Voyage of the Neo-Cons

Most people seem hardly shocked when they hear narrow-minded, openly prejudicial statements from neo-Conservatives.  In fact, it seems to be almost expected.  But could it be that what they’re really thinking is even worse?  Johann Hari, a UK reporter decided to brave the stormy seas on a cruise with Republicans:  Neocons on a Cruise: What Conservatives Say When They Think We Aren’t Listening.  You might

Here’s the opening of the article:

A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. “Is he your only child?” I ask. “Yes,” she says. “Do you have a child back in England?” she asks. No, I say. Her face darkens. “You’d better start,” she says. “The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they’ll have the whole of Europe.”

Lest you think that’s a unique opinion, here are some more quotes:

Here, the Iraq war has been “an amazing success”. Global warming is not happening. The solitary black person claims, “If the Ku Klux Klan supports equal rights, then God bless them.”

…”I went to Paris, and it was so lovely.” Her face darkens: “But then you think – it’s surrounded by Muslims.” The first lady nods: “They’re out there, and they’re coming.”

Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won’t let the weak-kneed liberals lose it. “It’s customary to say we lost the Vietnam war, but who’s ‘we’?” the writer Dinesh D’Souza asks angrily. “The left won by demanding America’s humiliation.” On this ship, there are no Viet Cong, no three million dead. There is only liberal treachery. Yes, D’Souza says, in a swift shift to domestic politics, “of course” Republican politics is “about class. Republicans are the party of winners, Democrats are the party of losers.”

I can only imagine the severity of sea-sickness this poor reporter would feel while listening to these people when the ship was docked.  But to risk your sanity miles from dry land? 

Living in an overwhelmingly conservative state, I can attest to the fact that these are not isolated (or even extreme) statements.  I have been at parties with otherwise well-educated people who think little of spewing racist and prejudicial comments.  While there are so many things I can say about this, there are a few that boggle my mind:

  • None of these views are backed up with evidence. In fact, when challenges are presented, people turn away entirely and ignore it.
  • There’s an almost complete rejection of reason and logic, and rarely would anyone trust a scientist, an engineer, or someone who has actually studied an issue.
  • Facts are only “valid” if they support the person’s prejudice.  Otherwise, they are to be immediately discarded as irrelevant or incorrect.
  • People feel afraid and that everyone’s out to “get them”.  It could be the Muslims, the Jews, the gays, the blacks, whatever…  Ironically, these people tend to represent the richest and most powerful subsection of the one of the most powerful nations in the world.  Why are they so afraid?

I could go on (and will, in future blog postings).  But, for now I think I’ll immerse myself in a different liquid altogether.


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