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How to Become a Conservative in Four Embarrassing Steps


#1

How to Become a Conservative in Four Embarrassing Steps

Paul Buchheit

Not that we'd want to. But many Americans, perplexingly, have taken that path in the last ten years, as 27 percent of those polled now consider themselves 'mostly' or 'consistently' conservative, up from 18 percent in 2004. (Conservatives were at 30 percent in 1994. Liberals increased from 21 to over 30 percent in the 1990s and have remained approximately the same since then.)


#2

Buccheit assigning the language of "denial, dismissal, and/or belligerence" to the "true conservative" is no more accurate than calling Obama a "true liberal." (An excellent example of a true conservative...a principled conservative...can be found just a few clicks below the link to Buccheit at the Andrew Bacevich post.)

The bombastic behavior of neoconservative Tea Party nationalists who control the Republican Party is calculated...by design. It's the politics of distraction. While the rhetoric of neoliberal nationalists controlling the Democratic Party might be a little more subtle, the goal is the same: exploit cosmetic differences in style to reinforce the false consciousness of a "representative democracy" that no longer actually exists.

It's also interesting to note that this post by Buccheit is uncharacteristically devoid of the usual plethora of links he provides in support of his assertions. Buccheot's articles are more useful and informative when he keeps his sights trained on the owners of the circus instead of the clowns.


#3

The belligerence works so well for them eliciting a "Yeah, you tell 'em" response from that large portion of the population who are addicted to vicarious living. They have used it to take over congress and will probably manage to use it to get the presidency next year, then the excrement will hit the air conditioning because they will then be certain that they have a holy mandate to impose their fact proof mean spirited point of view on everyone bringing big trouble a lot sooner than "to our children."


#4

Five. Confuse "conservative" with its opposite, "conservationist".

Six. Believe there is no such thing as love. That there is only lust and need.

Seven. Believe that peace is only temporary. That nature is Darwinist competition and violence.


#5

To paraphrase John Stuart Mill, not all stupid people are conservative, but most conservatives are stupid people.


#6

True conservatives: 99.99 percentile that owns pretty much everything and wants things to stay the same.

True liberals: 99.00 - 99.98 percentile that wants more pie.

Up for grabs: the rest, who will respond to the bright and shiny of their choice.


#7

Before the onset of mass media, our ancient ancestors looked to the heavens and earth and began to see patterns of synchronicity. One system bequeathed to modern citizens is that of mythology and another is Astrology. In many ways, both can be woven together. What emerges are timeless archetypal references; these explain the key motivations behind human actions.

One polar pair that also works as natural complements--if balance is part of the paradigm--features Venus and Mars.

Venus, known as the goddess of love, rules the signs of Taurus--Mother earth and agricultural stewardship, and Libra--the sign of law, marriage, fairness, and justice.

Mars, known as the god of war, rules the sign of Aries (Aryan!) and identifies fully with conquest, aggression, and battle.

Venus thinks in terms of the larger society, what is fair for all.

Mars thinks in terms of self interest; that might makes right.

(It's the political version of Yin and Yang.)

Conservatives--dominated by patriarchal fundamentalist religious views, gun lovers, hunters, soldiers, policing forces and other projections of raw often racist/sexist shows of machismo fit MARS.

Liberals and Progressives who think in terms of a more peaceful society with rules and laws in place to serve the greater good, and protocols that spread the goods around, fit Venus.

It's no accident that the beefing up of pornography, the idolatry shown towards guns, the militarization of domestic police forces, the emphasis on paternalistic religions, and the wars ongoing all fuel the mindset of Mars and along with it, Conservatives.

Corporations make use of these fools since their identification with SELF precludes any interest in policies that protect The Commons, or extend benefits to those most in need.

Fascism isn't just the merger of state with corporations. Its advocates always come from the ranks of male-centered patriarchal family units and the sons and brothers brought up to identify with masculine power. This ilk serves as foot soldiers to Power.

What is needed is fortification of all things VENUS to serve as counterbalance. I see the rising power of WOMEN in response. And I don't mean the female tokens invited into the Mars ruled halls of power to promote existing martial policies.

I mean Medea Benjamin, Idle No More's members, Birgitta Jonsdetter, Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, Anita Sarkeesian, Amy Goodman, Malala Yousafzai, Vandana Shiva, Kathy Kelly, Cindy Sheehan, and so many others.

Conservatives make Mars rules possible. Their era is ending.


#8

Apart from our glaring differences as to the merits of Bacevich's analysis, I'd like to address this point:

You said:

"While the rhetoric of neoliberal nationalists controlling the Democratic Party might be a little more subtle, the goal is the same: exploit cosmetic differences in style to reinforce the false consciousness of a "representative democracy" that no longer actually exists."

The observation is true, but akin to Bacevich's style of analysis, it's strong on scrutinizing tactics but lacks something deeper. Just because you recognize a "divide and conquer" game plan hardly means that very real ideological distinctions don'r exist in different persons. And these are not easily reconciled, if reconciled at all.

After all, if the bully insists on walking around with a loaded weapon and it goes off to kill my child, that is a problem. And it's a problem being pushed on more and more citizens as both fanatical laypersons and policing forces rely far too much ON guns. The result is a heckuva lot of carnage.

Also, you chastise Buccheit for not "keeping his sights trained on the owners of the circus instead of the clowns," and this posits the typical Mars-rules preference for either-or, with us or against us, narrow equations and related arguments.

BOTH are important.

After all, the reason for Propaganda is that a percentage of citizens must be made to go along with the Policies of power. If an ideology is already in place (muscular patriarchal Christianity now embedded with Calvinistic rationales) it makes control by the few all the more easy.

Those who identify with macho force like to wear uniforms and beating others into submission comes naturally to them. They have no use for compassion, consideration or empathy. Those are for sissies! And so it happens, that an armed gentry is conditioned to turn on and control fellow citizens,.

This was seen in Egypt once a more democratized society was sought. Enter: the military as governing force; and it's seen whenever the pie gets cut too short and blue collar male workers are offered jobs that require them to imprison, threaten, and beat up fellow citizens.

In other words, there's far more to the calculus than your bipolar categories of circus owners and clowns. And you show your disdain for everyday people forced to negotiate fascist times by calling THEM clowns.


#9

You couldn't be more wrong about my comment. Instead of parsing out the whole rant, let's just stick to two points I consider important.
1–I'm not chastising Buccheit. It's a merely an observation on his effectiveness as a writer in this case. I respect the bulk of his work.
2–I'm not calling everyday people clowns. I specifically referred to politicians and their parties in my comment. My disdain is directed at them. Not everyday people.


#10

Cannot leave out "Rewrite History" while incorporating distortion, convoluted "facts'" and specious resources. (Bill O'Reilly practices revisionist history with every book he produces.)

Also need to add "Haul out blond bimbos ala Ann C. who affixes her name to any number of "liberal" bashing ghost-written books that are more fiction than non- yet are touted as non-fiction."

Another addition is: "To Publish non-fiction diatribes assaulting progressive, populist, people-centered politics." (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, i.e.)

And they should be ashamed as well as embarrassed!


#12

I often find quite a few of people who 'Vote' Conservative' (Republican) don't know anything in detail about what they're actually voting on or who they're actually voting for, they simply don't care enough and opt out by voting 'their' party. Unless or until something impacts their life personally, they don't pay attention to all that much. The older they get, the less they care about others and the more certain they are about having already 'learned enough' to know what's what about everything.


#13

Conservatives are needed in the vast scheme of things, but it is the EXTREMIST Conservatives that need to be put down, as they want to turn time back for the populace of the USA and the world to slavery and/or indentured servants through their godless privatism, especially of the Federal Reserve. They conspired together with conservatives on both sides of the aisle and named the Federal Reserve, FEDERAL, but it is NOT a part of the government & is federal in name only. The Federal Reserve is a private owned and private run entity. Most everything economically would change for the better in the USA if the Federal Reserve could be made to be federal in reality and a real part of government, instead of a private entity of privatism used by private corporations to their own benefit. If the Federal Reserve was FEDERALIZED there would be a remarkable change for the better in the USA. It would be like oxygen given to a drowning person. Our economy would start breathing again. FEDERALIZE the Federal Reserve.


#14

What makes a political conservative:

"Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

Fear and aggression
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
Uncertainty avoidance
Need for cognitive closure
Terror management"

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml


#15

It is small wonder that reactionary politics is becoming more popular since it is working for them on a purely political basis. That is to say that the right is becoming the dominant force in this nation's political forum. With more and more Democrats lining up to the right of Nixon and few are supporting the welfare of their constituents the base has been abandoned in the grab for campaign contributions. My own Senator Maria Cantwell is making noises that seem to lean toward the TPP give away of our nations sovereignty although she won't come right out and say so. This has become typical of our Democratic politicians while those on the right can spew any bat crap crazy thing that pops into whatever organ they use for a brain.


#16

As entertaining as a walking tour through the American Conservative mindset can be, the question of greater immediate relevance is "How, in the current political, cultural, and economic circumstances did these out-of-step extremists manage to seize, fortify, and effectively lock in control of the American governmental apparatus at both state and national levels, such that the political pendulum is now, post-E2014, more Republican than at any time since the Hoover presidency (recognizing that "Republican" is now a phenomenon far more extreme than in Hoover's day; in fact, such Republican stalwarts as Hoover and Nixon would be unelectably "liberal" by today's standards)?"

It is easy enough to point to gerrymandering, Voter-ID, Big Money, and other such overt schemes as the explanation. Where just about no one seems to want to look is at a darker and more direct phenomenon: the manifest vulnerability of our computerized vote counting system to manipulation. There is copious evidence available that the targeted election rigging that "could never happen here" has in fact happened, and is the proximal cause for the political ascendancy of the Far Right in an America that by virtually every measure other than its privatized, computerized votecounts looks a lot less red than its elected representatives.

Should you be be willing to set aside your own version of never-happen-here American Exceptionalism and examine some of that evidence, my new book **CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century (Post-E2014 Edition; available at Amazon)** will be an eye-opener. I aim to bring the perils of our privatized and computerized system and the critical need for observable vote counting into the public discourse. We need to think, communicate, and act. It's very late.


#17

Yep I know one. No sympathy for others.


#18

Publishing seems to the the new money laundering device to pay off propaganda and RWers. Everyone seems to have a book which I would not read. Years ago that was not the case. Most are ghost writers.


#19

Certainly uninformed or they wouldn't believe what they are fed.


#23

The US, being the degenerate and decaying empire that it is, makes its own reality. It's just too bad that America's emperor isn't smart enough to know what side America's bread is buttered on. Sure the US can threaten and violently enforce its rule over half the globe but meanwhile the rest of the world is quietly and peacefully digging the empire's grave with alternate currency regimes, financial resources not associated with the US dollar and trade pacts not relating to the US in any way.


#24

I find this article little more than the class based bashing of conservatives by the Bill Mahr types.

The vast majority of folk in this nation who are conservative are not "making up their own facts" nor are they "ignoring facts." Most of them are not "devoid of empathy" or interested in only "shouting down" those with different views.

Most folk in this nation who are conservative are simply tricked by those who do make up facts and ignore others. One of the things they believe is a fact is that government intervention doesn't help those who are poor but makes things worse.

Now the pundits and leaders who trick them, they make up facts, ignore facts, have no empathy and shout down their opponents.