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Discussions on Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition. (Split requested by Phi for All)


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You guys ?????

 

First off, don't attribute arguments to me that I haven't made.

Secondly, I am a Canadian and probably far more liberal than you'll ever be.

I just have an aversion to calling others names or insulting their integrity/credibility.

You on the other hand have no such aversion as you've demonstrated in every one of your posts.

I believe everyone has a right to an opinion, and calling them names or 'labelling' then is an ignorant attempt at dismissing their opinion.

 

And yes, President Obama could have re-negotiated or imposed further rules on the bail-out, unlike the war financing.

 

You still seem to think that the government sent out cheques to people post the great depression, and 'hired' them individually to do work ( it was after all the people's own money they were re-distributing ).

They did not !

They either set-up corporations or hired corporations to assign make work projects to. These corporations, in turn hired the people such that unemployment fell drastically, and as more and more people found work, increased confidence led to more spending. That's what turned around the economy!

 

And don't spout any bullsh*t about Hitler or Mussolini. What do they have to do with anything ?

Or do you think that by associating me with them you can de-value my argument ?

Like you do with the namecalling ?

Edited by MigL
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Was Edmund Burke a liberal or a conservative?

Remember when Democrats, especially southern Democrats, were "conservative", and the Republicans like Dirksen got the Civil Rights Bill passed for LBJ. And then came Nixon's "Southern Strategy".

Look, a bigot's still a bigot, no matter what they refer to themselves as. To quote Ms Palin, "You can't put lipstick on a pig!" God, I've probably just pissed off everybody.

There's a reason why more people are registering as Independents. I used to be a registered Republican, but they stopped representing my values. And the Democrats don't reflect my values, either. I'm a pretty typical fiscal conservative/social liberal. So I'm bored beyond tears when I say I have reservations about global warming, when I say I don't agree with gay marriage on definitional, not moral, grounds (I'm OK with the reality), I'm a conservative cretin; when I state that I believe in evolution, that I'm at best an agnostic, I'm a godless fiend. And I'm sorry to say that I find that the former point of view predominates on these Forums (Fora?). But that's OK on this Forum, it's only one person's opinion; and the only opinions I care about are those of people I respect, or those who can argue their point cogently, dispassionately, and leave their personal prejudices locked up in their brain.

But that's not acceptable, to me at least, on the Science Forums. I don't mind having my statements being questioned, even refuted. After all, I will have learned something. I don't even mind having my statements questioned, of being asked to back up my statements, of being asked for citations. If I can't back up my assertions, I shouldn't assert those statements as fact. I should be especially clear when I'm stating an opinion, no matter how much I personally believe it to be true. But I really hate the condescending attitude that so pervades any threads that deal with the perceived wisdom, dare I say the "liberal", enlightened point of view. Like global warming, or more accurately, climate change (with which I basically agree, yet still I have been vilified for not agreeing with totally), or, God forbid, Creationism ( which I personally think is hogwash, but I wouldn't be so crass as to tell that to my friend Debbie). One can disagree without being an idiot about it.

End of post, need to pee.

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You still seem to think that the government sent out cheques to people post the great depression, and 'hired' them individually to do work ( it was after all the people's own money they were re-distributing ).

Why yes, I do. Like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration

 

It was rich people's money being taxed away from them and re-distrtibuted to poor people. That is not the same thing as "the people's own money". It was obtained by levying heavy taxes on rich people's incomes, and it was distributed in the form of government paid wages to poor people for work performed on government funded projects. That is ideal, classic, Keynesian "demand side" economic policy for responding to recession. It is the opposite of Reaganomic "supply side" economic policy for responding to recession.

 

You stated that FDR did not raise taxes on rich people, and instead handed them large sums of money to use in hiring people to work for them on their projects. You stated that such supply side government policy was what got the US out of the Depression. That is fantasy. It never happened. The opposite happened.

 

 

 

 

There's a reason why more people are registering as Independents. I used to be a registered Republican, but they stopped representing my values.

You'd have to be seventy years old for that.

 

The Republican Party in the US has been representing the same people and the same values since 1968, and employing the same rhetoric in the service of the same legislative agenda since 1980. W's rhetoric, agenda, and legislative efforts were identical to Reagan's. McCain's and Romney's campaigns, as well as the entire Republican Congressional delegation's, were standard model post-Reagan Republican political efforts. There's been no substantial change in the Republican Party in decades.

 

The surge of "Independents" we've seen - which has been tailing off since Obama won re-election and the memory of W faded - came not from Republican voters listening to their representatives

 

actually listening to Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Bush&Quayle, W&Cheney, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Fox News, Sarah Palin, David Duke, Ted Haggard, Paul Wolfowitz, Ronald Reagan, Louie Gomert, Bobbie Jindal, Strom Thurmond, Bob Dole, Ben Carson, Helen Chenoweth, Michelle Bachmann, or any of the rest of the menagerie, any of the dozens upon dozens of spewers of racial bigotry, economic juvenilia, vicious religious fanaticism, crackpot conspiracy, baroque political delusion, military adolescent fantasy, and dingbat science denial that has been the undifferentiated and interchangeable Republican contribution to the national political discourse since 1968

 

and deciding that that fountain of garbage did not represent them.

 

That didn't happen. All these "Independents" were fine with that representation of their values for decades. There was no surge of "Independents" when Gingrich took over the US House and the Republican Party shut down the government and set out to impeach a President for no good reason.

 

What happened was this: they won the whole thing. Reagan and Gingrich and Limbaugh and Scalia got a solid foothold, and then W&Co took control - the Reagan Republican Party had all three branches of government And then the consequences of actually letting those people run their country finally came around and bit so hard even a Republican tool felt the tooth. Katrina. Abu Ghraib. "Mission Accomplished". "The army you have". Jeff Gannon. Ted Haggard. Halliburton. Blackwater. The most corrupt war America has ever fought. An even bigger banking fiasco than Reagan's.

 

So the choices became: pretend it hadn't happened; rewrite history and blame others; admit you were wrong and the liberals were right the whole time; deny history and disown your former allegiances.

 

Options 1, 2, and 4 have proven popular (1 and 2 maintain the crazy, 4 is more sane albeit ethically compromised). Option 3 is vanishingly rare.

Edited by overtone
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Why yes, I do. Like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration

 

It was rich people's money being taxed away from them and re-distrtibuted to poor people. That is not the same thing as "the people's own money". It was obtained by levying heavy taxes on rich people's incomes, and it was distributed in the form of government paid wages to poor people for work performed on government funded projects. That is ideal, classic, Keynesian "demand side" economic policy for responding to recession. It is the opposite of Reaganomic "supply side" economic policy for responding to recession.

 

You stated that FDR did not raise taxes on rich people, and instead handed them large sums of money to use in hiring people to work for them on their projects. You stated that such supply side government policy was what got the US out of the Depression. That is fantasy. It never happened. The opposite happened.

 

 

 

 

 

You'd have to be seventy years old for that.

 

The Republican Party in the US has been representing the same people and the same values since 1968, and employing the same rhetoric in the service of the same legislative agenda since 1980. W's rhetoric, agenda, and legislative efforts were identical to Reagan's. McCain's and Romney's campaigns, as well as the entire Republican Congressional delegation's, were standard model post-Reagan Republican political efforts. There's been no substantial change in the Republican Party in decades.

 

The surge of "Independents" we've seen - which has been tailing off since Obama won re-election and the memory of W faded - came not from Republican voters listening to their representatives

 

actually listening to Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Bush&Quayle, W&Cheney, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Fox News, Sarah Palin, David Duke, Ted Haggard, Paul Wolfowitz, Ronald Reagan, Louie Gomert, Bobbie Jindal, Strom Thurmond, Bob Dole, Ben Carson, Helen Chenoweth, Michelle Bachmann, or any of the rest of the menagerie, any of the dozens upon dozens of spewers of racial bigotry, economic juvenilia, vicious religious fanaticism, crackpot conspiracy, baroque political delusion, military adolescent fantasy, and dingbat science denial that has been the undifferentiated and interchangeable Republican contribution to the national political discourse since 1968

 

and deciding that that fountain of garbage did not represent them.

 

That didn't happen. All these "Independents" were fine with that representation of their values for decades. There was no surge of "Independents" when Gingrich took over the US House and the Republican Party shut down the government and set out to impeach a President for no good reason.

 

What happened was this: they won the whole thing. Reagan and Gingrich and Limbaugh and Scalia got a solid foothold, and then W&Co took control - the Reagan Republican Party had all three branches of government And then the consequences of actually letting those people run their country finally came around and bit so hard even a Republican tool felt the tooth. Katrina. Abu Ghraib. "Mission Accomplished". "The army you have". Jeff Gannon. Ted Haggard. Halliburton. Blackwater. The most corrupt war America has ever fought. An even bigger banking fiasco than Reagan's.

 

So the choices became: pretend it hadn't happened; rewrite history and blame others; admit you were wrong and the liberals were right the whole time; deny history and disown your former allegiances.

 

Options 1, 2, and 4 have proven popular (1 and 2 maintain the crazy, 4 is more sane albeit ethically compromised). Option 3 is vanishingly rare.

I wish I could give you unlimited positives for this post. As I learn more about American history, the more I realize the bizarre belief that the U.S. is a free nation is as far removed from reality as it is. All of the evidence points to an emerging fascist state. History will see the Americans much like we see Nazi Germany today. I an quite frightened as to how far this will go before it is stopped.

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I don't see how your post or link disproves my assertion.

 

The corporation mentioned in your link, along with many others were set up by the government to provide jobs. Some of these corporations even provided money to other corporations, such as the state, or even at the local level, such as municipalities, to provide jobs for people.

That is the difference, NO handouts were provided to people, jobs were.

That's what fueled the recovery !

 

I made NO mention of tax cuts to anyone, rich or poor, in any of my posts, nor of the government giving money to rich people for the purpose of hiring. I said money was given to corporations like the one set up by the government mentioned in your link, or associations, like farmers and labour unions ( although most of these corporations/associations were run by comparatively rich people )

 

Maybe my understanding of economics is limited, but I do know some history. All money was provided from the top-down, and what actually filtered down to the people was JOBS. Organizations/corporations got money; people got jobs !

So since you seem to have a better grasp of economics, maybe you can explain to me how that's different from my ( limited ) understanding of 'trickle down'.

 

As for the second half of your post ( not actually addressed to me ), where you mention how all the crap spouted by Republican 'talking heads' came back to bite them in the ass after GWB took office, I agree with you.

But how is that different from Democrat promises of change, like shutting down Guantanamo, getting out of Iraq, restoring the economy to Clinton era levels, resolving immigration issues etc. How did that work out ?

The realities of office are always different from the fantasy of campaign promises !

 

By yours ( and John's ) definition, are we, then, ALL insane for believing the things which get said during elections ( or by paid-for shills and 'talking heads' ) ?

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I don't see how your post or link disproves my assertion.

 

The corporation mentioned in your link, along with many others were set up by the government to provide jobs. Some of these corporations even provided money to other corporations, such as the state, or even at the local level, such as municipalities, to provide jobs for people.

That is the difference, NO handouts were provided to people, jobs were.

That's what fueled the recovery !

 

I made NO mention of tax cuts to anyone, rich or poor, in any of my posts, nor of the government giving money to rich people for the purpose of hiring. I said money was given to corporations like the one set up by the government mentioned in your link, or associations, like farmers and labour unions ( although most of these corporations/associations were run by comparatively rich people )

 

Maybe my understanding of economics is limited, but I do know some history. All money was provided from the top-down, and what actually filtered down to the people was JOBS. Organizations/corporations got money; people got jobs !

So since you seem to have a better grasp of economics, maybe you can explain to me how that's different from my ( limited ) understanding of 'trickle down'.

 

As for the second half of your post ( not actually addressed to me ), where you mention how all the crap spouted by Republican 'talking heads' came back to bite them in the ass after GWB took office, I agree with you.

But how is that different from Democrat promises of change, like shutting down Guantanamo, getting out of Iraq, restoring the economy to Clinton era levels, resolving immigration issues etc. How did that work out ?

The realities of office are always different from the fantasy of campaign promises !

 

By yours ( and John's ) definition, are we, then, ALL insane for believing the things which get said during elections ( or by paid-for shills and 'talking heads' ) ?

"That is the difference, NO handouts were provided to people, jobs were."

If you pay one guy to dig a hole,and another guy to fill it in, are you creating jobs or giving handouts?

it hardly matters in a way.

The money that was paid- via a job or not- came from taxing people. And they didn't get it from taxing the poor people.

So what the government did was take money from the rich and give it (possibly via an intermediary; who cares?) to the poor.

That's a clear, direct way to reduce disparity in wealth.

In order to do more of that, you need to collect more tax revenue.

You don't (ordinarily) do that by cutting tax rates.

You can do it if you increase tax rates. (Of course, you might piss the money away in a war that some other guy started or whatever, but that's not the point. If you don't collect the money, you can't redistribute it)

 

Claiming that you can redistribute money you don't collect is either irrational or dishonest.

If this thread only exists to label the Right wing as "not worth listening to" then labelling them as liars is every bit as effective as calling them insane.

It really doesn't matter if they are discredited for irrationality or for dishonesty.

 

"By yours ( and John's ) definition, are we, then, ALL insane for believing the things which get said during elections ( or by paid-for shills and 'talking heads' ) ?"

 

Seriously? You believe that hogwash?

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Overtone:

You quoted me at 11:00 PM last night, something about my changing my voter registration to Independent. Then you stated that I'd have to be 70 to do that. In fact, I'm 68. I'm curious as to what you're inferring about my or anyone's else's age?

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The corporation mentioned in your link, along with many others were set up by the government to provide jobs

It was a government agency, and the people employed by it were paid by the US government.

 

 

 

 

That is the difference, NO handouts were provided to people, jobs were.

That's what fueled the recovery !

Yes. Demand side stimulus, in the form of wages paid directly by the government to the poor and unemployed. Poor people got the money, directly from the government agency that employed them, and their demand for goods and services provided opportunities for businessmen and investors and so forth in private industry. Classic Keynesian economic policy. It worked.

Reagan ran against that, loudly and explicitly, and partly succeeded: in some arenas he replaced Keynesian policy (demand side stimulus) with Reaganomic policy (supply side stimulus) - tax breaks and government handouts to rich people. If you recall, Reagan was praised for this by the entire US "conservative" punditry - they all celebrated his rejection of the supposedly failed policies of the New Deal, his reversal of course and dramatically different policies. "Morning In America".

His agenda continued after his terms, slowed but not stopped under Clinton, and then W took the bit in his teeth and crashed the US economy in the service of the rich and powerful.

 

As for the second half of your post ( not actually addressed to me ), where you mention how all the crap spouted by Republican 'talking heads' came back to bite them in the ass after GWB took office, I agree with you.

But how is that different from Democrat promises of change, like shutting down Guantanamo, getting out of Iraq, restoring the economy to Clinton era levels, resolving immigration issues etc. How did that work out ?

The realities of office are always different from the fantasy of campaign promises !

One of the differences was that the Republicans succeeded in much of what they wanted to accomplish, which was give big tax breaks and other favors to the rich, launch wars for corporate benefit, etc, partly because they had effective and monolithic control of the entire Federal government,

and the Democrats failed at much of what they wanted to accomplish, which was repair some of the damage done by the Republican incompetence, negligence, looting, and vandalism, partly because they did not have enough power or unity and were not able to overcome the united Republican opposition.

The Reps largely succeeded at trashing the place, and the Dems have partly failed at cleaning up the mess. So there's some of the differences.

Trying and failing to restore reason and sound governance to a badly abused community of people is not crazy. Neither is abusing a community of people for one's own personal gain, necessarily - it's wrong and bad, but it makes a certain shallow and childish sense. But supporting an abuser against one's own kith and kin, living in a world of fantasy and false memory and transparently manipulative bs from said abuser - that's kind of crazy.

Edited by overtone
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  • 1 month later...

Trying and failing to restore reason and sound governance to a badly abused community of people is not crazy. Neither is abusing a community of people for one's own personal gain, necessarily - it's wrong and bad, but it makes a certain shallow and childish sense. But supporting an abuser against one's own kith and kin, living in a world of fantasy and false memory and transparently manipulative bs from said abuser - that's kind of crazy.

 

On one of this past Sunday morning’s news and weekly-review shows (3/1/15), as they wondered if the DHS would be funded (amid efforts by one faction to link immigration policies to passage of the normal security budget), several Republican leaders spoke about that one faction.

 

House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Peter King used the phrases, “absolutely irresponsible” and “no concept of reality” and "self-righteous and delusional" for describing these members of his own party.

 

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who heads the House Intelligence Committee described them as “a small group of phony conservative members who have no credible policy proposals and no political strategy….” Of course he finished this sentence of his, by adding “…to stop Obama’s lawlessness,” so you can tell that he’s still a Republican. Later, also speaking about that particular faction, Nunes described how they seem to be “unaware that they can’t advance conservatism by playing fantasy football with their voting cards.”

===

 

So there may yet be hope that not all political conservatism is a mild form of insanity, since the ability to recognize certain aspects of insanity, within one’s own (political) life, is a sign that one is not insane …or so I’ve heard.

 

~ ;)

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If you recognize yourself as 'insane', you're either wrong or insane.

I don't see how you could have heard differently.

 

But seriously.

I have never disputed the fact that there are wingnuts on all sides of the political spectrum, and yes a lot of them are Republicans.

What I have said is that SOME Conservative principles are beneficial to society and to me ( in my opinion ).

I am also of the opinion that SOME Liberal principles are beneficial to society ( and me of course ).

 

I have weighted these principles, and other policies put forward at election time, and directed my voting accordingly.

Sadly, never in an American election, even though your elections affect us almost as much as our own do.

 

I believe a lot of other people do as I do, But maybe the US is more ideological and people tend to vote as they and their families always have, without actually examining the issues.

 

From my perspective, that doesn't give me the right to call others with differing opinions, 'insane'.

And of course I don't have Overtone's perspective; he may be really pissed-off at the state of American politics ( with a lot of good reasons ). And he may see fit to call those he blames for the current state of affairs 'insane'.

That's his personal choice to do so.

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I have never disputed the fact that there are wingnuts on all sides of the political spectrum, and yes a lot of them are Republicans.

What I have said is that SOME Conservative principles are beneficial to society and to me ( in my opinion ).

I am also of the opinion that SOME Liberal principles are beneficial to society ( and me of course ).

 

I have weighted these principles, and other policies put forward at election time, and directed my voting accordingly.

Sadly, never in an American election, even though your elections affect us almost as much as our own do.

 

I believe a lot of other people do as I do, But maybe the US is more ideological and people tend to vote as they and their families always have, without actually examining the issues.

 

From my perspective, that doesn't give me the right to call others with differing opinions, 'insane'.

 

You're still trying to pull the journalism trick of making both sides seem balanced in this. They aren't. There may be wingnuts on both sides, but the vast majority (like 75% plus) are conservative Republicans. I thought we established that successfully back in the first few pages.

 

You're also still trying to strawman the insanity language as well. It's the political stance, the ideas they engender, and the almost comically destructive actions that result that are being called a mild form of insanity. You're making it about people, and then including yourself in that number and taking umbrage at being personally attacked.

 

I actually can't think of too many conservative stances I have, other than my personal taste in fashion. And in most cases, my conservatism is motivated by fear, not by a belief that it's the right or smart thing to do. I see far too much manipulation of American values being done by mock conservatives pretending to be rational humans but are instead just self-interested liars who hide behind self-constructed "common sense" in order to benefit at the expense of their fellow citizens.

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Well yeah, I'm making it about people ( and including myself ).

 

Does that make me thin skinned?

 

I don't know, but it definitely means you and I aren't talking about the same argument.

 

There's a difference between insane people, and a conservative political stance that leads some to react more emotionally. As has been pointed out through the last several pages, this political stance has caused many conservatives to make decisions that seem more than a little crazy.

 

So it's not about the people, to me. People can have crazy ideas, doesn't make the people crazy. But all too often, emotional decisions get taken advantage of, and we end up with way too much crazy.

 

I don't think political conservatism is something that has to be unlearned. It's something that just has to be examined more closely, more rationally.

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What I have said is that SOME Conservative principles are beneficial to society and to me ( in my opinion ).

I am also of the opinion that SOME Liberal principles are beneficial to society ( and me of course ).

- - -

I have weighted these principles, and other policies put forward at election time, and directed my voting accordingly.

Since you are directing your vote based on principles - actual principles - in the US you of course would not have voted for a Republican candidate for national office in more than thirty years.

Since no partisan Republican since 1980 would, or even could, represent governance according to principle, and there is always (nationally) another candidate available who can represent conservative or liberal principle (if Democrat, probably conservative, if Green or the like possibly liberal), your US vote would have been directed accordingly.

The question is what language to use for those US voters who vote directly and obviously and flagrantly against their publicly claimed principles, watch it blow up in their face, and then deny that they voted against their principles and that it blew up in their face - repeatedly. For years on end.

And justify the entire rolling and repetitive disaster with claims and assertions completely fictional - assertions of historical circumstance that did not exist, denial of historical circumstance that they recognized at the time, claims of physical fact that are contradicted by simple observation, ascriptions of motive and opinion not held and never held to other people, misorderings of sequences of event whose order is not in dispute, an entire fantasy world built of stuff that doesn't match what's right in front of them even as they speak.

Because that's the situation with "political conservatives" in the US right now.

"Conservatives" in the US are on record - officially - as asserting the nonexistence of significant racial discrimination either personal or institutional in American life. They are on record as stating, officially, that large sums of money given to political candidates by the corporations their office is responsible for overseeing are instances of protected free speech by persons as Constitutionally defined, and there is no reason to think they might be otherwise influential. They are on record as believing - to this day - that Saddam Hussein had large WMD programs and stockpiles nuclear, chemical, and possibly biological, which he was about to attack Israel with or give to Al Qaida in support of Islamic jihad. They are on record as ascribing the failure of FEMA to handle Katrina's aftermath to the incompetence of the mayor of New Orleans. They are on record - you can look it up on their websites right now - as claiming the Federal budget deficit for the year 2008 was less than 450 billion instead of the 1.2 trillion actually borrowed that year, and that the 1.3+ trillion deficit for the year 2009 was the consequence of the Obama administration's budgeting. Every single one of their viable candidates for national office has publicly claimed significant doubts concerning Darwinian evolutionary theory, and disbelief in the basic thermodynamics of greenhouse gas accumulation, and reservations about the accuracy of the biological description of human fertilization and embryogenesis as well as sexual behavior. They are on record, officially, as believing - to this day, thirty years after that goofy nonsense received a full scale national trial in the early 1980s - that cutting the personal income taxes of rich people will induce them to "create jobs" and decrease the Federal deficit. They are on record as claiming, simultaneously, that the current President is a Muslim, a Communist, a Kenyan, an acolyte of Reverend James Wright, a Leftwing liberal, an anti-White racial bigot, and a political fellow traveler of '60s SDS radicals. They start two major land wars in Asia while cutting taxes on the rich, and then blame the budget deficit on "liberals".

And so forth. Dozens of examples and more all the time, multiplying and expanding and repeating every day every week every month every time one turns on the radio or picks up a newspaper or fatfingers the remote and blips by one of their TV programs. They are fruit loops, batbelfry, whacko, whatever term you select from the panoply of applicable adjectives. They are not making sense, and they are nevertheless talking - loudly and continuously and in everyone's face. If they were doing this at a bus stop, instead of on the radio or from a podium in Congress or out of a TV screen on an ostensibly respectable pundit show, you would have no trouble labeling them appropriately. Why demur now?

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Here's a great example of insane actions. The most outspoken conservative Republicans are also the most outspoken proponents of Christianity. Much of what they do they attribute to their relationship with their religion.

 

Yet...

 

Studies have shown that it's the far-right conservatives that are driving Americans away from organized religion. Yet another example of claiming to act on certain principles while reality shows the opposite. When people claim to be close to Jesus, then turn around and vote to starve the poor and feed the wealthy, that's just crazy.

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Phi mentioned the start of this thread, so I thought I'd go to the beginning of the last chapter of the first study from the meta-study that I undertook to study first from the first post. :lol:

 

The Authoritarians

Bolding mine:

The Authoritarians

Bob Altemeyer

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, Canada

 

PG. 228

Chapter 7

Whats To Be Done?

If you are a reasonably critical person, by now you've got to be wondering if you're being buried by a big snow job. Almost without exception, the findings about authoritarians in the previous chapters have been negative. You wouldn't want your daughter to marry one, would you? But maybe this presentation has been one-sided. Maybe is has been unfair. Maybe things have been biased. It is one-sided if we conclude that authoritarians have no good qualities whatsoever, for they do. High RWAs are earnest, hard-working, happy, charitable, undoubtedly supportive of people in their in-group, good friends, and so on. Social dominators are ambitious and competitive--cardinal virtues in American society. It's as big a mistake, I have to keep telling myself, to see people as all-bad as it is to see them as all-good.

 

But the downside remains, and I want to emphasize that it's really there. The presentation of the research in this book has not passed through any kind of theoretical or ideological filter. In almost every experiment, low RWAs and low Social Dominators had as much a chance to look bad as their counterparts on the high end. But they seldom did. I have not stole past any praiseworthy findings about authoritarians; I have always reported any bad news that turned up about lows. I know it seems very one-sided, but thats the way the data tumbled. While authoritarian followers and and authoritarian leaders have their good side, their bad side is pretty broad and hard to miss.

Of course, it's not hard to miss what you don't want to see.

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But surely that doesn't show that either the manipulators or the manipulated are insane, does it Phi ?

The manipulators, and Overtone can list several for you at a moment's notice, use every means available to them to further their own agenda and get their way. Things like campaign financing by big corporations or the use of religion ( family values ) to sway people's votes.

The manipulated are often just ignorant of the issues and just react to campaign slogans or on an emotional level.

 

So yes, you have some people who use Office or politics for their own agenda and not the greater good. You want to call these people bad; I'm OK with that. You also have some people who can easily be swayed by these 'bad' people. You want to call them ignorant ( of the issues ); I'm OK with that too.

 

But if I choose not to have the Government and society be responsible for me and my actions, rather, recognise some personal responsability, or, if I hope the government governs as I live my life, with some restraints on spending, instead of living large today, while my heirs or future generations are stuck with the bill ( both examples of Conservative values ), does that make me insane?

 

I choose to think not.

You of course, are free to think of me as you will ( an example of one of many Liberal values that I cherish, 'tolerance' and 'right to an opinion' ).

So, if you notice, it most certainly is about people.

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... The manipulated are often just ignorant of the issues and just react to campaign slogans or on an emotional level.

 

...

And as you refuse to read the study I keep citing, you are -by definition- ignorant of the facts of it. Me thinks thou [emotionally] complaineth too much.

.

The Authoritarians

 

...pg. 237 You're not likely to get anywhere arguing with authoritarians. If you won every round of a 15 round heavyweight debate with a Double High leader over history, logic, scientific evidence, the Constitution, you name it, in an auditorium filled with high RWAs, the audience probably would not change its beliefs one tiny bit. Authoritarian followers might even cling to their beliefs more tightly, the wronger they turned out to be. Trying to change highly dogmatic, evidence-immune, groupgripping people in such a setting is like pissing into the wind.

...

pg. 239 Maybe the solution is right in front of our noses. How about having authoritarians read this book? I mentioned in chapter 1 that when high RWAs learn about right-wing authoritarianism, and the many undesirable things it correlates with such as prejudice, they frequently wish they were less authoritarian. So isn't the solution to the problem as plain as the thing that's glaring you in the face right now?

...

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But if I choose not to have the Government and society be responsible for me and my actions, rather, recognise some personal responsability, or, if I hope the government governs as I live my life, with some restraints on spending, instead of living large today, while my heirs or future generations are stuck with the bill ( both examples of Conservative values ), does that make me insane?

I choose to think not.

Of course not. Those are sane approaches to political influence. There is nothing inherently crazy or wrong in holding to Conservative principles.

But the topic of the thread was the nature of "political conservatism" in the US, and as has been pointed out repeatedly by many one of its characteristics is a remarkable absence of actually held principles or any other coherent organization of ideology, consistency of political action, or integrity of response and justification. In addition, they seem to forget what they did or said from one week to the next. And they believe bizarre nonsense.

To rehash:

 

The question is what language to use for those US voters who vote directly and obviously and flagrantly against their publicly claimed principles, watch it blow up in their face, and then deny that they voted against their principles and that it blew up in their face - repeatedly. For years on end.

And justify the entire rolling and repetitive disaster with claims and assertions completely fictional - assertions of historical circumstance that did not exist, denial of historical circumstance that they recognized at the time, claims of physical fact that are contradicted by simple observation, ascriptions of motive and opinion not held and never held to other people, misorderings of sequences of event whose order is not in dispute, an entire fantasy world built of stuff that doesn't match what's right in front of them even as they speak.

Edited by overtone
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But if I choose not to have the Government and society be responsible for me and my actions, rather, recognise some personal responsability, or, if I hope the government governs as I live my life, with some restraints on spending, instead of living large today, while my heirs or future generations are stuck with the bill ( both examples of Conservative values ), does that make me insane?

 

The key here is that you're holding to principles that conservative political leadership also claims to hold, yet vote against on a regular basis. I can see where you could say that these conservatives aren't insane, they're just lying to support some hidden agenda. But then that really points out how crazy people are to keep voting for them.

 

I get so sick of hearing conservative politicians talk about recognizing some personal responsibility, not making the government be responsible for me and my actions. I've never heard a single one of them that didn't take out an SBA loan, or accept a subsidy, or take advantage of any of the programs a progressive, modern society is capable of providing. I guess that's more hypocrisy than insanity, but it still gets gobbled up by many conservatives. And as the study we're discussing mentions, right-wing authoritarians often think you're talking about someone else when you list their characteristics, so it's unlikely an RWA will ever be persuaded by reason.

 

And this is where we seem to be arguing about different things. You're still defending conservative principles, and the rest of us are saying that the conservative political leadership is only agreeing with you in principle. Their real-life actions are completely different, so it seems crazy to keep thinking you're being represented well.

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Oh, I'm stressed John !

 

Being in neither the Liberal or Conservative camp, I'm stressed out by all the things mentioned in the blog ( chill out Acme, I know this is a serious discussion, but surely we can have some fun with it too ), PLUS, I have to worry about the National and provincial debt ( in Canada of course ).

 

I ( and every other man, woman and child ) have the equivalent of a small mortgage thanks to our Government's continued attempts to buy elections by bribing us with reckless spending and refusal to even try to balance budgets.

 

No true Liberal would ever worry about that.

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...( chill out Acme, I know this is a serious discussion, but surely we can have some fun with it too ....

One would never guess you or any of the others who fail to discuss the studies know this is a serious discussion. Pathetic.

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