How To Exit Hell.
First of all. Hell Doesn’t Really Exist. We Create It In Our Minds, And Then We Move Into It. And Then We Cry Out For Help.
I know most of you will not read a single word of this letter. Unless it is sitting on a server surrounded by other articles that adhere to a narrowly scripted narrative, you will not look at it. You are a Modern American Conservative. Your idea of thinking mostly resembles navigating a tortuous path that is a referendum on what not to read, what not to watch, what not to listen to, whom not to talk to. It’s almost as if you fear that hearing another point of view might sway you. Because of course when Bill Maher starts expounding on what he believes the New Rules should be, you might agree with him about some mote of an idea. You might chuckle when he says “We don’t need a musical about Spiderman because he lives with his aunt, wears a body sock and is leading a double life: we get it, he’s Gay!” Then the next thing you know you might think it’s OK to be Gay and the point of the joke is the way we look at each other, not that being Gay is wrong. Then you might catch yourself rethinking a position you have staked a flag in; and then you’d have to keep it quiet because you can’t disagree with your Modern American Conservative friends. That would be Hell right there. Of course we know that this will lead to reading Huffington Post articles under the covers.
You see the thing I really feel about you is that you pride yourself first and foremost in being an American and therefore lucky enough to be free to think for yourself and believe whatever you want. The fact is the Modern American Conservative is the most miserable, unfree person in America. No, you are each incarcerated, held to live inside a virtual cage that exerts pressure on each part of your lives. You are publically reprimanded for living or emoting or opining outside of thickly guarded ideological ecosystem of self supporting beliefs, many of them not supported by facts, just lobbyist and Think Tank money. You say you don’t believe in big government but you don’t see big government in telling Gay people that they can’t marry or adopt and raise children or have company insurance. You don’t see the big government in people being jailed for smoking weed in their own homes. You don’t see big government or theocracy in alcohol sales forbidden on Sundays because it is the Christian Sabbath. You the Modern American Conservatives are similar to the Taliban in that you want your views on religion and on abortion, contraception, stem cells legislated into enforceable laws that people of other persuasions and faiths are forced to follow.
The Modern American Conservative must not believe in what over 95% of the climatologists and geologists believe in regarding the dynamics of weather over the Earth over geologic time periods. The Modern American Conservative cannot reconcile a peaceful Islam. The Modern American Conservative cannot see Evolution as the basic operating system of biology on Earth, even though the evidence for it is more overwhelming than can be properly expressed here. The Modern American Conservative must believe that homosexuality is a disease for some and a voluntary condition for others, even though 11% of any population is homosexual. The Modern American Conservative must believe that Christianity represents a monopoly on the truth.
Yet, this I believe is why $6 billion in campaign dollars did not turn the election.
The missives inculcated into the masses of Republicans are so compelling they almost always trump the facts, plain and simple. These positions are rarely opposed partially because they are so often repeated they become unconscious, eventually like a reflex. You must believe in them or suffer the consequences. In order to promote acceptance within your friends and associates you go along with whatever Think Tank talking point memo is read dutifully on your Clear Channel station.
The minionee is fed these positions with a series of clever, articulate platitudes:
Freedom isn’t Free. This means we have to pay for a big military and we have to remain at war until every terrorist is put down, and never question the brave men and women or the mission.
Global Warming is Bull. Created by oil companies, it means anyone who believes that fossil fuels hurt the Earth is a tree-hugging hippie that doesn’t understand Capitalism and hates America.
We need to spill blood once in a while to keep the Republic alive. This means it’s OK to arm yourself and kill someone if you sense they are impinging on your liberties.
You think these bumper stickers and Facebook posters are for me. No my friend. They are for you!
Each of these statements is reprised on bumper stickers and on Facebook posts and repeated by right wing talk show hosts and apparently that’s all you need to shut your thinking down. I understand. Once I was an Orthodox Jew. Yes, a Yarmulke wearing, tsitsis wearing Shabbos observing Jew. In DeKalb County, Georgia. I remember walking with the Cantor of the Orthodox synagogue, who had in tow, his seven-year-old boy. We all walked past a guy who said “Hi” as we walked by. In Yiddish the Cantor’s son asked: “Where is that man’s Yarmulke?” The Cantor answered in Yiddish, “He isn’t Jewish.”
You see it’s not hard to create a dogmatic bubble even in a place like semi rural Georgia, such that it takes a kid seven years before he even sees a person without head covering.
So yes, it’s possible in a generally reasonable population to create a hermetically sealed belief field that is so divorced from reality that any position can be advanced. In a horrifying and frankly cruel irony, in the final weeks before the election, the Conservative beliefs networks promised with confidence that Romney would coast his way to the White House by 11 PM. I watched the triumphant and arrogantly confident pundits on Fox News and on CNBC spruik that conventional wisdom of the day was, as it turns out – all wrong – and that Nate Silver was a manipulative stooge for the Liberal Media. The polls that said Obama was going to win were all liberal polls and mainstream media polls and we all know that the media is all-Liberal and the Liberal media was canvassing in Democratic heavy neighborhoods, and phone call questionnaires called more Democrats than Republicans; none of these commonly chewed over excuses was even remotely true. The desperation in Karl Rove’s voice as he fossicked through the remaining counties for the votes that would put Romney in the White House was pathetic. He looked like sweaty fat Ned Beatty, prone before his North Georgia tormentors in the movie Deliverance, pleading for his dignity.
The self-examination process for you will break you in half. It requires that you as a group admit that you have been wrong about an issue and denounce it, and God forbid, change your mind. And it is the resistance to that simple notion that Conservatives are wrong about something in general that is utterly untenable to you folks.
You right wing citizens misbehave and pretend that you don’t. Your party race baits and uses dog whistle words, as Rush Limbaugh called Obama “Uppity” as if we don’t know what typically follows that in polite Confederate vernacular. You act like vicious bi-polar teenagers and then just as the Left is about to respond, you accuse them of exactly what you are doing. You do this so dishonestly and so often that you can no longer see the dishonesty – or perhaps you just cannot allow yourself to see it. The Modern American Conservative in America refutes the brutal tactics of the Sharia law enforcers in Afghanistan, yet you have no problem pulling on top of your selves the weight of the entire US government into the life or death struggle of a brain dead woman. The Christian Right protects the rights of a single undifferentiated cell one micron across but has no problem executing a prisoner who was convicted on the grounds of the testimony of a single person who has since recanted the accusation.
It is the hypocrisy of it all that astounds the Left.
You don’t see the crime or disgust in that. You are often like a college frat boy who cannot see dirt he sews or the reason to clean it.
I listen to Ann Coulter bestowing blandishments upon Conservative and Christian values, yet Coulter is nothing like a Christian at all. Ann Coulter is going to Hell. Not only is she going to Hell, ironically the best thing that could ever happen to her is that someone converts her to Christianity, and she adopts the left wing Hippie ultra tree hugging anti-corporate anti capitalist Liberal proclivity that was best lived by Jesus himself. Yes, Christ’s love is best described as loving and tolerant and open minded.
It’s possible to create emotional consequences so severe for disagreeing with the tenets of the Conservative movement that dissent is rare. Dissent is so rare among the Modern American Conservatives that even the findings of science are held in open contempt. Dissent for the Modern American Conservative is verboten.
And that is your Achilles heel.
That is why you have been losing elections for decades.
I read Mr. Horowitz’s column on Redstate about the 21 reasons why Romney lost the election. Each example was a finger pointing exercise, a series of logical excuses…his timing was bad…he flubbed this question…. the media is liberal. Despite the thumping you guys took, he and people like him and frankly like you – simply refuse to believe that people do not like your ideas.
However outside your belief networks, the vast majority of people believe that the Conservative movements’ fundamental ideas about the state of the world right now are not just wrong in an intellectual sense, but wrong in a moral sense. Most reasonable people believe in Evolution. They don’t see Marriage as something that needs to be protected from homosexuals. They don’t see the reason why we should have military bases in every corner of the world. Most people don’t see immigrants as the pernicious threats you all see in them. Most reasonable people don’t think we should keep incarcerating people for Pot.
This is what you have to change in order to survive as a credible party.
You have to open your eyes.
And open your ears.
And listen to logic not polemics.
And consider that you are wrong about some things. And the answer to this calamity is not that you hang onto these elegiac beliefs any longer. The answer is that you let go of them and go back to your roots.
Go back to Barry Goldwater and Dwight Eisenhower. These were the kinds of Republicans who held true to the values of fiscal Conservatism and Libertarianism. Eisenhower and Goldwater did not kowtow to religious leaders or lose their way from legislating law to legislating their own morality. Hell, go back to Ronald Reagan who said “I despise nuclear weapons.” I feel for my Republican friends because your political party is kaput whether you believe it or not. It doesn’t have to be and in fact it shouldn’t be. There is nothing more important in a functioning culture than a dialectic, providing a different opinion mollifying your own. Of course that is anathema to the Modern American Conservative. Mollifying is caving in, it is surrendering. Yes, it is. Mollifying is the understanding that what is true for you is not necessarily true for every one else. Mollifying means you are not right on everything.
Go back to the Bible. Christ didn’t hang out with the Political Action Committees and the Financiers. He hung out with the Lepers and the poor, and the hookers and the disenfranchised. Christ lambasted the money-changers. Does this Christ sound like a Modern Day Republican? He sounds like a Hippie to me.
The Modern American Conservative’s willingness to walk lockstep with people whose ideas you don’t necessarily buy into has helped to consolidate all conservative ideas into one bucket. So when one of your own says there are cases of legitimate rape, and when another says that women who are raped cannot become pregnant, and when another conservative says homosexuals are like Nazis, then the halo effect from these feckless, poisonous statements radiates you. You begin to glow with the deep luminescence of the strange and extreme Conservative beliefs net. You might not be that far to the right. But then, it doesn’t matter. You will be blamed for all this nonsense.
Let me end this by handing you a little advice from the King James Bible. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:13.