The Best Thing About Being A Liberal Is Not Having To Lie All The Time or ‘How I Learned To Live With Myself Through The Power Of Denial’
You know what the best thing about being a filthy liberal scum is? Not having to lie all the time. Seriously, ask yourself when was the last time you, as a filthy liberal scum, had to lie to prove a point? Have you ever? Do you ever even feel the urge? I know I haven’t.
But the God, guns and guts group? They lie. All the time. The powers that be at Fox News lie to their viewers. The GOP lies to their constituents. Conservative bloggers lie to their readers. That’s almost to be expected by now because conservative policies are impossible to sell on their face value. It simply can’t be done. Everything has to be coded to make it palpable to the average moderate who can’t face the reality of their beliefs. It must be exhausting! No wonder conservatives are always cranky!
Here, because lists are fun:
- Welfare is a drain on productive society = Black people are taking your money and living like royalty.
- Obama isn’t a legal American citizen = It’s called the WHITE House for a reason, dammit!
- Socialism! = Anything that is against corporate conservative interests.
- Redistribution of wealth = making you believe poor (minority) people are taking all of your money to cover the fact that rich (white) people are actually taking all of your money.
- Death Panels!!! = How can we convince stupid people that limiting the abuses of insurance companies will be bad for them?
I like to deliver a challenge to my conservative opponents when we get on the topic of conservative dishonesty. So far, the challenge has not been met. Here’s the “Big Lie Challenge” (feel free to abuse your conservative friends with it):
I will name 5 Big Lies that most conservatives take as gospel despite being provably false. You, the conservative, will name 5 Big Lies that most liberals take as gospel. The caveat is that it cannot be something that is legitimately debatable like, for example, the results of climate change. There are too many unknowns to make a definitive statement. It also has to be something that mainstream conservatives/liberals put forth on a regular basis, real fringy stuff, like “Fluoride is a government plot,” is of no use.
Here’s my Big Five conservative lies:
1. Conservatives are fiscally responsible and only Liberals blow up the deficit.
2. We found WMDs in Iraq.
3. There is no racism in conservative politics.
4. Most people on welfare are of other than white descent.
5. Waterboarding is not, and never has been, considered torture by the United States.
There are so many, many more Big Lies; I just chose these at random, feel free to use your own.
The responses I receive tell me a lot about who I am dealing with. I’ve been handed a list of Liberal Big Lies that utterly fail the basic criteria of both legitimate debatability and something that Liberals repeat over and over telling me that the person is grasping at straws. I’ve received violent denial that my Lies are actually lies telling me that the person is woefully ignorant. I’ve also had people ignore the whole thing and start off on unrelated tangents telling me, very clearly, they know full well those Lies exist and are indefensible. This last group is my favorite as I keep refocusing on the Lies until they get frustrated with my doggedness and run away. It makes me smile to know that I’ve caused a conservative even a moment of hypocritical discomfort.
Why are conservatives so willing to believe the tripe that conservative politicians and media outlets dish out to them? Are they just stupid? Nah. Too easy. Also, not true. Are they all racists? While a disturbingly large amount of them are, no, that’s not it either. So what is it? How do otherwise rational, educated people come to believe something that every shred of empirical evidence contradicts?
I think a large part of it has to do with desperation and denial. The desperation that comes from what they perceive to be a tragic loss of power. American Exceptionalism is a heady concept that is self-reinforcing. We’re a Great country because we’re awesome. We deserve to be awesome because we’re so Great. There’s a distinct religious aspect to this belief but that is a completely different subject I’ll tackle another time.
Until recently, say, 2008, we WERE awesome in our own minds. So what if we couldn’t
subjugate pacify two little pissant countries while covertly bombing a third? So what if the world was disgusted by our violation of human rights after being among the most vocal opponents of torture for decades? Who cares?! We’re AMERICA, dammit!
Then our economy crashed and untold millions lost their retirements, investments, savings, jobs and homes. Suddenly we weren’t so awesome anymore. Years of Wall Street deregulation blew up in our faces and the average schmuck on the street got hosed. For a very short time, all of the country’s rage was focused, appropriately, on the banks that had actually caused the collapse. Then the investment in right wing brainwashing paid off in spades. Quick! Find a scapegoat! Half of the country’s rage shifted to anything BUT the banks and the conservative policies that enabled their behavior. According to Fox and Rush and Beck and all the other highly paid shills it was Obama’s fault (or Freddie Mac or liberal spending or Social Security or whatever would stick when they threw it at the wall) and the filthy liberal scum were picking on the poor old multinational banks and billionaires to further their gay/socialist/communist/evil zombie Nazi agenda.
And it worked. The banks got a slap on the wrist (so far) and some token regulation (courtesy of their employees, conservative Senators, watering down the reform bill), millions lost everything and bank executives reaped giant bonuses paid for by tax dollars. Oh yeah, and the country put more power in the hands of conservatives in November, 2010. Because that worked out so well last time. Dick Cheney would have laughed himself into a new heart attack if he still had a functioning heart to begin with.
It’s hard to believe in your own awesomeness when your country is teetering on the edge of a Depression that will suck the entire planet’s economy down with it. It’s even harder to believe in one’s own exceptionalism when the very policies that you, as a conservative, championed are the cause of said not-quite-there-yet Depression. So you’re desperate to reclaim what is “rightfully” yours but you’re the cause of your own downfall. What is a good conservative to do? Immerse yourself so deeply in denial that Marie Antoinette would tell you to snap out of it, of course.
This is where liberals and conservative diverge more than anywhere else. You prove to a liberal that they are wrong; they’ll suck it up and adjust. No impending Ice Age like they predicted in the 70’s? OK, chuck it. Pushing low interest loans without necessary oversight on the banks? Bad idea. Use a third party to dole out government college loans? Waste of money. Throw out the dysfunctional and try something different. This is why we call ourselves the reality based community and conservatives call us intellectual elitists. We study, we examine, we self correct when possible. We believe in the scientific method of testing a hypothesis, we trust in the capacity of mankind to be rational. We believe in progress and that progress can be made even under daunting circumstances.
Conservatives, on the other hand, can never be proven wrong because they are impervious to being corrected. The euphemisms for this are unending: “I believe in what my gut tells me.” “The mainstream media has a liberal bias.” “Your fancy college education doesn’t make you smarter than me.” “Common sense tells me everything I need to know.” “God said it, I believe it, case closed.” “Glenn Beck says differently.” It all boils down to the same thing; “I need to believe this no matter what because anything else will tumble the house of cards I base my world view on.”
Viewed through this lens, conservatism is less a political movement than it is a religion. And just like any religion, it is easily perverted by those in charge to serve their own agendas regardless of how benign it may have been at the beginning. This explains the average conservative’s inability to acknowledge any reality that conflicts with their own, why they have taken to demonizing liberals as “evil”, why they believe their
priests politicians and pundits without question. It also explains why conservatives are so interested in eroding the barriers between State and Church.
Think about that the next time a conservative insists that you’re lying. They don’t just think you’re lying, they need to believe that you are lying. Anything else will destroy their world.