Sunday, March 05, 2006

Liberals Feel, Conservatives Think

As I mentioned earlier, I think this meme borders on the retarded. I'm quite sure that people of all political stripes feel instead of actually thinking about issues, and as a general rule, I would say that liberals are better at empathizing with others, which I guess is what the conservatives are talking about when they say "feel". Let's talk about some examples of so-called conservatives feeling instead of thinking:

1. The Angry White Man syndrome. This has been talked about quite a bit, but I think I should again point out just how well this falls into the hands of conservative elitist opinion-makers. I think Chomsky said something along the lines of this, too. These AWM (Angry White Men) have lots to be angry about: crappy healthcare system, falling real wages, offshoring, etc., but these opinion-makers deflect what they should really be angry about to the usual irrelevant red herrings: abortion doctors, feminists, no prayer in schools, the "war on Christmas", and other things they can get their audience to whine about instead of issues of substance.

2. The war in Iraq. For the sake of argument, let's say we actually went there to rid Iraq of WMD. Okay, there were none, and a lot of our intelligence was saying that. Well, the neo-cons in the Bush administration ignored the facts and went with their gut - i.e., they "felt" that Saddam was a threat, and Stepford Republicans STILL back them on this. Democrats went along, too, but they weren't privy to the same information at the time, and many have reverted their decision based on the facts. (This is known as "flip-flopping" in ditto-speak) That's assuming that's why we went there. Next. Okay, let's say that we actually went there to liberate the Iraqis and help rebuild the country because Saddam was busy building himself palaces and didn't provide for his people, yadda, yadda, no schools, etc. and install freedom and democracy. Again, this is "feeling", not "thinking". Thinking usually involves some facts. A few points that involve some facts:

a. I don't see the upper of the upper crust handing out bundles of cash here in America, but Saddam is supposed to be providing for his people? When did conservative EVER think the leadership is supposed to provide for their people? Okay, ALL the people, not just their oil buddies and defense contractor insiders? I thought they are supposed to lift themselves up by their bootstraps? So, they are justifying deposing Saddam (in part) because he WASN'T a, gasp, socialist? Being a socialist/communist is usually the reason we Americans are given FOR attacking a country. Makes the head spin. Conservatives can't even be consistent - they just contort themselves to fit the outcome. Just about every time a country tries to do that (provide for their people instead of American MNCs that are exploiting the resources) we call them "communist" and then organize a coup/invade/start economic sanctions.

b. Uh, carpet bombing a country will tend to destroy the structures these conservatives complain that Saddam didn't build enough of. Not to mention that economic sanctions will prevent the country from rebuilding. Funny, pre-Gulf War I, Iraq was pretty far along towards being pretty modern. Not free, true, but they had those things that conservatives blame Saddam for not having pre-Gulf War II. So, our actions caused the things that conservatives blame on Saddam. Nice try, but yet another argument aimed at the gut, not the head.

c. Saddam was a bad guy, no doubt. The conservatives will typically phrase this like this: "Anyone who is intellectually honest will have to admit Saddam was a bad guy, and they are better off without him, yadda, yadda." As if any ideologue conservative is ever intellectually honest. If we are so airy-fairy and have such high-flying notions, why did some of this SAME crew (Reaganites) give him WMD in the 80's? Hmmm? Again, something that conservatives don't like to talk about. Also, he was a bad guy, but now the UN reports that human rights conditions are WORSE there. I know, I can hear the typical conservative now - the Oil for Food fraud invalidates the whole structure of the UN. By that logic, the multiple scandals of this administration would invalidate the whole American government. Riiiiiight. Again, if we were really there to liberate the Iraqis, conservatives would give a damn about things like this. Of course, even if they did, they blame it on Iraqis being "animals" or the like.

d. If we are supposedly spreading democracy, and polls show they want us out, then why don't we take heed of that wish? Isn't that democracy?

I know people feel powerless or apathetic about this stuff, but for Pete's sake, these conservatives have got to stop advocating this shit, especially since they are so ignorant. The corporate media works towards keeping us ignorant anyway, but if you get most of your "news" (and opinions along with it) via right-wing talk radio, there is an additional distorting filter placed in between you and the facts. Show some guts and listen to something that challenges your views and doesn't just reinforce your ridiculous worldview.

3. War on Drugs
Okay, again, it "feels" great, doesn't it? The facts don't really follow, though. First of all, we are so war-like as a culture, that most citizens barely blink when a war has been declared on its own citizens. What's wrong with this picture? Then we find out that the CIA has (and probably continues) to traffic in drugs. How hypocritical is that? We have a drug "czar". Why does a supposedly free country have a czar of anything? Lastly, why are we making new criminals by just declaring it so? Whatever happened to the pursuit of happiness? It's gone so far to the point of farce that most people never even notice...sampling your urine for an office job? Robert Anton Wilson calls them the Piss really goes much further than anything even Orwell imagined, and people just accept it, really. Somehow, the government and businesses have been granted this right to pry into your bodily chemistry. Think about that.

What's even funnier, is what Penn and Teller exposed - the WOD actually caused the price of drugs on the street to drop, according to them.

BTW, I know the conservatives have a lot of people who know this is ridiculous, have declared that it WILL be a failure when it started, and declared it a failure at various times in the course of the WOD's history. National Review's founder, and father of modern conservatism William F. Buckley being one of them. Also, I know Clinton cranked up the Drug War even more when he came into office...Clinton hardly counts as a liberal, though. So it's not entirely a conservative/liberal split on this.

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