One of my favorite things about conservatives is how difficult it is for them to lie directly about their deeply held beliefs. Sure, this is true of most people. The difference is that conservatives have a reason to hide what they really believe. The reason? Because what they believe tends to be rejected by society at large. Nearly every modern-day conservative holds one or more views that make them some, all, or a combination of racist, sexist, bigoted, or otherwise deeply selfish and tribal. This is because of their neural architecture which can most easily be summed up as that of ‘evolutionary throwbacks’. They are products of millions of years of tribalism as an evolutionary strategy. The problem with this is that modern civilization is deeply at odds with tribalism. Sure, tribalism has its place in society but civilization is about the equality, well-being, and opportunity for everyone in that society while tribalism is about exceptionalism for people who fit a certain profile or demographic.
Tribalism is an old evolutionary strategy that dictated that ‘different’ was at best suspicious and at worst a serious threat. If someone didn’t fit in with the tribe, they were the enemy until proven otherwise or ‘eliminated’. Fear of anyone who is ‘different’ is one of the defining characteristics of tribalism.
Important point: being far more tribal than non-conservatives, conservatives cannot afford to be ‘different’ from their tribe. At some primal level, conservatives literally feel existential dread over the idea of not fitting in with those whom they identify. So it’s much easier for them to simply believe what their tribal leaders tell the tribe to believe. Given that conservatives have far less of a tendency to apply intellectual rigor, this is literally a no-brainer for them. So, on the one hand conservatives know that only their tribe will accept and agree with what they really feel. On the other hand they know that what their tribe wants and believes, by the very nature of tribalism, is highly objectionable to everyone else. Therefore their default state, given their intellectual paucity, is to side with their tribe… but only when they are unable to escape the questions that might pin them down.
Want to try a fun game? I have done this dozens of times and the result is always the same. You can try too! All you have to do is ask them a question that has one of two possible answers where one answer is a societal truth and the other answer reveals their false but odious tribal belief. Wow, that’s a tough one! How do we come up with such a que…
Two things about this question: 1) The numbers are a conservative estimate (It’s closer to 9 times the wealth of the average black family). 2) It’s a true exclusive dichotomy; meaning that it can only be one or the other. There is no ‘in between’ because either it’s intrinsic or extrinsic.
Now, when you ask a non-racist this question, and they are aware of any of the vast statistics that demonstrate systemic racism in society, the answer is simple: “Systemic Racism”.
BUT, if you ask a racist this question, they will do everything they can to not answer it. You see, they know that what they believe is unacceptable in a civilized society. They WANT to say that ‘black people are lazy/violent/stupid/etc’, but they know that would sound ‘racist’. So instead they will resort to derision, deflection, ad-hominem, and literally anything else they can do to try to circumvent or delegitimize the question.
That’s right; they know they’re racist. This is because part of being in a tribe is believing that one’s ‘tribe’ is superior to anyone and everyone who isn’t a part of it.
As stated, I’ve run this little experiment dozens of times. In nearly every case where the subject is racist, they act as described above. There are a very small handful of shameless ones, however, who come right out and say it’s because there’s something ‘inferior’ about black people. More on that later.
So if you drill down and get a conservative to answer questions honestly, they will admit, eventually, that they believe ‘certain people’ shouldn’t have the right to vote. What ‘certain people’? Anyone who isn’t acceptable to their tribe. Why shouldn’t ‘those people’ have the right to vote? Because their tribe, as tribalism demands, must be exceptional. Tribalism is all about your tribe ‘winning’ and all other tribes ‘losing’. It is about your tribe having access to all the resources, controlling all distribution, dispensing all the justice, and maintaining primacy over everyone else. This is the tribal edict, because for millions of years it is how we survived.
Let’s take a moment to look at what necessitated tribalism: Fear.
Yes, it’s that simple. It’s also that brilliant.