My six year-old son is mostly well-behaved; however, there are times he throws a tantrum that makes one wonder if an exorcism is appropriate. Anyone with a small child has probably seen their pride and joy go into a fit of shouting and anger where he/she can’t be reasoned with or talked back down to reality. It is at those times we send our son into his room for a few minutes to collect himself and try to re-engage with life in this world.
My experiences with this type of behavior makes me well-versed in recognizing similar behavior in adults, a behavior that Conservatives seemed to have adopted as a way of life. In issue after issue Conservatives seem to take the most ridiculous position that can only be supported if one assumes we live in an alternate universe where logic and reason don’t apply. Applying the remedy that usually works with a six year-old, maybe it’s time for America to put Conservatives in Time Out.
Don’t get me wrong, I value the counter-balance that Conservatives give to the Liberal point-of-view. The input of both political ideologies are vital to help guide our nation through the constantly evolving challenges of human endeavor.
However, Conservatives have been hijacked by a mob that sees compromise as the work of Satan. They believe that any viewpoint that doesn’t agree with the wild-eyed, gun-tote’n, racist, Bible thumpin’, right-wing ideology just ain’t American. Today these people are the face of Conservatism and are leading the Republican party around by the nose hairs.
Why are normally rational people allowing extremists to use their political party as their doormat? The answer lies in one simple fact, Conservatism is not what America needs now and rather than be put on the shelf for several years, Conservatives are trying to shore up their dwindling ranks with anyone that can fog a mirror and vote for their party.
Conservatives have never been successful at economic recovery, probably because their policies have a history of destroying economies, so when the chips are down Conservatives don’t get a lot of popular support by the rational-thinking public. Historically, this has meant that the Democratic party takes over and pulls America back on even keel.
However, in 1980, Conservatives like Ronald Reagan began creating a mythology to put the Republican party in power and pull the nation hard right. Their method required Americans willingly suspend disbelief and be led by faith, not by fact. Conservatives use short statements that rely on a hate-based philosophy that sounds great, but fails the truth test. A famous example is Reagan’s blame the government quote:
“….government is not the solution to our problem. The government is the problem.”
That statement sounds like a great truth, but it is just a hate-based strategy that uses a partial truth to make a false conclusion. Reagan could have just as easily said:
“….humans are not the solution to our problem. Humans are the problem.”
In the second statement, the partial truth is that humans and human nature is the source of our problems, but does that mean humans are not also capable of being part of a solution. Do we need to eliminate humans to solve our problems? It’s a silly statement.
Statements like these are meant to evoke emotion. The intention is to rile up a crowd and create a lynch-mob mentality. Extremists (at either end of the spectrum) eat up hate-based statements like these as if they were candy. Extremists don’t need a cause, they just need someone hate.
For decades Conservatives have been trying to stay in power by running into the political theatre and yelling ‘FIRE’ in order to direct us away from solving our problems. That’s not going to work forever because as Abraham Lincoln said:
You can fool all of the people some of the time
You can fool some of the people all of the time
But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
We need the Conservatives to be there to keep us Liberals in check, but to perform that role they need to be firmly rooted in reality and they are not. Until Conservatives can calm down and play nicely with everyone else they need to sit in the corner a while and think about how they can cooperate with the rest of us Americans.