Tuesday, December 06, 2011

West Bend's screaming and entitled conservative babies. Nothing new.

Hi everyone,

Our local krewe of self-righteously entitled 3 year olds, the crop of true-believers currently in charge of both West Bend City Council and the West Bend School Board -- toddlers who who believe in Social Darwinism but not evolution, Free Markets and Slave Wages -- are not a new phenomenon in American politics. They go back in a line of direct descent from the sort of people who ridiculed Thomas Jefferson's intellect as the trickery of a clever inventor. For more of which, see Richard Hofstadter's well known Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

But here's a wonderful piece linking this current and popular trend in pseudo-conservativism into a long and delusional feature of American history. This also goes a long way to making sense of the circus which the Republican Party has become.


The infantile style in American politics - 2012 Elections - Salon.com
The farce known as the GOP presidential campaign has officially become a freak show. Newt Gingrich, the creepiest huckster in American politics, whose unique combination of hypocrisy, opportunism and sanctimoniousness led to his being unceremoniously bounced from Congress back in 1998, is now the front-runner to become the Republican presidential nominee.
Hofstadter opened that essay by arguing that the new far-right dissenters were not in fact conservatives at all. “[A]lthough they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, [they] show signs of serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. They have little in common with the temperate and compromising spirit of true conservatism in the classical sense of the word … their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways – a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive evidence both from clinical techniques and from their own modes of expression.”

The shoe fits too. How about that?


1 comment:

Kevin Scheunemann said...

You are equivocating again.

Opps, I forgot, you can do that, but your critics cannot.

Its an interesting paradox when philosophers "Socratic attitude" required double standards.