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Ideology: A Class Act…& then there’s the Pauls…

When I was six years old in the summer of ’48, I recall listening to the presidential election on the radio while my mother ironed.

Eileen Elizabeth McHugh was a 23-yr-old former World War-II, Rosie-the-Riveter (welder) in the Narragansett Shipyards, Rhode Island. We lived in a winterized near-beach cottage.

The post-war rise in the working and middle classes was still in its infancy, and this was before most people had TVs or telephones. I know we didn’t have one.

I asked her what they were talking about on the radio…Democrats and Republicans?

She explained in her second-generation, Irish-Boston lilt, “Republicans are the rich folks, Nicky; Democrats are the rest of us.” Simple enough, but that always stuck with me. In fact, it’s far far truer today than it was then.

Over the years I’ve learned that Democrats also have their conservative sides (remember the Dixiecrats?). Except, many Democrats remain much the junior partner in corporate largesse if not toadyism.

In the ideal, democratic, constitutional liberalism essentially embodies a measure of social and personal consciousness, responsibility, and empathy.

They tend to support democratic gov’t for collective security, the equitable use of basic utilities and natural resources, social healthcare, public education, and infrastructure development.

Basic American government includes protection (regulation) of the environment, including foods and medicines, and the extreme manipulations of wealth, private property and class power.

Conservatism on the other hand, is a body of thought that ascribes to more or less total personal liberty and a belief in the “Just World Fallacy.”

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They do not believe in social responsibility, or any role of gov’t to that end. They tend to support an imperial world view of the military, corporations, strict moral authority, personal discipline and the use of force.

At its more extreme root, conservatism is a pathology…a belief mechanism to rationalize self-centered individualism.

In practice, conservatism is a quasi-philosophical cloak to profess otherwise socially unacceptable behaviors in the guise of a political framework.

For instance, members of the Aryan Brotherhood and the KKK often profess their bigotry and hatreds quite openly. They’re psychopathic. They rarely employ political double-speak to disguise their overt intent…or even know how to.

Conservatives, including so-called conservative libertarians, view liberal issues of social responsibility as merely “technical” in nature. Not themselves possessing a social consciousness, they are unwilling (or incapable) of comprehending issues such as principled rights. They simply never acquired that stage of moral development.

One example is the Gang of Five on the US Supreme Court. Their Citizens United decision, a practice that was never even law in the United States, bespeaks directly to the “technical,” anti-social nature of their consciousness.

Other examples could include Ron and Rand Paul’s view of the liberty of a racist landlord to put up a “White Only” sign at his apartment complex swimming pool, quashing the social and civil right of a 10-yr-old girl to swim in it (Cincinnati, OH, June 2011).

Both father and son openly oppose and have voted and spoken against Dr. King’s holiday and the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it infringes on the liberty of private individuals to discriminate.

The little girl and her family? Well, by the Pauls’ view, they’re perfectly free to move their asses down the road. Funny how it never seems to work for conservative libertarians the other way around…

Since their views on race are so bizarre, one might wonder how they interpret the Civil War? For the Pauls, the earned liberties of thousands of slave owners trumped any imaginary rights by millions of slaves. Manifest destinythe white man’s burden?

My own “extreme” political position? Actually, I find much of their “politics” to simply be willful ignorance and bigotry…

This systemic pathology is why they all-too-often find themselves in opposition to workers’ organizing, and womens’ rights and pre-natal care…especially hypocritical given that the senior Paul is a gynecologist.

Their opposition to many immigrant issues (in an immigrant nation!) is further telling, as is their opposition to public healthcare, voting rights (for black, poor, prisoners, etc.), food safety, pensions, teaching science, public broadcasting, environmental protections, ad nauseam.

They fantasize of a time (the cave-days?) when men (of course) were “free to do as they pleased.” Only it never existed. Humans were always a social species. It’s how we’ve survived and advanced in nature and society.

Infants grow from their total individual focus into socially responsible persons…normally. Acute or chronic trauma and abuse can arrest one’s moral development into individual-fixation at a pre-social level. Hence, one of the foundations of conservatism.

Often, but not always, such predators in the “lower” classes get criminal records and are cycled into prison. Those more socially privileged or just real lucky, tend to seek authoritarian positions of control and power in business, politics, religion, etc. Today, they’re running for president.

Profiteering, amassing wealth and property, seeking exceptional privileges, and accumulating control and power is today’s normalized expression of sociopathic conservatism and libertarianism.

1% or 99%… Conservatism or social responsibility. I’ve already made my choice.

Dr. Publico

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One Response
  1. Linda Novenski says:

    We may have made our choices, individually, but we do not have any real choice in the Presidential election. They are all shades of the same system of oppression.

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