As we enter the 2016 elections, I think that every single citizen of the United States should the book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality by Chris Mooney. Over the course of the next several weeks, I'm going to be examining the book in detail and my hope is that I can ameliorate my two levels of frustration that I have with conservatives. What are those two levels of frustration, one might ask?
It begins with the simple fact that conservatives deny reality. In their world, our economy is awful, the Affordable Care Act is a failure, and climate change is a liberal hoax. In reality, our economy has improved dramatically since the Great Recession and is quite robust at present. The ACA is quite literally saving lives. And the threat of climate change has risen to such a high degree that the Pentagon is treating it as one of the gravest security risks of the future. So, this is the first level of my frustration.
The second level is even more confounding and awful. Conservatives think that the rest of us are the ones that are actually brainwashed and live in a different reality. They use their perceptual framework and fop it off on everyone else. What Mooney's book does so eloquently is illustrate how the conservative brain is vastly different from the liberal brain or even the independent brain. Conservatives don't think like anyone else because that's how their brains were made from a physiological perspective. Thus, when they push their perceptual framework on liberals and independents, they are committing a massive error in judgement.
Liberals and independents don't strive to shut out new information. That's what conservatives do. Mooney opens up his book with an introduction called "Equations to Refute Einstein." In this section is a quote from Andrew Schlafly, founder of Conservapedia, AKA the alternative to reality. I've heard of the site before but have never explored it until I started reading Mooney's book. After reading a few entries, I was completely horrified. As an instructor of history, there hasn't been such a collection of propaganda and out and out lying since the Age of Totalitarianism. It is further proof of Sorkin's American Taliban theory.
Take a look at the entry on homosexuality. Kind sounds like the same garbage we see from (ahem) other religious extremists in the world....who could they be, again?:)
Here's the one on climate change.
Check out this one on "liberal denial". Oh, the irony!
This one made me fall over in laughter.
Mystery:Why Do Non-Conservatives Exist?
Mooney offers a quote from Schlafly in this first part of his book to explain why Conservapedia was created.
It strengthened my faith. I don't have to live with what's printed in the newspaper. I don't have to take what's put out there by Wikipedia. We've got our own way to express knowledge, and the more that we can clear out the liberal bias that erodes our faith, the better.
This statement confirms several assertions I have made on here over the years. Conservatives believe that reality has a liberal bias and if they don't like something, they bury their heads in the ground like ostriches. The "I don't have to live with" remark may has well have come with a long stomp down the hallway and a "Fuck you, Dad!"
More importantly, this quote is an excellent illustration of my two levels of frustration with conservatives. They willfully deny reality and erroneously think, in a massive way, that liberals are the ones doing so. But why do they do this?
It's because conservative leaders tell a better story. Think about it for a minute. You don't have to hear about things you don't like anymore. Only good things. Wholesome things. The way America used to be before freedom died and the fucking commies took over. Things are all normal and good without pesky reality intruding in to the mix.
And you don't have to eat your vegetables neither!!!