Infidel753 brought my attention to this David Cross video. Watch it and then we’ll talk:
This is an issue that I’ve written about quite a lot. We saw a related phenomenon at the 2012 RNC when Clint Eastwood showed us that when conservatives talk about Obama, they mean an imaginary one that doesn’t exist. When conservatives talk about “America” they don’t mean America as it now exists or ever existed. As far as I can tell, they mostly get their ideas about what “America” is from Leave it to Beaver.
So when they complain that America has gone to hell, what they mean is that the unquestioned superiority of white men is gone. Leave it to Beaver was on television from 1957 through 1963. There may have been no black folks demanding their rights on that show, but there sure as hell were blacks folks demanding their rights in America. Medgar Evers was murdered as part of that struggle while Leave it to Beaver was still in its first run.
But these conservatives are not idiots. They understand when liberals complain about America, they aren’t complaining about how America isn’t the same as “America.” They know that liberals are on the other side. Liberals want to destroy this fantasy America. The problems we see will, if anything, move the real America further away from the conservative fantasy. For conservatives, what’s wrong with America is summed up in “Are The Good Times Really Over” by Merle Haggard:
Note that Haggard is a total hypocrite. He makes disparaging remarks about two drugs that he is well known to have used a great deal. But the line that gets the biggest applause is, “When a girl could still cook and still would.” Why is it that June Cleaver ain’t cooking no more? It’s because she has to work outside the home because Ward no longer makes enough money to support a household. But there I go again, getting all liberal with facts. In the conservative fantasy, June left the house because of the pill.
When liberals talk about problems in America, they are talking about ways that we might fix those problems. The Tea Party notion of the problems with America is just that the wrong kind of people aren’t shutting up the way they should. It’s all social stuff. The one economic big complaint that they have is that taxes are too high, even though they are far lower than they used to be.
The whole of the conservative base is best thought of as one big cultural resentment. So it is no surprise that they find liberal criticism of “America” unacceptable. That’s one of the biggest things they resent! The conservative complaint is that America is not “America.” The liberal complaint is that America has problems and “America” is total joke. We might use the same words, but we are talking about different things. They are right to hate us.