Personality

“…I know you know that, and that’s the problem.” Truth, the Problem with Conservatives


Way back at the beginning of August in those halcyon days of yore in our simpler more innocent times, when it was Alex Jones’ libelous slander of the Sandy Hook parents that was on trial and dominating the news, we heard the heart wrenching testimony of Scarlett Lewis.

She took to the stand and to look Jones the eye and say that she was real, her son was real, the shooting was real, it was all the truth. But, more importantly, she said,“…I know you know that, and that’s the problem.”

Since then, though, we’ve had all manure and tripe of Repubes stand up and defend the Big Lie, defend Trump’s theft of secret government documents, accuse the FBI of malfeasance, and falsely claim that the IRS is building an army to come for middle America’s guns!

Republican Incendiary Rhetoric

We needn’t go through a lengthy kneecapping of their incendiary rhetoric here since it is so well covered elsewhere. I’ll provide a few links for those who may have just been released from some coal mine cave in and missed it all. Feel free to list your favorite comments in the comments, though. I’d be happy to discuss them with you!

Accusations of the FBI illegally raiding Merde-a-Lardo (Thanks, Tengrain!) because of Biden’s weaponization and politicizing of the DoJ — Now, there’s the potbelly calling the tub-o-lard fat! — has resulted in an unprecedented number of threats against the FBI and their agents and a fever pitch of calls for rebellion on social media that rivals that occurring just before the 6 January Insurrection.

In a pathetic attempt to distract from Trump’s clear and present danger to the US of A, we’ve been treated to threats of IRS SWAT teams kicking down the doors of the lemonade stands of small children just to armed rob their meager earnings like some common Sheriff of Nottingham.

“Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s already loaded, ready to shoot some small-business person in Iowa with these?” Senator Chuck Grassley said on Fox News last week.

Armed … auditors? The IRS becomes the latest target of GOP misinformation

As many have opined, they are going to get someone killed. Actually they already have. Ricky Schiffer was shot dead after attacking the Cincinnati FBI office with a nail gun.

But They KNOW It’s a LIE

Which brings us full circle back to Lewis’ testimony. They know this is all bullshit and it isn’t true. Just like Reagan and his accolades knew that Trickle Down economics was just Voodoo economics, but by the time Paul Ryan was trying to push granny down the stairs to take her Social Security, they were all believing it despite the horrific repeated disasters that it produced. It’s questionable whether the intellectual pipsqueeks like Loaded Bobert and Maddog Greene believe this stuff or not. Christ, you may as well flip a coin. Who the fuck know. But, you fucking-well know that Chuck Freakin’ Grassley knows better.

He knows this is just so much fear mongering, but he does it anyway, buggering the question, why?

Bandy Lee, as she is wont to do, wrote a tweet so dense with meaning that I’m afraid that most people probably didn’t quite get it. She is insightful, but just not snarky, sarcasticky, or profaney enough.

For our part here at the under-appreciated and small-audienced Ye Olde Blogge have attributed the malady that has overtaken the GQP to several psychological principles and ideas that are well known to psych 101 students from the 1980’s:

  • Groupthink is the practice of organizations to overvalue conformity and discourage conflict, resulting in destructive and immoral decisions.
  • Cognitive Dissonance is the state of anxiety that results from realizing your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes contradict your behavior.
  • Social Identity Theory is the ipseity that is based on the characteristics and prestige of membership in clearly distinguishable group.
  • Bystander Effect is the tendency to assume that someone else will complete some task when others are present.
  • Authoritarian Personality is the individual disposition to favor security, order, power, and status, clearly structured lines of authority, a conventional set of values, a demand for unquestioning obedience, and a tendency to scapegoat individuals of minority or nontraditional groups.
  • Mass Psychosis is a mental condition that affects a group of people and is characterized by irrational behavior and beliefs and is brought on by prolonged exposure to anxiety, stress, and agitation.
  • Personality Disorders is mental illness characterized by a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving frequently focused on diminishing the needs and wants of others.

But, how is it that Alex Jones can sit in a courtroom and proclaim to the face of a mother and father that lost a child to a mass shooting that it happened, that’s he sorry for saying it didn’t happen, and didn’t want them to suffer, and, then return to his podcast to grift off of the trial?

How can the GQP politicians continue to defend Trump’s theft of top secret compartmentalized government secrets after the FBI search proved that it was well predicated because they found the documents the warrant said they’d find? How can you defend that? At best, it is putting the country at risk by leaving these highly classified documents where they can be easily accessed by any “spy” worth half the salt put into the making of Mission Impossible — the fantastic TV show, not the lame movies. At worst, he was selling them to Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia. And, they’re defending that.

How is it that GQP politicians up and down the ticket can continue to villainize the FBI after Cincinnati and Phoenix?

Self-Serving Selfish Psychopathic Narcissists

There’s a simple answer for you: self-serving.

When Alex Jones was promoting the Sandy Hook shooting as a hoax, he knew he was lying. He knew those families would be hurt emotionally, mentally, and, maybe, even physically. He didn’t care. He just wanted the money it would bring him.

When Trump took the secret and top secret documents, he knew he wasn’t supposed to. He knew they could be compromised. He knew it would hurt our national security. He knew people might even be harmed by it. He didn’t care.

When Chuck Grassley says armed IRS agents are going to kick in your door and drag you screaming from your bed to collect all the raised taxes from you, he knows that isn’t true. He knows he’s endangering the accountants the IRS employees. He just doesn’t care.

When Tucker Carlson says that the FBI and DoJ are persecuting Trump because of Biden, he knows he’s lying. He knows he’s putting FBI agents, DAs, and judges at risk. He doesn’t care.

How is it that Alex Jones can sit there in the room with Lewis and watch her explain how much angst, terror, and heartbreak his lies put her and her family through and just not care? How can the GQP politicians promote gun violence and stoke hatred of the FBI and not care when Schiffer (a) attacks an FBI regional office and (b) is shot to death because of it? How is it that given the rise in political strife and violence that the entirety of the GQP can villainize the IRS, knowing that it could very likely lead to murder and mayhem? Why is it that the GQP is defending Trump’s theft of national security documents, knowing that they put the country at risk?

Why don’t they care? They lack any sense of guilt, remorse, or shame. How is that possible?

Many are psychopaths or narcissists or both. Many exist on the dark tetrad of personality traits side of the spectrum.

The rest are far enough along the spectrum that they are willfully ignoring evidence of the harm they are causing. They have convinced themselves that the harm is necessary for them to hold public office. As if the entire world would crumble if they didn’t.

They’ve created a culture that praises this perverse pertinacious pigheadedness. They have sold themselves to corporate America and convinced themselves that white supremacy is a legitimate social goal.

The power of self-servingness to turn all other values inside out and convince us that our left foot is our right, our brown eyes are blue, and Mother Pence refers to his wife. The power of the Force pales into insignificance against the power of pursuing our own needs and interests over others. It can, indeed, destroy entire nations, worlds, and souls of people.

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Image Attribution

Baghdad Bob” by Allen Gathman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

12 replies »

  1. Catastrophic conservatism begs an alliterative alternative analysis.

    Radical Right racial resentments, religious righteousness, rejection of reason and reverence for repugnant reprehensible Republicans result in rage riots and ruin.

    It was a short hop from authoritarian herd mentality to mob mentality incited by a mobster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This contagion of catastrophic conservatism begs an alliterative alternative analysis.
      Radical Right racial resentments, religious righteousness, rejection of reason and reverence for repugnant reprehensible Republicans result in rage riots and ruin.
      It was a short hop from authoritarian herd mentality to mob mentality incited by a mobster.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WOW, Dave! You’ve hit the alliterative ball out of the alliterative park! That’s amazing. It really made my day.

      When you stop thinking, it doesn’t take much for you to become authoritarian so someone else is thinking for you.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  2. There’s a great discussion and laying out of the exact problem in the GOP in yesterday’s interview on Fresh Air with this guy: “As a Republican operative, Tim Miller worked with extreme right-wing media outlets and fed the populist outrage that helped radicalize much of the GOP voter base. His new book is Why We Did It.” — https://www.npr.org/2022/08/22/1118768047/this-former-gop-hatchet-man-didnt-support-trump-but-still-enabled-him

    And the answer to the why? is, of course, because it worked. And, if that wasn’t reason enough, if you thought that truth might matter, you just didn’t get how the political world works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks for this. I know I’m a week lay… and a dollar short, but that doesn’t concern you, but I appreciate it. School has started and we replaced the senior leadership of the school — literally about four people — this year. We are confused and chaotic.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

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