Is the American Conservative party suffering from a treatable illness?
This isn’t a joke or a slam against a political party, but an honest and heart-felt concern. With all the new books on the market every day, it’s easy to miss valuable information. There have been quite a few books lately regarding the question of whether or not conservatism is an illness. The symptoms certainly point to a curable and avoidable condition.
For a little insight into the issue, I suggest you read, among other books, Glenn Greenwald’s A Tragic Legacy, John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience, and Dr. Bob’s The Authoritarians (online only).
The symptoms are quite obvious and at the same time frightening. Imagine someone so blinded by the convictions of their beliefs or decisions that they actually refuse to see and believe the facts to the contrary. Though it may be related, I’m not talking religion, but just simple personality definitions. Hitler, at his low point, still appreciated support from over 30% of the people. How could this possibly be? It can happen easily when the 30% are unable to believe what they’re seeing, or believe that they’re wrong.
Who are these stuck-in-the mud conservatives? Why can’t they realize they’re wrong? Why do they continually lie or appear to lie to defend their positions?
It not a lie. They really believe that up is down and black is white if that’s what’s necessary to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Now, sometimes this is the sickness you see with TV and Radio talk show hosts spewing disproven lies and misinterpreting polls, but most often, these sick people suffer from greed, more than conservatism, and they’ll quickly switch to spewing the lies out the other side of their mouths if that’s where the money is.
These Conservative symptoms are not attractive and are not successful in a society. They do not improve the odds of producing offspring. In cave men, this was a good survival trait. In a civilized society, it’s being cleaned from the gene pool. However, occasionally, it rears its ugly head, especially under times of social stress such as hard economic times or times of war.
This particular sickness tries to spread itself much like a disease. Conservatives want to kill or repress or stifle or export everyone who doesn’t agree with their twisted views. Do the Crusades and the Dark Ages ring a bell? Do you know any well known conservatives that have this attitude? A better question would be, do you know any that don’t?
Some self-proclaimed liberals have these same traits, but if they had made the wrong decision to believe the wrong interpretation, they’d be just as dogmatic about retaining that perspective as they are at retaining their self-proclaimed liberal prospective. The symptom of a Liberal is their willingness to learn and adjust to new facts.
Are conservatives doomed to be stuck in their make believe world the rest of their lives? Of course not. Just look at how many have finally realized that they can no longer bend the facts to continue their support of the Bush Debacle. Often a lesson as hard as this is enough to wake them from their stupor of infallibility. Unfortunately, though, the next spell of hard times and they’re right back in the pot.
Conservatives may need our help getting out and staying out of the pot. Education is usually a good antidote but it’s not a cure-all. Children raised in conservative environments generally carry forward the sickness and continue to try to spread it to others when they become adults. Some kids even try to spread it in schools, but that’s another story, entirely.
So, how do we save mankind from this sickness? Here’s my list of suggestions:
1. Require and provide free higher education to everyone
2. Screen teachers in all schools for this inability to assimilate facts when they contradict the teacher’s inherent prospective.
3. Remind people that it’s a sickness, not necessarily a choice.