Politics: 21 October 2010

Strange Conservatives

In conversations with conservatives where I ask for a justification for their beliefs, they will respond, “I’m just a Republican.” I call these Popeye moments: I yam what I yam. I have received this response a number of times. I have never received a corresponding response from a liberal. At very least, liberals always think they have reasons for their beliefs. Most conservatives do too. But what is it about a small, but notable fraction of conservatives, that make them think of their beliefs as either a gift or curse from God—something they have no control over?

Another strange thing about conservatism is the number of radically conservative—Rush Limbaugh worshiping—people who are on the government dole. In general, I’m talking about people on SSI. These are people who Rush Limbaugh and his ilk would hate. These are people who favor a political party that would eliminate the very programs that make their lives possible. It seems that these conservative welfare recipients always carve out a neat exception for themselves, but they are usually extremely hostile towards other welfare recipients. This is not that unusual, I suppose. Older people are generally conservative—except when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. It has begun to make me think that conservatism has something to do with bitterness and selfishness. Selfishness is the baseline of what it takes to be conservative. To be really conservative, you need a good dose of bitterness or plain, old-fashioned hatred.

NPR fires Juan Williams

Finally! I’ve been waiting for NPR to get rid of the ignorant, racist commenter Juan Williams for years. He’s been fired for comments he made on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Now Faux News will probably hire him. I mean, on the down side, he’s black; on the up side, he’s a bigot!

Jerry Brown’s Echo Ad

Will called this morning and asked if I had seen the new Brown ad that equates Meg Whitman with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I hadn’t but I quickly found it. It is a very exciting ad, because, as we have seen over and over, Whitman has made the same claims that Arnold did regarding how “independent” he would be because he was financing his own campaign. (Of course, both Schwarzenegger and Whitman have taken lots of money from other people, but we’ll deal with that issue another time.)

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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