OK

As a Canadian, I don’t find Bobby Jindal on my radar very often, and that’s a good thing for my blood pressure. Being a news junkie, though, I did catch his staunch defense of that Duck Dynasty dimwit. Yep, Louisiana’s Panderer in  Chief cares deeply about Freedom of Speech, or so it seems. It was interesting to learn that Freedom of Speech actually means freedom from any possible negative consequence from one’s speech.

A&E, he would have us believe, had no right to to suspend him for a couple of weeks for harming their brand. What’s next Bobby? Why not make speech in your state truly free and eliminate every possible negative consequence from the blather emitting from your mulleted marsh dwellers. Why not wipe out all the laws concerning slander, libel and hate speech in Louisiana?

It looks like Bobby Jindal may go down in history for that single moment of clarity when he said to his fellow Republicans after the last election: “We need to stop being the stupid party.” Well put sir, but you yourself must know you are doomed to remain the stupid party so along as you espouse all the stupid beliefs your conservative movement stands for.

Sorry, I really shouldn’t repeat your own pejorative word “stupid”. What I really mean is unintelligent, irrational, and a special kind of evil. Sorry again, that’s not fair. If you are a conservative in the American mold you may not be evil, just unintelligent. Let me be clear. You are evil if you are one of the corporate overlords knowingly dispensing your propaganda for your own selfish gain, but you are merely unintelligent if you are one of the mindless drones who , oh, I dunno, saw a Clint Eastwood movie at a particularly impressionable moment of your youth.

Bobby Jindal is not unintelligent by any stretch of the imagination. Let’s be charitable and just regard him as evil. But I’m not saying his conservativism isn’t clever. Far from it. For any student of propaganda can do no better than to study the American conservatives. I’m particularly impressed with the quasi-philosophies they trot out whenever they want to convince their brethren that conservatism is actually grounded in a righteous morality. Much like “the Divine Right of Kings” of long ago, their philosophy  is an after-the-fact set of rationalities which they would have us believe have the weight of universal truths.  But listen carefully and you’ll hear a deep rumbling underground whenever they try to co-opt history’s most revered thinkers. That’s folks like Darwin and Nietzsche rolling in their graves.

Darwin in particular has given enormous cover for conservatives over the years….like a huge awning at Ted Cruz’s BBQ pit.  Survival of the fittest, dog eat dog…that’s all Darwin right? Well, sort of. Except dogs don’t normally eat other dogs….they are social animals like us who work together to survive. The alpha dog may eat a little better than the other dogs in the pack, but even the alpha dog wants those other dogs healthy and ready to participate in the next hunt.

Esteemed biologists such as Richard Dawkins respond with great clarity to those who would distort Darwin’s work. His work “The Selfish Gene” is notable for its explanation of why we often act in ways which seem to put the good of the species above our own good. He points to evidence that the tendancy to act in ways which benefit the species as a whole is actually built into our DNA. Predictably enough this gets little play at conservative think-tanks.

Conservatives like Rand Paul can also turn to “philosophers” such as Ayn Rand to justify their belief that greed is good. And if you point out that Rand has nowhere near the credibility of, say, Emanual Kant they have an answer for that too: liberal bias in academia. So they go around touting Rand’s belief that the only true value human beings should have is for their own well being.  And they violently condemn as “immoral” Kant's assertion that the value of one’s self goes hand in hand with value for one’s fellow human beings. If you point out that Kant actually provides well-reasoned arguments for his beliefs and Rand doesn’t, well, that’s about the time they’ll switch gears and chide you for getting all “intellectual”.

So, expect conservatives to continue doing what they do best: keeping it dumb and dumber.

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