Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Alternate Universe of Conservative Denial

  “For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.
I have watched the current unfolding collective melt down on the American social and political Right, with a mixture of amusement and disgust. The Republican Party, and along with it, the broader conservative movement in the United States; faced with a reality that doesn’t even remotely support their talking points, has instead, opted to wallow in delusion. 
After years of using  the idea of LGBT  civil rights  as an effective wedge issue, the American Right Wing just can’t bear the idea  that those days are over. Unable to accept the reality of a generational shift on civil rights issues; they instead opt to stamp their feet and regurgitate the same nonsensical arguments that bigots in the 1960's spewed against interracial marriage.  Declaring that clearly, legalized polygamy and bestiality are coming next.  A  bit of "reasoning" by which you could say that  freedom of the religion in the US  will lead to inquisitions, witch burnings and Sharia Law.

All while GOP Presidential contenders make ridiculous promises to amend the U.S. Constitution to strip civil rights from all those icky Gay people they have been telling their base for decades, they are supposed to hate. An amendment that will never happen but again, for American Conservatives the delusion is so much more comforting than facing reality.

After decades of completely ignoring the issue of Health Care disparity in the United States. Followed by desperate attempts to block, derail, overturn then just flat out demonize the Affordable Care Act; The American Right has opted to just pretend the facts don’t exist. To sit in the bubble of Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere and parrot false talking points that the AFA is a “job killer” and millions of Americans have somehow lost health insurance .

The fact that the reality is exactly the opposite is too uncomfortable for conservatives to face. It is much more comforting for them to hear candidates make ridiculous promises to “repeal Obamacare on day one!”

The delusion that conservatives  are “standing up for freedom” by trying to take health insurance away from millions of Americans, is more comforting than accepting the reality that the black man in the White House did something good.   

Now in the face a historic agreement that blocks all possible pathways for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, the American Right once again has opted to embrace  delusion over facts. An alternate reality where all the world’s leading experts on nuclear technology and proliferation can’t possibly be more knowledgeable than Rush Limbaugh and the talking heads of Fox & Friends.
Where cheering a GOP candidate's  delusional schoolboy threats to start another war in the middle east “on day one”, is more comforting than facing the reality that under this President, American diplomacy works.

The prevailing opinion here in Europe  is that  American Conservatives. WANT a war with Iran. Either purely for fun and profit (Hello KBR and United Defence,... shall we all take a look at who your major stockholders are again? ).   Or because they are still angry at Jimmy Carter for being a big peacenik hippie and denying them a war with Iran back in 1979. 

Or because American evangelical conservatives think if we can just start a big enough war in the Middle East, it will bring Jeebus back and they'll all get raptured to some big all inclusive resort in the sky.

I used to try to counter the alternate fact free reality of American Conservatives. Recently a couple of conservative friends of mine posted on Facebook a link claiming CA Senator Diane Feinstein “said” American Veterans were to blame for their own PTSD. I responded , posting a link to fact checking site debunking the false story, 

I then went on to point out that in the latest congressional scorecard from Disabled Veterans of America, (rating members of the House and Senate on their support of veterans issues;) Feinstein scored 100% and their Senator (WI Republican Ron Johnson) had scored 0%. The response from one of them was a curt “thanks for the information”, yet he kept  the link to the false story posted, and then promptly "unfriended" me from his Facebook profile.  I guess  facts that don’t support  right wing talking points are too uncomfortable to face.

Instead we have a delusion-based parallel universe where Donald Trump is the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination. Where republicans who attacked Senator John Kerry’s heroic service in Vietnam, are shocked when Trump does the exact same thing to Senator John McCain. Where a former half-term Governor of Alaska, who claimed she could see Russia from her house, is treated by Fox News as a more credible expert on foreign affairs than the former Secretary of State.
The American Conservative movement now lives in a state of near permanent denial; where a man born in Hawaii can’t possibly be a real American, where reducing the deficit by nearly half,  is claimed to be “tripling the deficit” Where spending two thirds less time on vacation than your predecessor makes you “the golfing President”. Where seven straight years of private sector job growth, is an example of  having  “wrecked the economy”.   The list goes on.. and on...

So like many Americans, I am done trying to have the conversation.   So instead I’m opting to live in the real world. A world where my marriage doesn’t impact anyone else’s, where science has more weight than ideology, where the effective use of American diplomatic power is preferable to just staring yet another war in the Middle East, for fun and profit.

Thankfully, it's also a real world  where  I truly believe the overall majority of Americans live.   As the Cirque  d'Insanity of the 2016 election cycle gets underway, it is imperative that those of us who do live in the real world, call out the delusions on the Right. 

That way we can make sure the only way any of the current occupants of the GOP Presidential Candidate clown car will ever see the inside of the White House,  is by taking the pubic tour.   

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