As I promised a couple of days ago, I am now going to attempt to account for a fact mentioned by Shaw Kenawee in a comment here:
"Many of us, righties and lefties, have documented the deliberate lies and misrepresentations of right-wing bloggers and pundits, but the facts we present seem not to discourage conservative followers from their allegiance to their liars."
Well, for good or ill, here goes my attempt to explain this:
After decades of following right wing rhetoric and actions, I have come to the following conclusion: American conservatism, at least as it has existed in the last half century, is about one thing and one thing only: greed. Cut my taxes. That's it. Nothing else underlies Conservatism. All they care about in the whole world is keeping their government services but having their taxes cut so someone else picks up the tab. Everything else is just window dressing. Even racism is nothing to them but a way to justify taking things away from others so they can have more.
In particular, I believe that their endless protestations of religiosity are utterly insincere. How could anyone believe that their enabling of the rich, their hatred of other kinds of people, their love of violence, the self-absorption with which they fight to evade their fair share of the cost of a decent society, have anything at all to do with the Lord they claim to cherish? In fact, it is my belief that their religious posturing is not intended to fool anyone but themselves. They need deeply to convince themselves, in the face of their barbarous, self serving behavior, that they are the morally superior ones. In furtherance of that aim they have constructed a false religion, which has replaced the real values of Jesus, values which demand so much of them, with hatred of gays, denunciation of evolution, fighting against abortion, and a whole host of other issues never mentioned by Jesus, but which have the advantage of demanding absolutely no real sacrifice.
Their political claims are similarly bankrupt. Who can take seriously people who bark endlessly about the constitution and about State's rights, yet who stood silent as Conservatives on the Supreme Court threw all of that out the window when they made George Bush President? Where are these people to stand up to the notion of corporate personhood, something never mentioned in the constitution, and that would have seemed absurd to the founding fathers? No, this too is just talk, designed to cover their only real interest: more money for themselves.
Now, how does this relate to Shaw's question? I believe that, in the absence of moral compulsion of any kind, conservatives simply say whatever serves to advance their purpose at that particular moment, on that particular issue. They will claim to believe anything which they can use to justify their behavior, and it means absolutely nothing to them that it has any consistency with what they claimed to believe in the past or will claim to believe in the future. All that matters to them is that their statements serve to deflect opposition. In fact, they are not presenting a viewpoint at all- language for them is simply a way to defeat opposition to the gratification of their desires. Seen this way, there is absolutely no reason that their claims should show any consistency, or even rationality. If their public statements serve to obscure the rational arguments of their opponents, that is enough; it makes no difference to them if their positions are revealed to have no basis, long after they have gotten what they want.
I know that this is a harsh view. I suggest that, when confronted with samples of Conservative irrationality, you try to understand them in this light. I have done so for a number of years, and I have found that it invariably provides a simple and convincing explanation of Conservative doctrine.
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