when he was given his share of the tab to pay. Zoom, right outta the bar and out of the country with an obscene "see ya later" gesture thrown in for good measure. And who defended him? No less than El Rushbo. In past days, real conservatives would at least have served their country if drafted, no matter how strongly they objected to conscription, and no matter which war they were drafted to serve in. Russell Kirk made no bones all his life about his objection to the draft. But he served. El Rushbo, who has and never had any objections to this nation's wars waged here and there, found plenty of excuses to dodge the draft. So did the Rev. Missionary Mitt, twice over...even to the point where his own Mormon Church was embarrassed. Remember Dark Side Dick Cheney? Five consequetive referrals. Between those three stalwart patriots, ... you get the picture.

I had a draft deferment, too and I used it to attend college. For a while, I took some Army ROTC courses at the Univ. of Miami in Coral Gables some 20 miles (one way) for three days while I was a student at then Biscayne College,way at the northern end of Dade County. Only out of concern for keeping myself out of trouble academically at home, did I decide to pull out. And that was in the fall of '71 when the Vietnam War was still very hot. Mittens was in France, Limbaugh was starting what would become the most demagogic radio show since the days of Fr. Laughlin and Cheney was putting himself in position to become a very well-placed careerist government employee. Back in those days, I too, believed the American cause was right and the Reds subsequent behavior, especially in Cambodia, proved me right.

Conservatism by this time was evolving into an egg-heady cottage industry of sorts; especially when the precursors of today's post-Citizens United fat-cat donors, got involved to form think tanks and journalist/congressional aide training seminars, internship camps. I was fortunate to have received a scholarship to the National Journalism Center in Washington. It was then a great place and under the direction of one of the older and wiser deans of the REAL (i.e., older and more philosophically and certainly more patriotically inclined) conservative movement...M. Stanton, "Stan" Evans. That was back in 1983, in a calmer ,,, more thoughtful pre-Coulter ('86) and Limbaugh age when no intern would dare joining in with the likes of the rogue "journalist" and disciple of the late Andrew Breitbart to pull that anti-ACORN hooker scam of a video several years back. Unfortunately, Hannah Giles, then an NJC intern did, thus tainting the program's once proud reputation. Jason Mattera, ('03) who interned at the NJC before he became editor of Human Events would've had his bum tossed out on the pavement if he pulled this crap on Sen. Sanders like he did lin May of last year.

Although El Rushbo didn't attend the NJC, it'd be interesting to learn if he'd consider this stunt by Mattera as a "drive by"? Or, are "drive bys" only a liberal specialty. Oh hell, all these same Righties who love thumping their chests while proclaiming the need for everybody to "demonstrate more personal accountability"

Where are today's more individualistically-inclined, er, hard-wired, "conservatives" when it comes to demonstrating that they have the moral and intellectual capacity to take responsibility for their thoughts and acts as individuals or as a group?

I'm going to paraphrase what a much wiser observer of how (honest) ideological divisions have become debased low enough poison our political arena. He also observed that in years past, when politicians, who also happened to be (in some instances, actual combat) these veterans of World War II who became our political leaders for decades afterwards, would wage serious philosophical objections to a particular bill or set of bills . . . they would put those aside to achieve some form of legislative achievement which allowed both sides to say that while they didn't get everything they wanted, they would invariably work together to pull out a bill (or more) for the greater good of the nation. Men or women in combat don't care what their buddy's ideology or party membership is. He just wants to help get that warrior back to his or her family.

"It's generational" he was told. Indeed. He later went on to describe in a very precise way so many of the struggles that occured since the Axis were beaten in '45 were viewed and handled (or mishandled) in so many varying ways. Sadly, the men and women who worked hard for face-saving compromises after fighting "like cats and dogs" have by and large left the great stage. And so many of their "replacements" haven't come close to resembling them in political stature.

What's an honest verbal jab delivered by Thom on his radio show compared to fighting in actual combat? What's an outright insult delivered by Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity, or a blast of hot air from Bill O'Reilly compared to flying over AA fire as George McGovern faced in his B-24 bomber, or the anguish endured by Bob Dole and Daniel Inoyue in Europe?

The much wiser observer was no less than Barack Obama, and his observation was shared two years before he was elected as our 44th President. (Audacity of Hope, p. 25.) Admittedly, I was much more conservative and skeptical of the relatively young and untested man.However, anybody can claim to be a "conservative," but damn few people can prove, it especially when they're working harder to commit economic treason for purely crass partisan purposes instead of learning how to be...and remain...members of a genuinely loyal opposition.

Today's "conservative mindset" has long ignored Burke, Kirk, Evans, Buckley, et al. And we have all suffered grieviously because of this "intellectual" devolution.

Steven.PBarrett
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Nov. 1, 2010 10:01 am
Quote MEJ:

liberals are far more likely tol actually look at evidence and evaluate the data, unlike workerbee. The climate problem is a greenhouse gas problem. Evolution is just as real and true as gravity. The only hole are in your head

Evolution violates the Second law of Thermodyamics. That's a hole even bigger than the one in your head. And there is simply no way to slowly evolve a bird. You can't slowly evolve feathers, and bird without fully developed feathers and hollow bones become someone's lunch. And the "evolving" species will not survive. That puts two large holes in your head.

Not to mention the almost total lack of fossil evidence in the fossil record for these "transitional" species. Those touting evolution have to assume these fossils are there but just have not been found yet. If you want to make that assumption fine, but I am not going to do that.

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mauiman58
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Quote mauiman58:
Quote MEJ:

liberals are far more likely tol actually look at evidence and evaluate the data, unlike workerbee. The climate problem is a greenhouse gas problem. Evolution is just as real and true as gravity. The only hole are in your head

Evolution violates the Second law of Thermodyamics. That's a hole even bigger than the one in your head. And there is simply no way to slowly evolve a bird. You can't slowly evolve feathers, and bird without fully developed feathers and hollow bones become someone's lunch. And the "evolving" species will not survive. That puts two large holes in your head.

Not to mention the almost total lack of fossil evidence in the fossil record for these "transitional" species. Those touting evolution have to assume these fossils are there but just have not been found yet. If you want to make that assumption fine, but I am not going to do that.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/02/feathers/zimmer-text

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D_NATURED
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Conservative mindset from a contender for VP

Louisiana to have vouchers to pay for Bible-based schools where no evolution is allowedby Sharon Hill on June 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Louisiana’s bold bid to privatize schools.

Louisiana is embarking on the nation’s boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

“We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”

Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy

SOOOOOOO many problems with this, hard to know where to begin. But I’ll give you a quote:

At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.

“We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children,” Carrier said.

Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity; Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory; and biology texts built around refuting evolution.

Yeeeaaaahhhh… Let’s make Louisiana school kids ignorant and unprepared for college and life. Way to go Gov. Jindal! Governor Jindal is an advocate of creationism and has been critical of things like scientific hazard program. He is not what I would consider on the ball when it comes to a rational exchange about the value of science. It is a whoppingly bad idea to allow parents to decide the curriculum. Science isn’t a democracy. And this is a poor way to fix troubled schools – it’s at the expense of a valid education.

Topics in this post: , , , , ,

You’ve just read a post by Sharon Hill, syndicated from the Doubtful Newsblog. You may comment on it below, or leave a comment on the original post instead.

Reading the comments shows the disease of conservative anti-intellectual programming at work. I am sure a new amendment is being hatched for a name change..."The Christian Republic of American Provinces" or CRAP. When CRAP acts everyone listens or smells. The divinely ordained CRAP is exceptionalism's finest example.

This is being couched as freedom, albeit freedom to be stupid

5 Comments Michael S. Langston says: June 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

That pesky freedom…. it’s good in theory, but when people use it, we should stop that, right?

Or possibly, a real market based educational system might have schools with which you disagree, but most likely this same system will produce so many more positive improvements, that these outliers will be insignificant.

I know the argument against this is ‘we shouldn’t allow even one child to get such a poor education’.

To which I would say, maybe we should rethink the calculus….looked at differently, we could ask this: is it better then that we should allow all those languishing in crappy public schools to be forced to stay in the union controlled monopoly that is failing public schools, just to ensure a small percentage of children end up in religious schools?

God is against unions you know.

And the church is afraid of homo even if it's homosapiens, they can't tell the difference because they were sheltered and educated at bible schools.

How long will this incurious anomaly spread? They will never seek or question, never be excited about the latest discovery of human origins. Might as well kill off anthropological studies and research.

I wonder if they ignore the work of Francis Crick , too?

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douglaslee
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Another perspective to consider is the Orwellian definition that the current crowd of tyrants has adopted.

Libertarians are not libertarian and if the TX school book publishers continue, no libertarian will know.

I am sure linguistics is one curriculum being squelched by the koch endowments to State Universities.

American Feud is a trailer covering the co-opted terms of conservative and liberal. Thom has interviewed some of the contributers to the film.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Liberal mind set: no personal responsibility no separation between government and private affairs entitled to everything try and hover massive deficit with platatudes like eat the rich.

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CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 2:22 pm

Conservative mind set: no community responsibility. It doesn't matter what is right or wrong only how much will it cost. Crush the necks of anyone who costs me money that I don't want to spend.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

conservative mindset, "keep the govt's hands off my medicare".

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douglaslee
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No we believe In community responsibility but we do that through our churchs.

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CollegeConservative
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Quote CollegeConservative:

No we believe In community responsibility but we do that through our churchs.

What do churches have to do with it? Why would anyone depend upon a church for anything but hope in the soul? Isn't that the church's responsibility? The community as a whole is responsible for each other otherwise it isn't a community. YOU are your brother's keeper, not the church. Should we depend on the church to maintain our laws? Should we depend on the church to keep our environment clean? Should we depend on the church for our health care? Community responsibility is a higher calling than a church.

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Bush_Wacker
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When u said community I went to goverment assistance and that's what the church does in my community so well we have actually caused adecrease government programs.

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CollegeConservative
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Quote David King:

Dear Thom,

During yesterday's show, one of your callers asked how it was that so many conservatives don't believe in global warming.

When you start with a false presumption, the rest is merely vacuous.

Conservative do believe in Global warming. What they DO NOT believe is that Humans (let Alone CO2) are the Main Climate driver of the Warming. Liberal believe it because out of all possible causes of Global warming. Human caused CO2 emissions are the only thing Humans can affect. Thereby giving liberals the power of all the things they hold to be evil.

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Capital.0
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May. 22, 2012 3:21 pm

vanityfair.com/politics/2012/07/obama-cabinet-team-rivals-lincoln discusses Obama's cabinet and performance. To see conservative mindset read the comments. He is marxist, not born here, socialist, incompetent, etc.. Clinton is a lousy Secy of State because North Korea is still there. And Bush was the most aware of foreign affairs since Nixon. The author is ignorant, and the magazine just liberal bias and unreadable halfway through.

Of course this also shows there is not an original thought in any conservative mind, just stuff barfed up like cows to chew before ingesting again, or bull cud

cud: a bolus of semi-degraded food regurgitated from the reticulorumen of a ruminant.

conservatives have mind cud, they repeat it so much they don't know it's just puke.

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douglaslee
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Quote douglaslee:

Libertarians are not libertarian and if the TX school book publishers continue, no libertarian will know.

Your YouTube link and its implication could be the subject of threads about modern day propaganda techniques, and what we are actually dealing with.

The Title of the video is worth noting: Chomsky refutes "libertarian" "anarcho"- capitalism. The speaker is the co-author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media in which he and Edward S. Herman sketch out a propaganda model and apply it to the mass media of the United States. Chomsky also contributed Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies to this genre of propaganda deconstruction.

That title phrase "manufacturing consent" goes back to Walter Lippman writing in the early 1920s after the Creel Commission under Wilson had successfully taken a nation that originally collectively wanted no part of as a European conflict into what became the mass slaughter fields of WWI.

About five minutes into the video Chomsky says the following:

We have to start by decoding a whole system of intellectual distortion before you can even talk... that itself is a big achievement. If terms have lost their meaning, well, you know, it becomes impossible to talk. And that's itself an achievement.

But an achievement by what? Well, power, essentially. Power has achieved a vast system of intellectual distortion. As a result, we are not talking.

The language of power takes place on a spectrum from disinformational propaganda techniques oriented towards manufacturing consent in an Incorporated Democracy (as Sheldon Wolin describes it), of which most of the Twentieth Century makes up essentially a concerted applied study by those in power, both government and corporate, to the opposite spectrum extremes of coercion, which we see emerging all the time, because as disinformational manufacturing of consent fails then the coercive instruments must be employed to manage the population. It doesn't take a string theory physicist to figure that out. What's difficult is to recognize it as it takes place in our every day circumstances.

Studies showing that the today's conservative mindset is closely linked with the authoritarian personality may help explain how the language of power can have such a huge effect on a whole population, even when those personally responsible, morally informed independent thinking elements themselves may be in perpetual rebellion against the ever anti human forces of power.

The language of power is the "my way or the highway" language. Authoritarian followers apparently love leaders who talk that language. The recent extremists these followers have voted into our Congress exhibit for us precisely why those characteristics of power will take down any leader who speaks a language seeking bipartisan agreement. And the language of disinformation completes the defeat with the help of powerful money backed words of disinformational free speech on mass media. It's a power language, not a communication language intent on accomplishing a "their way" ends to our society.

Pretty much everyone at Thom's board knows the obvious expressions of power we are dealing with. What's harder to recognize are the grammars and dialects employed at the disinformation extreme of power languages.

This board is rife with that language. Baby logic identifying logical fallacies from a 101 class can help us. We can learn the active task of recognize the ongoing employment of logical fallacies that make up much of that language. And it never hurts to start with our own. We are all susceptible and we all need to keep a constant awareness in place to help deconstruct their language of disinformational power. Here's a place to start unraveling these key features of the conservative "power language" mindset:

Propaganda ~ Logical Fallacies

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.ren
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I'm sure I am guilty of choices in my language that helps propogate the conservative "power language" mindset without ever realizing it in spite of my deep seated personal beliefs opposing it. I would appreciate any redirection of my language choices and perhaps others would as well to help modify the entire discussion in the future away from that all too entrenched "power language". I'd like to look into those links ren and hopefully mend my ways and the ways of others if I'm lucky.

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Laborisgood
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Quote CollegeConservative:

Liberal mind set: no personal responsibility no separation between government and private affairs entitled to everything try and hover massive deficit with platatudes like eat the rich.

What personal responsibility did Reagan take for his terrorist hit squads? I think his responsibility taking involved the words "I do not recall". What responsibility did he take for tripling the debt or doubling the taxes on the working class to give money to the rich? None. In fact his minions continue to misrepresent his terms in office as being a time of plenty when it is clear his policies did much harm.

What responsibility did George W. and the conservative congress take for Iraq, where a million people were murdered and as many displaced? None! What responsibility did he take for the economic collapse? None! In fact, the jackass wrote a book claiming to know how to correct the country's fiscal problems.

What personal responsibility did republicans take for either of their poorly chosen criminal candidates? None. In fact, the republican party's band of merry dipshits have continued to advocate for policies that demonstratably caused the very problems I mentioned. They still desire to entangle this country militarily and they still want to reduce the tax burden on the rich.

So, Mr. Conservative, tell me where the republicans have taken responsibility for ANYTHING they've done, and maybe I won't dimiss you completely as an out-of-touch douchebag/

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

I said personal responsibility u jag off as in local gooverment.

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CollegeConservative
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Quote CollegeConservative:

I said personal responsibility u jag off as in local gooverment.

LOL. Personal responsibility means local "gooverment", does it? You're too fucking stupid to know that they are related. When some conservative in the federal government abdicates their responsibility by giving massive tax cuts to the rich or starting a stupid, illegal, unfunded war, the cost of these decisions get passed down to local "gooverment", dipshit, and to persons. It's all interrelated and there is no way to tear down government on the federal level and make it work on the local level. Not with our constitution in place, but you don't care about that either.

However, you are too cranio-rectally involved to understand that. You continue to come here with so many tired arguments that have no intellectual credibility outside a Gingrich family reunion. Bravo, collegeconservatard, you take the cake!

The problem is, you think some single mother on food stamps is a welfare queen but Romney's wife isn't. DOUCHE!

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D_NATURED
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Quote Laborisgood:

I'm sure I am guilty of choices in my language that helps propogate the conservative "power language" mindset without ever realizing it in spite of my deep seated personal beliefs opposing it. I would appreciate any redirection of my language choices and perhaps others would as well to help modify the entire discussion in the future away from that all too entrenched "power language". I'd like to look into those links ren and hopefully mend my ways and the ways of others if I'm lucky.

I don't feel it's a matter of mending anything. More it's about developing a sensitivity for how we think in logical fallacies, and then, recognizing that we can get led down strings of thought that waste our time in straw man-like shadow bickering.

I think it's about attention and consciousness. We waste a lot of effort while perpetuating and even accentuating nonsense. That's the secret to public relations (otherwise known by terms like 'advertising' and 'propaganda') that Eddie Bernays drew upon from his Uncle Sigmund's insights -- the importance of instilling things into the subconscious through massive perpetual exposure. That's the power embedded in the money is speech the Supreme Court upheld for the sociopathic corporations. We have a fair number of their minions perpetuating that repetive exposure on this board. I'm sure you can identify them.

That site is filled with information to help sort that out. But I think each of us needs to develop a map of it for ourselves and then begin to make sense of the territory of that map. Then we can internalize our own actions based on our uniquely individual perceptions. There'se even a link to information developed in the US Army Psychological Field Manual, and a free download of a CIA interrogation manual.

Also, if you haven't read Thom's Cracking the Code, you might want to give that a try. We had a whole forum section with multiple threads devoted to the subjects in that book several boards back. Too bad it's gone. Thom could really do a service to us if he'd reinclude that topic in his talk shows, and perhaps re-devote a forum to it up here at the top section where most people look. He once was teaching it as Neuro Linguistic Programming when he was operating out of his home in Vermont.

Recognize when you are being played. Responding with a lengthy explanation to a poorly constructed one sentence blurb is generally being played. Poor sentence structure and misspellings are also indicative of a potential disinformationalist. They want you to think they are dumb, and they want you to insult them. It's like playing a fish for them.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Before I got to ren's erudite and to the point post, I was going to refer to Poly's "ideology is a disease" distinction between contemporary "conservativism" the philosophical conservativism open to essential questions and challenges. What we deal with today is the product of a dying age, nostalgia for a failing 'narrative' producing a desperation to defend against cognitivie dissonance. Of course, mounting the defense is admitting to knowing the threat.

This is where the demonization must make the threat more than an intellectual challenge. It is "evil" that lurks outside the dogma of ideology, and those who represent its dark powers must be defeated. The defense of the ideology justifies everything.

What is this power of belief that it can capture the mind and soul? Where is the conscience charged with the responsibility for moral integrity and not just obedience to the rules? Where is the moral realism of human life joined to the measure of integrity? Our conflict is not about ideas and "the mind" as if there were an academic neutral ground of pure discourse. When conservatives find liberals doing what we blame conservatives for doing, we need to admit that there are instances and anecdotes that should keep us humble. Nonetheless, the issue for liberals is not our need to defend and preserve the Neoliberalism established in the American Empire. We may have blind spots and ideas that prove not to wear well. It is in the nature of discovery.

There is no question that all "liberals" including American conservatives have had a narrative conviction in the story of "freedom" and American Destiny. American conservatives do not get to be honest royalists and monarchists. Their narrative must arrive at this goal by transmutation as freedom loses its universal stake in being for all and becomes what those who dare make of their "personal opportunity." That this becomes freedom from responsibility instead of personal responsibility is what they deny.

The projected "characteristics" of liberals are not what I see or hear in liberals, and nowhere is this emptier than in the idea that liberals are not about "personal responsibility" because they are also about social responsibility. College Con wants us to believe that it is the turf of the church, not the state, to see to the needs of the poor. In my clerical life, I have seen churches that make their livings off of "charity" and who will never cooperate with public programs other than to take money when they can. They have very pious rhetoric about their commitment to the poor, but they oppose or divert from the development of any effective public programs that might shrink their turf.

In my Mainline demoninations, social witness and charity is the immediate response to need combined with the advocacy of civil programs to help as well as to reform the causes of poverty and need. There is no line between the need of the poor to divide as fungible turf. If the church's advocacy makes the state take over, the attention of the church can be redirected to other areas of neglect. The society will be better for embracing more of its actual "general welfare" and "common good."

American individualism has been a metaphysical escape from basic human interdependence. The myth of "exceptionality" and of "destiny" has made us sacralize our secular institutions and cultural values and undercut the needs for reflection and re-evaluation. Combined with power, it has fed the Myth of the American Century for Liberals and Conservatives; but the two sides have divergent histories for the American Century. This is what the Culture War has been about. Contemporary American Conservativism has a lust for nostalgia and the preservation of the worldview of denial because everything is falling apart.

It does not matter that Obama is doing a great job of preserving their illusion and would never challenge its essential nature were they willing to compromise with him. He is not one of them and has to represent the demonic alternative to dogma. If they compromise, they admit that their story is not gospel. If the "other side" is essentially good rather than evil, they have no way to stop thought from flowing back into their minds.

When liberals deal with pathology, we need to be careful about demonization as well. What makes an "evil one" is a lot more than being mistaken about what is true and real. There are the manipulators and the manipulated. There are the psychopaths and sociopaths, and there are the decent people trying to get by and do the best they can in the midst of a lot of confusion and life pressures. Ironically, it is the angry liberal who cries out for "personal responsibility" in conservatives to avoid the temptations. What is this American thing about expecting others to make "good choices?"

OK, it is our little heuristic joke, like "the divine right of kings" was to feudalism. We hold conscience sacrosanct from civil limitation. We make "choice" a moral issue and believe in the inclusive franchise rather than requiring a civil exam to become a voter. We accept the frailty of human beings and deal with bad choices as the price of having freedom from conscience cops. But, we do require that there be a conscience at some point, and that is where the pathology moves beyond bad choices to serious social damage. Just as fiduciary responsibility is no responsibility at all, the idea that our global economic "interests" have a right to protection begs all the serious moral issues of power.

For all the current opposition to wars in the libertarian wing of conservativism, there has been next to nothing from them in any antiwar movement or attempt to build the institutions of peacemaking. The rights of the American wealthy to own and profit from the institutions of empire and the globalism of modern slavery are not challenged from the Right. It is their money.

The defense of a dead end ideology does not allow open and expansive thinking, but it does provoke a desperate attempt to project, deny, deflect and emotionalize. The difference for the naive liberal today is that it is a relief to give up the cognitive dissonance and soul stress by stepping out of the myth of American Exceptionalism and Destiny for the secular realism of America. Yes, there is some grief in the loss of the special story of America as the central actor in our global history. But, there is more than relief in rediscovering a better story of human equality and pluralism. There is a lot to be done, and we have lots to do it with. It is like the rebirth of the American Soul with full accounting for national responsibility in transformation instead of punishments.

When we find conservatives operating pathologically and failing to address history or science in anything other than a polemic against liberals, we are not projecting our own limitations upon them. For example, in the global warming or climate change debate, our cons now want it to be only about how much human beings have to do with it. I find this fundamentally dishonest unless it can be demonstrated that we have almost nothing to do with it. The conservative approach ought to be cautionary rather than reckless. Cutting down on the human contribution ought to be something we could agree was worth doing. But, the polemic is not about finding the truth, it is about defending "it."

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Coll. conservative, are you trying to convince the rest of us of how shallow today's watered-down imitation of conservative thought has become? Why bother when the rest of us only have to listen to Mittens, and his merry band of co-conspiratorial parasites who are using the very levers of government to bring down the much fattened government their party created during the W-era?

Time to hit the books a little more, and I'm not referring to bangin' your Bible.

Steven.PBarrett
Joined:
Nov. 1, 2010 10:01 am

The conservative approach ought to be cautionary rather than reckless. Cutting down on the human contribution ought to be something we could agree was worth doing. But, the polemic is not about finding the truth, it is about defending "it."

Good illustrative summary to an excellent discussion on today's Republican extremism and power politics. To call it conservatism is yet one more example of how language has been reconstructed so that new meanings are being manufactured. The Republicans I grew up with are nothing like these we deal with today.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote David King:I maintained that conservatives assume that how you judge evidence is controlled entirely by your beliefs, so they dismiss any evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs.
Not sure what WB is saying but while I believe the Right inherently is more irrational than Liberals, it's a matter of degree. I wrote a post on how Thom, most Liberals, are mired in contradictions about democracy… something they CLAIM to value yet don't even have a definition for it.

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/06/thom-please-stop-lecturing-us-democracy

I think what you were trying to say is True Believers have any number of intellectual games they play to deny what they don't want to believe in. I think the vast majority, Left and Right go through life convinced they are moral and have superior values. But I hold there are two basic kinds of belief systems... a myriad of self-justifying beliefs systems... where once one accepts the basic tenets, they deprive themselves of the intellectual tools to disprove the system. These systems tend to lead to more disagreement. Then there are self-correcting belief systems that tend to lead to more agreement.

We all face a basic epistemological question: do we place the process of truth seeking first? Or do we place our own delusions of infallibility first? Who needs a self-correcting belief system when we already "know" the the truth?

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't fault Sarah Palin for that remark about Paul Revere. Either she misspoke, or she's too big an idiot to know her history. And her subsequent explanation was clearly contrived to fool Sean Hannity's easily-fooled audience into buying it. No one else bought it. Unless this crap is in Texas schoolbooks.

Bachmann's remark was clearly revisionist history, just like all Mel Gibson's happy slaves in "The Patriot."

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

I don't fault Sarah Palin for that remark about Paul Revere. Either she misspoke, or she's too big an idiot to know her history. And her subsequent explanation was clearly contrived to fool Sean Hannity's easily-fooled audience into buying it. No one else bought it. Unless this crap is in Texas schoolbooks.

Bachmann's remark was clearly revisionist history, just like all Mel Gibson's happy slaves in "The Patriot."

What about the Obama lie?

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

OK, WB. Did Obama "lie" when he repeated the official piety about the Supreme Court and its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and be impartial? Could it be a way of saying that the had better not do what they have been doing with their rulings rather than a blithely naive 'faith' in the integrity of the system? Where is "the lie?"

Once again, there is no equivalence between your supposed example of an Obama "lie" and the incredible ignorance and false beliefs rampant on the Right. This from those who want "standards" in education. Catechisms and tests, of course.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

@drc2

Are you saying that the supreme court has never overturned a law passed by a democratically elected body? Or are you exhibiting the same behavior the op was posting about?

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm
Quote WorkerBee:@drc2...Are you saying that the supreme court has never overturned a law passed by a democratically elected body?

Of course not. I think Obama was saying the reasoning the Court used would be unprecedented, not that the supreme court ever overturned a law. I mean, that is ridiculous.

The example you are giving - even if true (which I think it is not) - is trite and superficial. Let me give you a 2 second google example:"Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor."

Notice that there is a repetition, an obvious inconsistency of a statement of fact. It is not a gaffe, misleading statement or even a change of mind.

The kind of lies the modern Republicans are making today are even more fundemental. It is not just evolution, archeology, geology, astronomy, environmental science and history (and economics - did you know that 'fiscal stimulus' is in every econ text book?). They think Obama is a socialist big spender and big taxer who created the large deficit problem. They ignore the health costs of environmental pollution and security bennefits of alternative fuels. They continually exaggerate the threats from abroad so they can start more wars. They thnk that changing the demand and supply of domestic oil it will substantially effect the world price. They run on religon, guns and gays and now try to legislate privatizing social security, medicare and violating all the other bill of rights. They blame the Democrats on a nearly non-existent problem of voter registration while the Republican party in a state had a cease and desist order to prevent caging lists. They talk about the family, but want to raise the interest on student loans. They say they are religous but glorify wealth, cut spending on the poor, and spend more on defense than all the rest of the countries combined. They scare you about illegal immigrants and make it easier to ship jobs overseas. They say if you cut taxes firms will hire - yet 24 of the largest firms that paid no taxes last year didn't increase their hiring at all.

Not only do the modern day Republicans have significant lies, they also have insignificant ones. Obama is not born in the US, he apologizes about the US on foriegn soil, every time the Republicans or conservative democrats block one of his initiatives or Obama makes a compromise he is considered 'a liar'. Absurd. Obama underestimates the severity of the Bush Great Recession and is called 'a liar'. There are the fake scandals regarding Wright, Ayers, the New Party, and him bowing to the King of Saudia Arabia. Every week is another silly scandal of lies, distortions or distractions.

There is only one issue that the Republicans don't lie about - that the government spends too much money. But it seems like in order to convince the people of this, they need to lie about everything else.

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Dr. Econ:

There is only one issue that the Republicans don't lie about - that the government spends too much money. But it seems like in order to convince the people of this, they need to lie about everything else.

Well at least you understand that the government is spending too much money. As far as being dishonest, sorry both parties are equally guilty of that. For every lie and flip flop you can point out to me that the Republicans have made, I could point out just as many made on the left. That is truly a futile conversation.

So just curious, where should they cut? And please don't tell me the military, the military budget is 600 billion and this year's revenue shortfall is twice that. You could COMPLETELY cut out the military (and I hope even you aren't suggesting that) and still have quite a bit of cutting to do.

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mauiman58
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Jan. 6, 2012 6:45 pm

Quote mauiman58:For every lie and flip flop you can point out to me that the Republicans have made, I could point out just as many made on the left. That is truly a futile conversation.
And yet you take what seems to be a slavishly Right wing view instead of finding some rational middle ground that takes on both sides of our ideologically braindead and dysfunctional two party system.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

@ DR. Econ

Look up the context of the quote and you will see that I am not misconstruing it.

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Quote Dr. Econ:

There is only one issue that the Republicans don't lie about - that the government spends too much money. But it seems like in order to convince the people of this, they need to lie about everything else.

Ya, but the GOP doesn't care about raiding the Treasury, (spending or irresponsible tax cuts) for its own priorities. It whines about spending on Democratic priorities. And that hypocrisy proves the GOP isn't really concerned with fiscal responsibility. The GOP proved that when they sabotaged debt paydown back in 2001.

Through a combination of both spending AND irresponsible tax cuts We The People have pissed away some $15 TRILLION on ourselves the past 30 years we REFUSE to pay for… and we’ve gotten to this sad state in large part because the GOP is using increasing debt as a political weapon… and to justify such fiscal irresponsibility as the opposite, they created an Orwellian religion around irresponsible fiscal policy which has metastasized to take on a life of its own. With our two dysfunctional political parties, we never had a very rational political system. But we've moved past that into the danger zone where one of our major parties has gone insane.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Quote Dr. Econ: There is only one issue that the Republicans don't lie about - that the government spends too much money. But it seems like in order to convince the people of this, they need to lie about everything else.
Quote mauiman58:Well at least you understand that the government is spending too much money. As far as being dishonest, sorry both parties are equally guilty of that.
Quote Dr. Econ: Sure, both parties are guilty of dishonesty. But the Republicans have taken the rejection of science and the promotion of idiocy to a whole other level. I listed the points in my previous post, I won't repeat them here. Suffice it to say that you can't respond to them proves my point.
Quote mauiman58:So just curious, where should they cut? And please don't tell me the military, the military budget is 600 billion and this year's revenue shortfall is twice that. You could COMPLETELY cut out the military (and I hope even you aren't suggesting that) and still have quite a bit of cutting to do.

I don't agree with the Republicans - I just don't think they are lying about the issue. In other words, they really believe we should spend less money. And I think they are partially correct. Put the problems stem from our health care mess and lack of economic opportunity - not to mention the military budget. That is actually near or over a trillion if you count everything. And the idea that we are spending 5 times as much now than at the height of the cold war seems ridiculous to me. Not only that, but if we went to war today we would do it with Chinese computers and even a lot of Chinese manufactured goods. In other words, all that money is simply going to rich fat cat defense contractors who pay others for a lot of the work.

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Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

To me it's this simple. Liberals believe in ideas that they are willing to die for. Conservatives believe in ideas that they are willing to kill for.

Liberals are willing to die for freedom. Liberals are willing to die for their democracy. Liberals are willing to die for civil rights. Liberals are willing to die for the environment. Liberals are willing to die to defend their power.

Conservatives are willing to kill for freedom. Conservatives are willing to kill for democracy. Conservatives are willing to kill to suppress civil rights. Conservatives are willing to kill the environment. Conservatives are willing to kill to gain more power.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote Dr. Econ:

they really believe we should spend less money.

Yeah. They also want to stop immigrants from the third world from coming here. And not one of them is gay.

chilidog
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