Turkeys in favor of Thanksgiving: Why the culture war works for the right.

After the failure of the Federal Marriage Amendment, it is clear to most people that the so called "culture war" is no more that Republican pandering. They don't really care about gay marriage, or abortion, school prayer, or any of the other "hot button" issues. They just want to keep the issues hot for the voters.

Thomas Frank famously noted this in "What's the Matter With Kansas." So have plenty of other liberal commentators including E.J. Dionne.

However, "social conservatives" don't seem to either believe the obvious or they don't care about it.

This can be best illustrated by Jennifer Roback Morse's response to E.J. Dionne.

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/column/J ennniferRobackMorse/2006/06/12/200743.ht ml

In a nutshell, the article says that conservatives care about the "hot button" issues and not the economic issues because they are better people than liberals. The following themes are repeated in the article:

    Conservatives will let the wealthy have their tax cut, because they aren't jealous people.

    Conservatives stick to traditional "family values" and not the latest fad because they are more intelligent and moral.

    Conservatives are hard working and ambitious - "we have hopes of joining [the rich] someday."

(Of course, in true conservative fashion, Morse is a strong advocate of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-did. The woman who urges women to stay home and have babies and echoes the Vatican's line on contraception, had a full career, including a PhD, before having her only child at age 38.)

The reader responses are more of the same, only at a more disturbing level.

In other words, there is no "intellectual conservative movement" nor are there really any conservative "rubes" out there. It is old fashioned flattery by the right wing noise machine with an appeal to the self-righteousness of the masses.

Rational thought and decision making never enter the process. All they are pitching is pure flattery and indoctrination.

This is why these turkeys will always vote for Thanksgiving: they enjoy being the center of attention.

Tags: Conservatives, Culture War, Republicans (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

All well and good.

It's always easy to point at a problem, but not so easy to solve it. You're darn right people are easily fooled by appeals to their indignation and moral superiority complex. That has always been true in every country in all of recorded history. The question is: How do we confront these smoke and mirrors arguments from the right? How do we show it to be the steaming load of blatant misdirection that it is?

The answer is simple: If the people can't understand the difference between an unsupported ad hominem assertion and actual substantive reasoned argument of an issue, then we can never reach them. No matter how hard and long we yell that the government is lying to them.

An educated populace is the foundation of an open democracy. The more we lag behind in educating our citizens, the easier it is to slip into nationalistic facism. This why the right loves technical colleges and despises liberal arts. Don't think people, just work.

by TimThe Terrible 2006-06-15 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Turkeys in favor of Thanksgiving: Why the cult

The "applied sciences" and the "liberal arts" have both failed spectacularly. I just got through arguing with a woman who had an abortion, which I said was not a bad decision, about why I thought it would be wrong to flush her goldfish. Kurt Vonnegut, in Cat's Cradle pg 182, said:

tiger got to hunt
bird got to fly
man got to wonder why why why
tiger got to sleep
bird got to land
man got to tell himself he understand

All's I can say -- We really need to try something new for once...

Of course, without Thanksgiving (ask any Amerindian), there would be far less turkeys in the world. Then again, bird flu is right around the corner...

And I still think it was LSD the ended the Vietnam War.

by blues 2006-06-15 12:22PM | 0 recs

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