The past couple weeks have given me several examples of two of the main reasons why I dislike “conservative” politics.
First, they can’t see any shading or compromise in what they see as core values. The perfect example of this is the frothing of certain conservatives to defund and put out of business Planned Parenthood. First, in the conservative orthodoxy, any reproductive cells are essentially a living, breathing baby who has an SSN. So use of contraceptives is the equivalent of abortion. The day-after pill, even worse. That is used to justify all sorts of onerous restrictions on the right of women to control their own reproductive destiny. Planned Parenthood performs abortions, by their published records, those are about 3% of their total services provided. But, conservatives (who also don’t at all mind spreading lies that the number of abortions are most of PP services), and ignoring the fact that no public funds go to performing abortions (per public law), want to cut off all funding for PP to keep them from doing those abortions. Cancer screenings? Not as important, to conservatives at least. It’s the all-or-nothing, 100% with us or you are a mortal enemy attitude. People who think that way are impossible to engage in decent discourse, and it leads them to think that those not like them are not human. It’s far too easy to be a racist, misogynistic elitist when you believe those who disagree with you are less than human.
Second, and somewhat related, is the tendency to go over the top at the drop of a hat. Mike Huckabee gave us a couple examples of this. First, with respect to the agreement between the United States, several other nations, and Iran, Huckabee took the Extreme Stupidity Prize when he could not just disagree with the agreement, but stated that President Obama would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven”. I always wonder if he really believes this, or is he just trying to get press. He followed up with a comment related to the situation with the anti-gay marriage court clerk in Kentucky that soon, Christianity would be criminalized. Again, he can’t just take the situation as it is, he has to generalize it into a made-up, apocalyptic vision to scare those easily-led who support and follow him. I would like him to tell me how many people were kept from going to church the past couple Sundays?
These conservatives just work at keeping their base supporters constantly whipped up and in a froth to keep them scared and (I think) to keep them from thinking about what their leadership actually believes. The sad thing is that those followers are not thinking enough about what is being done to lead them along.