There's an interesting phenomenon were people who already believe something can even take evidence disproving it and use it to reaffirm their belief. Like I believe in God but I can't see him or talk to him. But that doesn't sway me from my belief. Actually the more stuff that happens to me the more it solidifies my belief in the big Daddy-in-the-Sky. Weird but true.
Well, some people take this to the extreme. Like conservatives. The fact that they took total control of all branches of government and then stretched out our military, implemented policies that may lead to a recession (if we're not already in one) and just basically did a bang-up job of f#$king up royally is not enough to figure out maybe their ideology is bankrupt. No. We've got to become more true conservatives. That's it. Seriously.
I've come to the realization a long time ago that any movement fueled by haterism and hatred is a b.s. movement I can't be a part of.
I'll use music as an example. I can't be a part of the "true school hip-hop movement" because it's based on hatred for anything created past 1996 and a continual disdain for current music (there's good stuff out there, you just hafta find it, like MF Doom and J Dilla). I can't be part of the smooth jazz versus avant garde jazz arguments for the same reasons. Or the new country versus old country arguments for the same reason.
Some say musical tastes are trivial so let's try it with more "important" subjects. Gay marriage? Arguments that we have to stop the scary gay people have no appeal to me. Besides, with the divorce rates the way they are, seems like they only people who want to get married and stay married these days are gay people. Still, making Santorium-man-on-dog comparison are not persuasive to me. Diseminating false information about child molestation percentages rising with gay parents is just downright deceitful and hold no value for me.
What about illegal immigration? Again, I'm not afraid of the scary brown people. The Lou Dobbs-Ghostbusters-II-like-stream-of-slime about illegal immigration is unpersuasive to me. How exactly are they a drain on our resources? Didn't you guys say that about welfare? That hordes and hordes of welfare queens (read: single black mothers) were putting a terrible strain on the taxpayer and once we reformed it all of this money would be freed out of the budget and we'd cut down the deficit? How did that work out exactly?
Likewise, I can't support anything conservative because it's based on white resentment, xenophobia and class prejudice. It f@#king defines it. Like the post below says, "What is conservatism without the stereotypes of liberals (Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, fill-in-the-blank), killer terrorists (Osama bin Laden, Ahmadinejad) illegal immigrants and angry black people (Rev. Wright, Al Sharpton)?" Without the mytical status of these "imminent" threats, conservatives have nothing to feed off of. At least liberalism claims to be a set of ideas that make things better for people. Conservatism has no such pretenses. Like Jay-Z, their motto should be "f@$k you, pay me."
This is a sentiment explained much better in a recent post from the Whiskey Fire blog.
Here's the link: http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/...
This is in response to James Joyner's rebuttal over FDL's Ther's post on the dawn of conservatism (Autumn of Wingnuttia). Here are the links.
Here are the key quotes from Ther's post.
Movement conservatism started off as a racket. Movement conservatism has always been about exacerbating and then profiting from existing cultural, social, and economic resentments. There was never any fall from an original ideological Eden. The corruption was there from the start. Packer is quite right to emphasize how the political and popular success of movement conservatism owes everything to its legitimization of a politics of resentment that arose in the 1960s. Movement conservatism has nothing without Hatred of the Liberal, a point reinforced not least by the image with which Joyner chooses to adorn his post.
It's quite nice that Joyner deplores Coulter-level books and says their crudity is part of the reason the GOP is in trouble. However, this class of stuff is just a less sophisticated version of commonplace rhetoric you see emanating from everywhere else on the right these days. And if Joyner wants to dump it, fine, but the brute fact is that without accusations like, say, that Barack Obama is an un-American socialist, well, the GOP might as well just concede the election immediately. And everyone knows it. The right just cannot win if it renounces the politics of resentment, and that's all there is to it. You can't scrub ugly. You can't reboot Soviet Communism without perpetrating once more its rottenness, and you can't retool movement conservatism without it eventually fucking up royally.
Which is why I see no reason to believe that invocations of a "pure, timeless" conservatism are anything more than so much self-serving horseshit. If there were any substance or value to it as an intellectual concept, first of all, it would sound a lot less vapid. Sorry, "a belief in free markets, free people, and in the greatness of the American people and the American nation" is sonorous doxa, pure and simple. None of these terms means anything as far as policy goes and in the real world can be used to justify pretty much any absurdity, like, say, an immensely disastrous, ill-conceived invasion and occupation of a foreign nation justified by utterly disingenuous bullcrap.
I lack patience for invocations of ideological purity in the context of serious analysis. As I said at FDL, if "movement conservatism" were truly guided by lofty principles as opposed to nihilistic opportunism, history would have turned out differently. It sure would have been nice to see "movement conservatives" put their "principles" into action in say the fall of 2002.
"Intellectual movements" that end up unable to cope with empirical scientific data (global warming), that end up making excuses for torture, that depend upon self-flattering fantasies such as a belief in a partisan "liberal media," that delight in the sort of race-baiting nonsense we've already seen in this election season, have nowhere to go. It is eminently reasonable to draw the conclusion that there is just nothing to "movement conservatism" except a dead end. "Conservatism" as it is currently embodied just cannot handle the truth. It can't afford to.