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Since Barack Obama became President I've noticed that Republican and right-wing politics, particularly the so-called Tea Party™ and its like-minded cohort, have been driven largely by self-congratulation and resentment. People I know who vote Republican, be they right-wingers or more "traditional" and "reasonable" "conservatives," tell me they do so in large part because they resent some despised cohort of imaginary people undeservingly benefiting at their expense, and they also resent not getting the credit they deserve (from whom, it's not always clear) for being the good, decent, upright, responsible, successful people they are, or imagine themselves to be. Somehow, voting Republican and electing Republicans will put everyone back in their rightful place.

There is something to this, perhaps, in the sense that GOP voters may feel that Democratic policies (or "liberalism") distort the natural order of things, be it by economic Robin-Hooding (real or imagined) or the recognition of non-traditional social values. To over-simplify a bit, from the GOP voter's perspective, Democratic governance punishes success and rewards failure, punishes virtue and rewards vice (or, in the alternative, disregards both), whereas Republican ideology and governance does the opposite. "Conservatism," such as it is,exists to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted -- which is precisely as it should be.

How else can one explain George Will's blazingly stupid remark that being a rape or sexual assault victim constitutes a "coveted status that confers privileges"? The idea that anyone would want to be a victim of a horrifying and humiliating assault in order to obtain and "enjoy" the "privileges" that entails is only slightly less insane than harboring resentment of such victims for "enjoying" those "privileges," and implicitly asking why do they get those "privileges" when I don't?

I got this idea from a conversation I had back in the summer of 2009 with a dear friend, one whom I love and respect tremendously but who happens to be a rather wealthy man and a Republican voter. At that time he was convinced, inter alia, that the President had raised his taxes -- all by himself, apparently -- in order to fund increased assistance for the poor, which was obviously untrue.  Whenever I mentioned the plight of the poor he asserted that the poor are, quote, "subsidized," therefore have it pretty good, and neither need nor deserve any additional help from him. His wife complained during this conversation that he was being "punished for his success," a fairly common meme in the conservative media at that time. I found it a little off-putting to hear a rich man -- who is also very liberal on social issues and claims to "despise the right wing" -- complain about how good the poor have it. I realized that his thinking was driven by self-congratulation and resentment; he and his wife were congratulating themselves for their "success," and resentful of having to contribute to the well-being of others who, in their eyes, (1) don't deserve it, and (2) already have enough.

Indeed, the entire 2012 Republican National Convention was built (no pun intended) around self-congratulation and resentment. If you recall, the slogan/theme was, "We Built It," an implicit rebuttal to something President Obama said but did not say about public contributions to private success.  "We Built It" encapsulates both self-congratulation and resentment in a neat little package; self-congratulation for having "built it" without help from anyone else, and resentment of the implication that "we" did otherwise and the failure/refusal to give "us" the admiration, respect and honor "we" deserve.

It amazes me sometimes how often I invoke self-congratulation and resentment as the driving force of the modern Right, and someone over there will respond by denying it with some remark that's just dripping with self-congratulation and resentment. "I'm not congratulating myself and I don't resent anyone. I just don't want my hard-earned money being confiscated by force and given to lazy people who don't want to work."

I was thinking about this today because I read some of the stuff on Nevada shooter Jerad Miller's Google+ page and found it rife with self-congratulation and resentment (mostly the former), and though it just goes to show that the extreme right is motivated by extreme self-congratulation and resentment. Some examples below the fold.

I was out there but they told me and my wife to leave because I am a felon.  They don't seem to understand that they are all felons now for intimidating law enforcement with deadly weapons.  So don't tell you that they need people.  We sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs to be there 24/7.  How dare you ask for help and shun us dedicated patriots!
Read that again.
We sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs to be there 24/7.  [self-congratulation] How dare you ask for help and shun [resentment] us dedicated patriots! [self-congratulation]
Here's more from Miller:
They are going around doing background checks.  I was down there for a week doing over watch and other things.  I was not causing problems [self-congratulation]. Even stood armed next to a cop [self-congratulation]. I volunteered my info so they wouldn't waste an hour doing a check [self-congratulation]. Our founders where [sic] criminals [resentment by proxy] for taking a stand [self-congratulation by proxy]. Why am I any different [resentment] when I have never been to prison [self-congratulation] yet I am a political enemy to the established oligarchy [resentment-fueled delusion] so they have papers that make me seem like a common criminal [resentment-fueled delusion], who by the way, still deserve their rights to vote and own a firearm [resentment by proxy].  If they don't have those rights then they are not American citizens and therefore have immunity under their despotism [resentment-fueled delusion]. So, anyone trying to "get" me [resentment-fueled delusion] would find someone not even technically under their jurisdiction any longer.  As far as I am concerned my government is a fascist enemy [resentment-fueled delusion].  Unlike all those loyal Nazis [resentment-fueled delusion], I will not tolerate despotic rule over me and my family [self-congratulatory fantasy]. My family has bled for this nation and our freedoms [self-congratulation by proxy] and I will not let their sacrifice go unanswered without my own sacrifice [self-congratulatory fantasy].  So let them call me a criminal [resentment].  Let them smear my name all over the place [resentment]. George Washington would be proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with me and my wife [self-congratulation]. Who cares what all these loyalists think [resentment].  They will think what they are told to think [resentment], so why should we care [self-congratulation]?  We need to quit quibbling and bickering with each other and stand together.
Not every phrase fits neatly into one category or another, but the underlying motif is pretty clear. People like Jerad Miller are the Heroes of Their Own Private Mythology. They have a fervent belief in their own greatness and righteousness, and deeply resent the fact that others don't share that belief.

Personally I find it nauseating and depressing to hear and read the words of people who admire themselves this much. I find it even more nauseating and depressing that we have actual elected officials and candidates for office enabling and encouraging it. I think there may be a genuine danger afoot, in that we have millions of people whose political views and preferences are driven by intense self-admiration and visceral resentment, but who also know that they have very little chance of winning a national election any time soon. And we all know the next logical step: "If ballots don't work, bullets will."

Originally posted to GrafZeppelin127 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 07:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good framing of the problem (10+ / 0-)

    I would add, "Struggling with Male Menopause" to the list of reasons the right wing media so violently resentful about Modern, Multicultural, Progressive America.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:34:16 AM PDT

    •  Male MENopause... priceless. (8+ / 0-)

      And yes, emasculation appears to be a very real fear of most of these hooyas, even if they can't recognize it consciously ("Don't you dare take away my gun!").

      I'd add insecurity to the driving factors behind the far right.

      Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

      by Jon Sitzman on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:29:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "punished for success" meme is a big (13+ / 0-)

      attraction for many republican voters.

      It's "successful us" against "undeserving them."

      We need to help people see America as a unified enterprise again whose achievements we all contribute to and whose achievements we cal all take pride in.

      No more "us" and "them."

      Wouldn't it be great if we could all be happy to contribute to a country that was, for example:

      - First in the world in an educated citizenry
      - First in the world in sustainable energy to save the planet
      - First in the world in healthcare outcomes
      - Lowest in murder and violence

      Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

      by Happy Days on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't realize that -everyone- has an (4+ / 0-)

        economic interest in the well-being and success of others.

      •  I hear it from friends (6+ / 0-)

        "They" (the Undeserving and Lazy "they") have it easy because they work the system/know the system/scam the system. Whereas "I" am down on my luck and really need the help can't get it (because "they" apparently took it all or are better at getting/needing it because they are lazy/undeserving/scamming).

        Sometimes I point out that the reason they are having trouble is that someone just like them, at some point in the past, decided that the lazy undeserving people making the same amount of money as they are, had it too good on the government dime, so now it is harder for them to get the help they need, because someone just like them thought they might be having it too good.

        That there are, in fact, regulations and ways of determining who actually "needs" the help versus who just has their hand out for free money, and if they don't qualify for the "need" then it is because someone, at some point, decided that their situation wasn't "needy" enough, or that we didn't have enough to help them out.

        And sometimes I just shrug and wish them the best.

        The ones who just complain about how high on the hog those lazy poors are living on their taxpayer dime? I like to tell them that if they want to be the arbiter over who is and is not deserving that they can do that by getting a job as a caseworker at DHHS and that it pays about 28k a year (which is about half of what the usual complainer makes). So far, nobody I know has come back to say they have done this...

        How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

        by athenap on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:57:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? Protecting their interests (0+ / 0-)

          & those of their biggest donors; that and their abiding love & undying commitment to Reaganomics.  And as mentioned above, resentment toward poor...there's a myth out there that getting government benefits equates with lazy & undeserving. Instead of being viewed as a "hand up," assistance is viewed as a "handout."

    •  Was Miller's wife suffering from male menopause as (0+ / 0-)

      well? She bought into it and died a murderess, so I'd say so.

  •  In my town (10+ / 0-)

    it was the change brought by closing the national forests to logging and extending the ability to export logs overseas.

    Peoples incomes fell from $40,000 or so for a year to $9,000 or $10,000. Because most are fairly conservative with their money they owned their houses and whatever car they had.

    This made them emergency help of any kind non existent. They discovered what many do that government help is not there to help people get back on their feet.

     The government mitigation program was not at all effective because it was not designed to fit the situation. They were left to twist wind and figure it out for themselves.

    It was sad as they had started the journey with hope that with the government assisting they could find a way to rebuild the economy in a different way that worked in the new landscape. They were willing to do the work.

    They are now mostly republicans and teabaggers they resent every cent they give the government. They used to mostly be democrats with a strong sense of social responsibility.

    Oddly they still have that strong social responsibility they recently had a spaghetti dinner for a young single mother who lost her house in a fire raising $4000.00 and a commitment of free rent for a year so she can get back on her feet.

    They just no longer trust the government to do the right or even the least harmful thing. I am not really sure I blame them on that but I also don't think the rest of the baggage the republicans pack represent their beliefs somehow they ignore that in favor of small government.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:39:20 AM PDT

    •  I think that at some point in one's life there (13+ / 0-)

      comes a turning point where one decides that government is either a good thing worthy of support or a bad thing that must be demolished.

      Ronald Reagan did a great job of summarizing this dichotomy with his "joke" about "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" being the most frightening sentence a human being could hear.

      I think we've all been on both sides. When our government assists us in ways that we directly benefit from, we tend to be supportive - education grants, Social Security, Medicare, etc. When the government does things we don't approve of, we denigrate it and think it should be minimized or eliminated.

      If a person comes down more and more on the side of minimization, then they come to a point where they decide government doesn't work for them and they'd just as soon have the smallest one possible and pay the least amount of taxes possible. I think this is what has happened to turn many people into Tea Partyers and Republicans.

      For people to believe in government it has to work. We continue to see more and more instances where our government just doesn't seem to work and is useless (can't build websites, can't prosecute TBTF banks, can't pass budgets, can't function, period.) This perceived and actual dysfunctional ism will turn off more and more people from the concept of government, either through despair or cynicism. I think this is why people turn to an essentially nihilist philosophy which is what modern Republicanism has become. They have somehow convinced the American public that we are a small and wizened country that can't afford anything and can't do anything right and we're all just better off cutting our losses and trusting in our hardy individualism.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:06:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (7+ / 0-)

        I am of the impression that government is currently not great but could be repaired to work better. I believe they have just given up believing they can do anything to change it.

        They have banded together to take care of each other because they don't think they can trust anyone else.It has done good things for the town, there is a rather fierce buy as much as possible locally movement that is well over 15 years old. It contributed a lot to rebuilding the economy. I have to wonder how many other places have similar stories.

        We don't hear them I think simply because nobody gets past the anger. Most of these folks are the blue collar people who were in the first wave of lost income, and often everything they had worked for to outsourcing and reduced wages during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

        I get that and feel the same way but at the same time I think finding a way repair what is broken is a far better idea than bulldozing whole house because the appliances need replaced.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The sad truth is that much of government (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA, PSWaterspirit, athenap

          doesn't seem to work anymore--due in large part, I believe, to the role of money in politics and our corporate news media.

          Politicians spend more time fund-raising than governing, play to corporate an billionaire bases, and can't afford to be seen in any way compromising with the enemy.

          The media, focused on ratings and entertaining audiences rather than on providing actual news and thoughtful analysis, help keep the country polarized and enraged with political enemies.

          It's a mess, but I think getting the big money out of politics is the most critical step.

          Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

          by Happy Days on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:49:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Funny that a "starved beast" doesn't do a good job (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SlightKC, NinetyWt, myboo

            compared to one which is well cared for...  Tax cuts and reduced social services in favor of the rich and the military/security complex leads to fewer programs and less funds for public benefits.  The GOP has been running on a platform of "the government does not work" for the past 30+ years, and they are implementing their vision.

            •  That was my point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              sometime it hasn't worked and the results often creates more republicans.

              I believe that as a nation we should learn from our mistakes and try to do better. Every action we take, no matter how positive it might be can have unintended consequences.

              The idea would be to apply all the brains we have in this country to figuring out ways of repairing those if we learn enough maybe the consequences will eventually be predictable.

              It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

              by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I'm convinced that government (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj, ebohlman

        in many areas hasn't worked because certain portions of the body politic have seen to it that it doesn't work.

        It's another form of Disaster Capitalism.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 06:06:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And if half the country weren't afraid (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NinetyWt, bluehammer, laurnj

      of the words "social democracy" we could do a heck of a lot better.  In fact, we could come darn near close to what your ex-loggers were expecting from their government!  

  •  It's the '300' model of self-image, where (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, jan4insight, Yonit, Matt Z, JerryNA, DavidMS

    the true patriots are Spartans defending Thermopylae, while also suffering indignities from the corrupt, degenerate Athenians they're protecting, according to that completely inaccurate version of history.

    I don't mean to pick on 300 in particular (a movie I don't like, but whatever); it's just that it hit screens at just the right moment to be a perfect encapsulation of that particular mindset.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:15:01 AM PDT

  •  I wrote a diary a bit ago (5+ / 0-)

    in which I commented that RW-ers, by and large, don't respect anybody different from them and whom they'd never aspire to resemble. Since that describes an increasing number of people, as the RW dies out, they live these days in some mighty scary times.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:13:38 PM PDT

  •  Much of what I know of Hate Politics (6+ / 0-)

    comes from a paper written by the American University College of Law, entitled "The Politics of Hate," by Robert L. Tsai.  It comes down to prejudice.  It always paints the white privileged class as being victims.  They see their position slipping and no longer as rewarded and valued and lofty as it once was.  In the comments of this article, the resentment is very clear.  There's a strong sense of "we" and the "others."  And the "others" aren't keeping their place.  It is a fight against changes to the status quo.  As they see the line blurring between "we" and "other," the situation will continue to get uglier and uglier, more and more hate.  Whether this is targeted towards black, Muslims, poor, or whatever group they see as threatening, the hate will shift focus or expand to include more "other" groups.  The order of things is changing, and they will fight to keep it the way it's "supposed" to be.  They see themselves as victimized and  injustice leveled at them.  They are blind to the victimization and injustices the current system gives towards those they see as their oppressors and those they see as not worthy of the same status they enjoy.  It isn't a rational reaction.  Since much is irrational, it is difficult to legislate.  It is a gut reaction, fear based, and sits firmly on prejudice while they feel they are the threatened group.

    Excellent topic and write up.  Thanks!  It's easier to fight it, or change it, when we can understand what we're fighting.

  •  just realized that if you throw in sarcasm (4+ / 0-)

    you have the outline script for every single monologue I've heard from a conservative windbag radio show host.

  •  Authoritarianism (3+ / 0-)

    seems to be closely aligned with corporatism. This is how the world is structured; this is the place that everyone fits into the social hierarchy. You fit in, and you're nice and good. You're a Christian. You deserve to have your religion legislated into law. You're white. You didn't get a helping hand.

    You try to usurp the social hierarchy, and you're bad. Poor people who think they deserve health care. Blacks who think they deserve to be President. Non-Americans who think they deserve to live in the US. Gays who think they deserve to marry.

    Right now, you have an entire political wing that is disinterested in the machinations of government, and does nothing except attempt to enshrine this social order into law.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:46:43 PM PDT

  •  It always struck me as weird (4+ / 0-)

    that there is a persistent tendency among conservatives to paint liberals as immoral (and themselves as virtuous). To hold this view you really have to not read the news. It is like they never heard of David Vitter, Mark Sanford, or Larry Craig. It is not like Republicans have ever had a monopoly on virtue, but they still like to pretend that they do. Of course, Democrats have had financial and personal scandals too, but they don't tend to be hypocrites to quite the same degree.

    •  Hypocritical "morality" based on lies & blindness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No one gets out alive

      to their own faults. They promote abstinence-only "education" but ignore the higher rates of teen STDs and teen pregnancy in those states. They cut food stamps and anti-poverty programs, but allow companies to keep massive profits from cutting domestic jobs, exporting jobs overseas and or importing cheaper labor using H1B visas. The GOP consistently blames the victims of their own programs, including a large proportion of their own voters. The mindset is both hate-filled and pathetic.

  •  "We (and no one else)" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are the heirs of the great men of old.

  •  What republicans really object to (4+ / 0-)

    is the burden of being a member of the human race.

    "Special status" for rape victims?  Well, I suppose in a certain sense, specifically the sense in which all the human and emotional dimensions have been stripped from the words, the phrase is accurate.

    Yes, when a rape victim is talking about her experiences, I afford her "special status", only I call that "displaying at least the minimum compassion and propriety consistent with being a decent human being."  

    Yes, it's all about me.  For some reason I just can't look at myself in the mirror after I've acted in an outrageously callous way toward a human being who has suffered a terrible trauma. If I met a father who just lost a child, I'd afford him "special status" too. I guess it means I'm not a real man. Or that I'm a liberal.  But I repeat myself, in Republican-speak.

    When my sister-in-law's husband was painfully dying of pancreatic cancer, I accorded her and her family "special status".  We didn't expect her to do all the usual things she did in the wider family. In fact we pitched in at her house.

    I suppose in Republican-speak, this makes her "lucky".

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:53:21 PM PDT

  •  Dear GOP, Can I have my mirror back? ty, Narcissus (3+ / 0-)

    Much of how the GOP, tea baggers and assorted 'conservatives' have been behaving for the past few decades can definitely be described as narcissistic.  Even pathologically so.  Projection, lack of empathy, devaluing or ignoring opinions different than theirs or freaking out if forced to deal with differing opinions, magical thinking...

    Its also worth noting, the GOP's biggest single reliable demographic, fundies/evangelicals, are big on using shame to manage their adherents.  Narcissistic behavior seems to have most of its roots/origins in poorly-dealt-with shame.

    Though it is certainly worthwhile to keep documenting 'conservative' hypocrisies, there's definitely a discernable pattern.  Maybe instead of trying to combat the hypocrisy, denial and disinformation head-on, perhaps we should start asking the 'conservatives' in our collective lives what it is they're so ashamed of.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:45:16 PM PDT

    •  YES. Resentment & Self congratulation=Narcissism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      reinforced minute by minute thru corporate media's most influential arm, advertising.
      Count the number of times per commercial break that you are told, in so many words; "you DESERVE (product X) because you are a busy person/good parent/ loving family member etc. Then, when the commercials have done their part, the news comes back on and tells you who is NOT such a good person.
      you are then left to 'connect the dots" on your own, and come, all by your own cleverness, to the conclusion that lazy poor people are undermining your DESERVED happiness and leisure.
      Oh, and then there's Facebook. Talk about stoking narcissism.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:49:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  our collective marketing and advertising (0+ / 0-)

        definitely exacerbates our cultures's self-focus, but the current GOP and its adherents turn that up to 11.

        Like i mentioned above, it seems just continuing to document hypocrisies isn't enough.  Its like treating addiction.  We've got more than enough evidence to say, "OK, there's a clear problem." Now we need to figure out the roots of it.

        (disclaimer: though i slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, i'm not a mental health professional)


        elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

        by bnasley on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 02:06:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The self pity people are the buyers. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The narcissists are the sellers. For them, selling is what matters -- either they're closing sales or they're losing. It's all about getting domination.

      Straight Line has forced this pattern. That's how the RW candidates are trained to interact with voters.

      Some come by it naturally: Donald Trump, Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, George Bush. But all the trained candidates are pushed into using Straight Line and believing in "message discipline" as an indispensable tool.

      That's why lies work better for them than facts. Lies are simpler, linguistically.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 06:29:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  at this point, it seems (to me, anyway) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj, waterstreet2013

        those of us on the left should start seriously and rigorously delving into the motivations of those who keep buying the snake oil.

        Its not enough just to say, "That person/people is/are addicted." (or whatever the pathology is)  Its important to figure out the root causes.  

        Carrying the GOP narcissism theory a little further, figuring out the why of why 'conservative' voters keep being co-dependent on/to ideas or rhetoric that are demonstrably untrue.  Why are 'conservative' voters so susceptible to such absurdities?

        As mentioned above, my own personal opinion is there seems to be a connection between their largest key demographic (fundies & evangelicals) and the rhetoric the GOP uses to connect to 'its' people.  The escalation of the anti-science/anti-reality rhetoric also seems to coincide with the rise to prominence of fundies and evangelicals within the party.

        Shame is kind of a big thing with arcissists and their co-dependents.  Maybe its worth addressing what 'conservatives' are so ashamed about.

        elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

        by bnasley on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 02:33:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're told there's "1,000,000 to 2,500,000" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          defensive gun uses at homes a year -- the basic lie of NRA propaganda -- then it's maybe sensible to buy a Home Defense gun.

          There's 110,000,000 residences in the U.S.

          If odds really ran 1:100 or 1:50 for home invasions every year, Hell folks... we'd all have guns.

          Figure those numbers for a decade: 1:10 or 1:5. You know that's crazy.

          That's worse than most "Batman" movies with their destroyed Gotham backdrops. It's a range suitable for alien invasion, zombie apocalypse scripts. To video games.

          It's also bxllshxt.

          The real number for annual gun defenses can't be more than 40,000. How many of those involve drug sales ??? Other crimes in the background? It's crazy to think you want a gun for home defense.

          1 in 3,000 a year. That's the incidence of challenged crimes at residences. And that includes challenging drunks and running off casual trespassers. Successful gun defenses against threatening "intruders": that goes off at 1 home in 10,000+.

          Meanwhile we lost 28,853 people to gun suicides, murders, accidents in 2012.  

          NRA's Big Lie overstates the threat to homes by more than 100 to 1.

          So yeah, their propaganda victims are responding to a virtual universe that looks like a video game. It's not mental disability, not voices in their heads. It's misinformation on a large scale.

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

          by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:33:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  conservatives are paternalists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NinetyWt, waterstreet2013

    Conservatives want to run society along paternalistic lines: encouraging through policy and subsidy the way that they think people "ought" to behave while disincentivizing and, if necessary, actively punishing "deviance" at every turn.  They think that liberals encourage and subsidize deviance in the name of freedom and dysfunction in the name of compassion, while ignoring or even punishing the people on the straight and narrow.

    They allege that liberalism invests the most in the least and invests the least in the most, and that formula works no matter how you define 'least' - i.e. the 1% or the people who need all the help they can get just to reach average - and no matter how you define 'most' - i.e. the vast 'silent majority' of "normal" people or Jefferson's 'natural aristocracy' of talent.  They want a society that in their minds invests the most in the most and the least in the least.  Many of them would agree that this approach is pretty hard-hearted, but they see it as far more likely to work the best for everyone rather than just select groups.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 07:25:02 PM PDT

  •  Ad Biz meme: "White self pity." (0+ / 0-)

    Though poorer overall, you get less of the self pity expression with Blacks, Asians, Hispanics.

    With Whites, it's wide, deep, resilient.

    I heard the phrase "fxckin' nxggxrs" the other day for the first time in more than a decade. It was two White kids talking. Spoken half-loudly.

    Yeah, they were blaming Blacks for something.

    These are home-owning families, steadily employed, well enough off. And they're damning Blacks for some bit of crap.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 06:19:48 AM PDT

  •  Spot on but even deeper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluehammer, laurnj

    There has been a devaluing of the concept of work and inflated value of the concept of money. Work is not respected anymore, it is a form of capital or something to be exploited and success is only in the form of money.

    Living here in CO Springs the self-congratulation is very high, extreme. I was with a UU (liberal brethren) and he has a couple small businesses and told me that he was contributing to the welfare of society by having a place where people could come and be employed.  Being a former business owner where we had over 75 employees I told him to his face....bullshit. You have employees because they are necessary for your business to make money, that is your primary aim and don't wrap anything of extra value around that unless you are paying them extra with a dividend from your net profits. They do the work you receive the proceeds, the same way sharecropping was conducted.

    There was dead silence. I was asked to apologize for my unsocial remark and I responded he needs to apologize for his remark, his belief and to every employee he thinks he is doing something extra ordinary on their behalf.

    This is a deeper cultural thing. In part of a consumer society where everything is a commodity, even work or expertise.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

    by RWN on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:15:22 AM PDT

  •  Looking for "Driving Forces on the Right"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bill warnick, laurnj

    Try emasculation.

    That's what happened to a lot of conservative men (and Ann Coulter) when Barack Obama won the presidency. Twice. So twice emasculated.

    He's everything the haters hate most about liberals. Big city intellectual, university professor, excruciatingly articulate and politically correct. Not macho enough. And they're not even allowed to say out loud the thing about him that bothers them most of all. And according to conservative theology, bound to fail for so many reasons.

    Except in front of voters, he doesn't fail. It drives them insane.

    You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

    by mstep on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:41:22 PM PDT

    •  I see the same thing here in Florida (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mstep, laurnj

      among a number of my acquaintances. I don't even begin to agree with everything President Obama does but the nit picking about his rolling up his sleeves and loosening his tie in the oval office were considered demeaning to the office but when  President Bush did the same actions they were viewed as manly and showing his work ethic. I believe the diarist has put his finger right on the problem.

  •  Around the year 2000, a British network decided (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it would be interesting to compare life in 1900 with life in 2000.  The show was called 1900 House, and it took a modern family and put them in a London brownstone with only the technology, clothes, consumer products, etc. that were available in 1900 for a year.  It was eye-opening both for the family and for the viewers.

    So, in order to deal with these self-congratulatory and resentful conservatives, I propose a Welfare House (or, more likely, a run-down inner city apartment or rural tar-paper shack).  Let those who whine about others "taking their hard-earned money" to live a "life of leisure" experience what life on welfare is actually like for a year.  Another eye-opening experience, I'm sure.

    •  I'd watch it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I don't even watch TV.

      "You are not stupid. You are important. You mean something, and you're going to go out there and you're going to do some wonderful things." Justin Carmical

      by Anjana on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 08:45:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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