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Subject: "The conservative mind has become diseased" rss

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Pontifex Maximus
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This coming from a Micheal Gerson, a conservative commentator, does warrant a bit of consideration, especially points like these


Quote:
The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased. The movement has been seized by a kind of discrediting madness, in which conspiracy delusions figure prominently. Institutions and individuals that once served an important ideological role, providing a balance to media bias, are discrediting themselves in crucial ways. With the blessings of a president, they have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion. They have allowed political polarization to reach their hearts, and harden them. They have allowed polarization to dominate their minds, and empty them.

Conspiracy theories often involve a kind of dehumanization. Human tragedy is made secondary — something to be exploited rather than mourned. The narrative of conspiracy takes precedence over the meaning of a life and the suffering of a family. A human being is made into an ideological prop and used on someone else’s stage. As the Rich family has attested, the pain inflicted is quite real.

A conspiratorial approach to politics is fully consistent with other forms of dehumanization — of migrants, refugees and “the other” more generally. Men and women are reduced to types and presented as threats. They also become props in an ideological drama. They are presented as representatives of a plot involving invasion and infiltration, rather than being viewed as individuals seeking opportunity or fleeing oppression and violence. This also involves callousness, cruelty and conspiracy thinking.

In Trump’s political world, this project of dehumanization is far along. The future of conservatism now depends on its capacity for revulsion. And it is not at all clear whether this capacity still exists.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-conservative-min...


Right now we are seeing conservatives cheering on the plan to strip insurance from 20+ million, having a party platform intent of taking away rights from gay citizens, and are ok with the demonization of immigrants and those of the Muslim faith. One concurs that it is not clear whether they have the capacity to turn from this process of dehumanization. If not they are setting themselves on a path that will destroy conservatism for the foreseeable future


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Frank F
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has become is
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Mike Stiles
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The thing that always amazes me is that this thing originally started as a religious thing for a lot of people, but has mutated into this weird hateful loyalty.

Things like abortion and being anti-gay, while still there, have lost most of their religious underpinnings it feels like to me, replaced by the desire to destroy what the enemy likes.
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Steve
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I see it as more than just Trump, though.

I see it as the confluence of Trump's stream with the older river of Repub thinking.

The Repubs have been for tax breaks for the super rich and denying a proper safety net to most people for a long, long time.

Not only do they want to slash the benefits of the ACA [health insurance] but they also want to slash other older elements of the safety net. Why, you ask? To provide "savings" to offset the cost of a big tax cut for Corps. and the super rich so they can pass it without having to get past a filibuster by Dems in the Senate.

This isn't just Trumps policies, it is the culmination of Repub wet dreams for the last many, many years. If Trumps proposed budget is passed more or less as it is then the Repubs are done. We can stick a fork in them at every election. Because the cuts proposed don't just hurt city dwellers, they also impact the lives of rural folks. They will desert the Repubs in droves, I think.

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LightRider wrote:
has become is


Always was ... always will be.
 
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windsagio wrote:
The thing that always amazes me is that this thing originally started as a religious thing for a lot of people, but has mutated into this weird hateful loyalty.

Things like abortion and being anti-gay, while still there, have lost most of their religious underpinnings it feels like to me, replaced by the desire to destroy what the enemy likes.

An ideology that could be called "cuckology".
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Steve1501 wrote:
I see it as more than just Trump, though.

I see it as the confluence of Trump's stream with the older river of Repub thinking.

The Repubs have been for tax breaks for the super rich and denying a proper safety net to most people for a long, long time.

Not only do they want to slash the benefits of the ACA [health insurance] but they also want to slash other older elements of the safety net. Why, you ask? To provide "savings" to offset the cost of a big tax cut for Corps. and the super rich so they can pass it without having to get past a filibuster by Dems in the Senate.

This isn't just Trumps policies, it is the culmination of Repub wet dreams for the last many, many years. It Trumps proposed budget is passed more or less as it is then the Repubs are done. We can stick a fork in them at every election. Because the cuts proposed don't just hurt city dwellers, they also impact the lives of rural folks. They will desert the Repubs in droves, I think.



Trump is more the summation of the ideology of spite.
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Steve
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growlley wrote:
LightRider wrote:
has become is


Always was ... always will be.

I don't think it was diseased in Pres. Eisenhower's time.

It really became apparent with Reagan.

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It's a strange world in RSP, now that I find myself as a republican apologist.

The craziness that is the Republican party to day is far more complicated than many people give it credit for. We have a mix of traditional corporatist goals, which have been part of how the US behaves for decades, the economic wave that is riding through all of western civilization, and the very special geographical situations caused by the antiquated US electoral system. Only when we put all of them together we find a Republican party that is very sick. It's only a matter of how much damage it does to the US while it dies.

The corporatism is absolutely not new: The Republican claims that we need a small government, and we should let businesses run amok are decades old. This platform was created many decades ago, back when its opponent was communism. Few will argue today that, despite the excesses that occurred, Capitalism was far closer to the idea of good: Inequality tied to sustained economic growth is far superior morally than equality and stagnation, if just because in a long enough time horizon, economic growth trumps all. If anything, the Republican sin when it comes to this is that their platform has moved away from a scientific focus on growth itself, and instead has become focused on cronyism: Back in the day it was said that what was good for GM was good for America: In reality though, companies ossify, become uncompetitive and stop creating the growth that helps all of us. Instead, what is good for America is to make it easy to create a new company that eclipses GM, or GE, Exxon or Google. Unfortunately for the republican party though, the sources of innovation in America today want nothing to do with them, because the world has changed.

The wave for populism isn't purely American: We see this now in many parts of Europe in different forms. Even in the cases where we don't see this tied to xenophobia and hate for immigrants, the existing structures are shaking: All you have to do is compare electoral results in the last few years with those of 10 years ago. Parties that seemed to be as stable as the US parties are handed loss after loss. Western culture built structures that require very high growth, both in population and productivity, to be economically viable. For generations, we've expected people to live lives that are far better than their parents'. We've seen low unemployment for most people, regardless of their educational level. But now, growth at 2% or less is coming, large segments of the population are retiring, and yet the value of labor is lower than ever. We see high growth in developing countries, but that's precisely because they are developing. What is so special about the US situation is that, unlike in most other times in history, we are seeing more growth in regions that were already ahead than in those that are far behind: Living in large metros is far more valuable than cheap land prices, so opportunity is concentrating. This is raising big geographical divides between those that are doing well economically and those that are not.

This leads us straight to the electoral system: The Republican base has been suburban and rural whites for many years, and people are loyal to their party. In practice, we don't see a lot of people change allegiances, but we see people more or less inclined to vote, so parties change their platforms to match the interests of their constituents, more than just fighting for new demographics. Given the way districts are set up in the US, the only way the republicans could get any kind of good result without self-immolating for a generation was to embrace the concerns of the white voter, which, as we covered above, now involve a zero-sum mindset, where every dollar that goes to someone that isn't like me is a dollar that doesn't come to me. This is especially hilarious because it's kind of the opposite of what someone like Milton Friedman would have said the economy is about. Marrying this new emotional response with the classical republican platform is, as we have seen, quite the stretch. The place where it's not a stretch is voter suppression: If those immigrants and those minorities are here to take white jobs, why not just stop them from voting altogether? If the Founding Fathers considered just having land owners be allowed to vote, trying to make it hard for democrats to vote, and make their votes as meaningless as possible is just absolutely natural. It's also fucking evil, but hey, nobody is perfect.

So i don't think that the conservative mind was diseased all along. I'd not have agreed with a large majority of it even if we went back to the 80s, but at least back then it had a semi-coherent view of the world. What is causing the disease is that the only way for republicans to gain power in the federal government involves going in directions that are completely at odds with the only good parts of their original platform: It's an dead end that will make the country poorer in the same way as turning communist would.

Self immolation through crazy domestic policies is happening as we speak (see Healthcare and Tax reform), but those are relatively easy to reverse: Hell, they will cost republicans a lot of seats in the next couple of elections, no question about it. What should be scarier for Americans, however, is that the current foreign policy will cause major damage to the US's standing in the world, which will cause long lasting economic damage. This week Merkel was telling us all that she didn't think the US and the UK were reliable partners anymore: Continental Europe just can't keep being OK with situations that let the US be the center of the western world. Trump's ability to be far more at ease with autocrats than with leaders of democracies will be very costly indeed. The US is incredibly well placed in tech because Silicon Valley keeps importing immigrants from all over the world. I think that Trump will make it easier for people to choose Europe instead, and that will be disastrous for the US. Imagine if Apple, Facebook and Google were German companies.

The Republicans could have thrown away populism and just lost the next couple of presidential elections while reworking their platform, but instead, they chose suicide. It's not easy to watch.
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Mike Stiles
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I think it's as simple as 'they spent decades skillfully appealing to single issue voters, without much regard to the issue involved that eventually they lost track of the forest for the trees.'

The Southern Strategy set the tone for this, but it took 40 years for the chickens to come to roost.
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"Inequality tied to sustained economic growth is far superior morally than equality and stagnation, if just because in a long enough time horizon, economic growth trumps all."

I would it's the first sign of the diseased conservative mind - the people you throw away today don't matter for the 'greater good'.

"if just because in a long enough time horizon, economic growth trumps all."

In a long enough time horizon there wont be any more growth.

Sometime everybody will have a better tomorrow paid for by those people. That is all very good when you already have a share of the jam and arent going to be paying the price.

Capitalism is wrong from the start it forgets the concept of money was supposed to be a tool for people not people tools for money.

And as much as I like to snipe at conservatives a better standard of living has to include those too even because thats the equality I believe in and yes they will still complain and vote the other way depsite any improvements.

Captialism can also lead to stagnation crony capitalism is basically fedualism by another name and that is stagnant also. Raw tooth and claw free marketism will also lead to stagnation when we hit the bottom. Which we incidentally never get because that means the conservatives\capitalists who already have risk\ can lose all their shit instead they just game the system to ensure they can't and pull the ladder up.

With the added bonus of a totally fucked up environment and every one except the 1% fighting tooth and claw to stand on their neighbour just to scrape by.
 
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Dickie Crickets
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windsagio wrote:

Things like abortion and being anti-gay, while still there, have lost most of their religious underpinnings it feels like to me, replaced by the desire to destroy what the enemy likes.


Or, to put it more poetically, "conservatives would let Trump shit in their mouths if they thought liberals would get upset by the smell."
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Khalid Shabazz
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hibikir wrote:
The corporatism is absolutely not new: The Republican claims that we need a small government, and we should let businesses run amok are decades old. This platform was created many decades ago, back when its opponent was communism.

Actually it was created when you couldn't use the n-word anymore as a politician but instead refer to people on welfare and elaborate on how bad they were for the country.

The code still works because the Republican base is the welfare queen of today but they still happily vote for politicians who make cuts to social programs a big part of their platform.

Which is also why I can't fault the GOP for celebrating the repeal of the ACA too much; it's what most of them were elected to do for many years.

The Democratic party isn't any less pro-corporate though. That part of both parties' policies is a result of corporate sponsorship of political campaigns, however, and not anti-communism. Certain unions donate heavily to the Democrats but not necessarily in antithesis to corporate interests, such as Service Employees International Union, which represents health care workers and government employees.
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Mike Stiles
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crescent_gamer wrote:
hibikir wrote:
The corporatism is absolutely not new: The Republican claims that we need a small government, and we should let businesses run amok are decades old. This platform was created many decades ago, back when its opponent was communism.

Actually it was created when you couldn't use the n-word anymore as a politician but instead refer to people on welfare and elaborate on how bad they were for the country.

The code still works because the Republican base is the welfare queen of today but they still happily vote for politicians who make cuts to social programs a big part of their platform.

Which is also why I can't fault the GOP for celebrating the repeal of the ACA too much; it's what most of them were elected to do for many years.

The Democratic party isn't any less pro-corporate though. That part of both parties' policies is a result of corporate sponsorship of political campaigns, however, and not anti-communism. Certain unions donate heavily to the Democrats but not necessarily in antithesis to corporate interests, such as Service Employees International Union, which represents health care workers and government employees.


It's a question of enlightenment. The GOP is beholden to 'burn em all' kinds of organizations, whereas the Dems at worst tend to want sustainability
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windsagio wrote:
It's a question of enlightenment. The GOP is beholden to 'burn em all' kinds of organizations, whereas the Dems at worst tend to want sustainability

The ACA wasn't actually sustainable without any cost reducing measures built into it, that neither the health care industry nor health care workers would have appreciated.

The Supreme Court has decided that money is form of public opinion, so that's what is determining government policy nowadays.

Cynicism of the electorate creates a negative feedback loop and a part flocks to the candidate who claims to make it all better by himself (or blow it all up, your preference).
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Steve1501 wrote:
I see it as more than just Trump, though.…

Trump is a symptom of a deeper problem, not the cause.
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LightRider wrote:
has become is

Has become means is (although implying it wasn't always). Do you come here for a free education?
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Conservatives, especially since the Reagan era on, have been focused on keeping the status quo in the country, which was at the time, and to a large degree still is, rich white men in positions of power. Boil it down to its core, and this is what they wish. Unfortunately for them, the country is not cooperating. Shifting demographics, population trends, and economics have all chipped away at their core. Whites will soon be the minority in this country, populations are centered in larger cities and urban areas that are more and more liberal, and many more people today are wealthy and liberal, as in days gone by.

Legislatures have become rife with partisan politics and obstructionism, but it is not difficult to see why. They are now being filled to some degree by people that represent a threat to the conservative status quo, ones that may not be afraid to challenge it.

Their inflexibility, and their naivete perhaps, in thinking that these trends will somehow stop or reverse is just wrong. Sure, conservatives will always be around, but I suspect as time passes, they will be less and less efective, and their voice will truly be the minority in this country. Republican and Democrat are not absolute, this country did not have these parties when founded, and they may not have them when we collapse. Some party will fill the Republican (conservative) void, but even they will be more liberal than the current crop. True conservatives will then be the weird uncle at the party, you invite him, give him a plate of food, but he is largely irrelevant.
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Kumitedad wrote:
This coming from a Micheal Gerson, a conservative commentator, does warrant a bit of consideration, especially points like these



"conservative" commentator.....yeah, okay. Like John McCain is a "conservative" congresscritter.


Ferret
 
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KrazyIrish89 wrote:
It is true that Hispanic immigrants overwhelmingly vote democrat right now, but that do you think will happen when the republican party collapses and they make up a large majority of the population? Do you think Hispanics as a whole are socially progressive?


you're doing the whole "Latinos only vote progressive because they are imperiled by racism" thing like the racism isn't a core value of modern American conservatism around which the Republican party has literally been designed; you can't just pull it away and say "well Latinos might be inherently conservative once they're the dominant faction in society!" because they're not and one party is expressly concerned with making sure they don't become so

on top of which, you're really only doing it because the Latino community trends Catholic in its religious expression, and then making the jump that since they're Catholic they'll be anti-abortion, and then jumping to "since they're anti-abortion they'll be in favour of other conservative political points as well," which is a pair of conclusions that are mostly unsupported (since Catholics tend to be more pro-choice than Protestants are and since abortion views doesn't generally tie to support for other ideological precepts)
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KrazyIrish89 wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Conservatives, especially since the Reagan era on, have been focused on keeping the status quo in the country, which was at the time, and to a large degree still is, rich white men in positions of power. Boil it down to its core, and this is what they wish. Unfortunately for them, the country is not cooperating. Shifting demographics, population trends, and economics have all chipped away at their core. Whites will soon be the minority in this country, populations are centered in larger cities and urban areas that are more and more liberal, and many more people today are wealthy and liberal, as in days gone by.

Legislatures have become rife with partisan politics and obstructionism, but it is not difficult to see why. They are now being filled to some degree by people that represent a threat to the conservative status quo, ones that may not be afraid to challenge it.

Their inflexibility, and their naivete perhaps, in thinking that these trends will somehow stop or reverse is just wrong. Sure, conservatives will always be around, but I suspect as time passes, they will be less and less efective, and their voice will truly be the minority in this country. Republican and Democrat are not absolute, this country did not have these parties when founded, and they may not have them when we collapse. Some party will fill the Republican (conservative) void, but even they will be more liberal than the current crop. True conservatives will then be the weird uncle at the party, you invite him, give him a plate of food, but he is largely irrelevant.


I think your assessment is more wishful thinking then anything else. It is true that Hispanic immigrants overwhelmingly vote democrat right now, but that do you think will happen when the republican party collapses and they make up a large majority of the population? Do you think Hispanics as a whole are socially progressive? I think, given the cultures they come from, it is more likely that we will see them start voting much more conservatively in the future (when immigration is a done deal).


As they grow in number, and become the "majority", sure, they may become more conservative. Especially when they are 2nd or 3rd generation Americans, born in this country. Those in the majority always seek to keep their status. Anyone tends to be socially progressive, if the progressions benefit them. And for the likely foreseeable future, the minority will work to become the majority, and it's only a matter of time before this happens.
 
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Ferretman wrote:
"conservative" commentator.....yeah, okay. Like John McCain is a "conservative" congresscritter.


Gerson is an evangelical Christian and supports all the socially conservative policy positions one might expect as a result of that, was one of George W. Bush's primary speechwriters and is firmly conservative on foreign policy, and is a former fellow at the Heritage Foundation, so your no-true-Scotsmanning in this case is pretty dense
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KrazyIrish89 wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
KrazyIrish89 wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Conservatives, especially since the Reagan era on, have been focused on keeping the status quo in the country, which was at the time, and to a large degree still is, rich white men in positions of power. Boil it down to its core, and this is what they wish. Unfortunately for them, the country is not cooperating. Shifting demographics, population trends, and economics have all chipped away at their core. Whites will soon be the minority in this country, populations are centered in larger cities and urban areas that are more and more liberal, and many more people today are wealthy and liberal, as in days gone by.

Legislatures have become rife with partisan politics and obstructionism, but it is not difficult to see why. They are now being filled to some degree by people that represent a threat to the conservative status quo, ones that may not be afraid to challenge it.

Their inflexibility, and their naivete perhaps, in thinking that these trends will somehow stop or reverse is just wrong. Sure, conservatives will always be around, but I suspect as time passes, they will be less and less efective, and their voice will truly be the minority in this country. Republican and Democrat are not absolute, this country did not have these parties when founded, and they may not have them when we collapse. Some party will fill the Republican (conservative) void, but even they will be more liberal than the current crop. True conservatives will then be the weird uncle at the party, you invite him, give him a plate of food, but he is largely irrelevant.


I think your assessment is more wishful thinking then anything else. It is true that Hispanic immigrants overwhelmingly vote democrat right now, but that do you think will happen when the republican party collapses and they make up a large majority of the population? Do you think Hispanics as a whole are socially progressive? I think, given the cultures they come from, it is more likely that we will see them start voting much more conservatively in the future (when immigration is a done deal).


As they grow in number, and become the "majority", sure, they may become more conservative. Especially when they are 2nd or 3rd generation Americans, born in this country. Those in the majority always seek to keep their status. Anyone tends to be socially progressive, if the progressions benefit them. And for the likely foreseeable future, the minority will work to become the majority, and it's only a matter of time before this happens.


You are making a strong case against immigration without even realizing it. If the minority will always work to become the majority (and it is only a matter of time before this happens), then why allow immigration to occur in large numbers in the first case? How does it benefit the majority to be eventually replaced by the minority? Why is this viewed as such a positive thing by progressives?


Um, perhaps because that is the ideal with which our country was founded. One only need look at the statement on the Statue of Liberty to understand that bedrock philosophy. I am not attempting to make any case for or against immigration, immigration is a fact, however, based on who we are, and who we have been for some 250 years. Any party, or belief system (conservative, liberal, etc) that does not recognize that immigration is slowly changing the American landsscape (politically, and economically) is doing so at their own peril.
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whac3 wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
I see it as more than just Trump, though.…

Trump is a symptom of a deeper problem, not the cause.

That deeper problem being...?

[I don't disagree with you -- I'm simply interested in what you see that that deeper problem is.]
 
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abadolato01 wrote:
Um, perhaps because that is the ideal with which our country was founded. One only need look at the statement on the Statue of Liberty to understand that bedrock philosophy. I am not attempting to make any case for or against immigration, immigration is a fact, however, based on who we are, and who we have been for some 250 years. Any party, or belief system (conservative, liberal, etc) that does not recognize that immigration is slowly changing the American landsscape (politically, and economically) is doing so at their own peril.

And it is an ideal which will, for a long time to come, keep the United States in the forefront of worldwide progressive trends and movements. With one caveat, in my view. The US will remain in the forefront as long as it finally raises to full effective equality two groups which are still marginal, to a degree -- one being the indigenous people of this continent, and the other a group which has been on this continent as long as any other immigrant group, people of African ancestry.
 
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