Monday, July 17, 2017

Conservatism In The Age of Trump, Part 2 (...or, "Yes Virginia, There Really Are Deplorables!")

Continued from Part 1

As both the 20th Century and the Clinton Administration ended, and the administration of Bush II began, the vocal aspect of the Deplorables’ influence—at least at the grassroots and societal level—had on the political discourse in America gone into a state of hibernation, if you will. In fact, the events of September 11th helped galvanize the nation as a whole behind the newly-minted President George W. Bush, who only a year earlier spoke of being the herald of “compassionate conservatism.”

As such, it could be argued that this policy, which was predicated on pushing government resources toward the private sector (i.e., charities and nonprofit organizations) to benefit society as a whole, was a return to the traditional conservatism that had been overshadowed by the Deplorables’ brand of ideologically repressive “conservatism” that had run rampant in the 90's. Politicians were at least talking in semi-civil manners. And people were united against the idea of external threats to the nation’s security, rather than the imaginary and internal “threats” of “liberals seeking to destroy the country.”
The country was involved in not one, but two wars; one related the attacks on the country on Sept. 11th, the other—as it turned out later—was not. The country was being too practical to be ideological.

                                                     A post 9/22 candlelight vigil on the Washington Mall

When the gravity of the costs of the Iraq War—over 4,400 American military lives, a trillion dollars, and regional stability—the ideological splits began anew. This time, however, it was the Deplorables themselves who were split into camps. One on side, there were those who were uncharacteristically objective in their assessment that American had blundered in its Bush Administration-led foreign policy in regards to Iraq; on the other were the diehard conservative partisans who supported the military action, despite the lack of its proven purpose of finding Weapons of Mass Destruction. These Deplorables would not question the policies of their ideological fellows—under any circumstance—and agreed with the Iraqi invasion…mistakes and all, while there were still a few moderate conservatives who were at least willing to question some of Bush’s more controversial policy decisions.

                                                                                                     An Iran War protests, circa 2003

However, the split among Deplorables would be brief, as the financial meltdown 2007, and the 2008 Election would unite them as never before. In terms of the economic downtown, many Deplorables were able to momentarily set aside their defense of Big Business, and Washington’s political ties to it to vocally protest the economic bailouts of Wall Street lenders and Detroit’s automobile industry. This was seen as too much government intrusion into the business sector, and President Bush became equally reviled by liberals and Deplorables alike. This was about the time that many Delplorables, as well as some angry traditional grassroots conservatives mobilized into the Republican Party insurgency known as the Tea Party, who felt betrayed at what they felt were Democratic-like policies of the Bush Administrations interference into the marketplace.  It didn't help that by the time of the 2006 mid-term Congressional Elections, Democrats had control of both houses of Congress.
The Election of 2008 solidified the Deplorables as a more vocal force in American politics. Just as they were upset with moderate Republicans who they felt “sold-out American values” (from their perspectives), they were equally upset that their party had elected the relatively moderate John McCain as the party’s presidential nominee for the White House. To throw salt into the wounds of their political sensitivities, the country was on the verge of electing another “liberal” Democrat to the Oval Office…the nation’s first black president to boot. Now, Deplorables were fit to be tied. It didn’t help that most other conservatives, traditionals included, were in no mood to accept losing the White House—despite one of their own being at its helm during an unprecedented economic upheaval.

They're Heeeeere!

When President Obama took office on January 20,,2009, not only were the opposition was already waiting on him, but so were most conservatives, traditionally-moderate and Deplorables alike. With The George W. Bush, there was the saving grace that he was at least a fellow conservative, even if he was one who was to the left of their extreme brand of hyper-partisanship…and questionable grasp of reality. This meant that the Deplorables could overlook the questionable decisions and bad times that occurred under the watch of conservative political leadership—often to the point of dissonance and hypocrisy. They could, and would focus on every perceived wrong that occurred under the “evil” leadership of someone who is nothing like them…the country’s first black president, who happened to have a strange name, from a city with a clear history of political improprieties, and who was [perceivably] liberal. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that partisanship between the two major ideological blocks, the Left and Right, had become so hyper-distinctive that now many traditionally-moderate conservatives were acting every bit as incalcitrant as Deplorables.
Being out of majority control, Congressional conservatives’ focus disrupting the new president’s agenda began before he even took the Oath of Office (“The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama”). By more than a few accounts, Republican Congressional leaders—Deplorables among them—met in a Washington D.C. hotel the very night of Obama’s first historic presidential win in 2008 to concertedly plot the obstruction of Obama’s policy agenda….whatever it might have been ("Democrats condemn GOP's Plot to Obstruct Obama as 'Appalling And Sad.'"). Predictably, some readers might consider such a calculated political move to be “business as usual” among Washington politicians, but this would be to deny the reality of this meeting’s lack of precedence among both Republicans and Democrats…before a president-elect sets foot in Washington to take office (“The GOP's No-Compromise Pledge”). The overall gall and selfishness of a planned failure of an incoming president’s goal to pull the country out of a crisis—without knowledge of any specifics, and completely without any regard for what Obama’s agenda actually was—speaks to the destructive nature of the Deplorables and their impact on a Democracy where every voice is meant to be represented and heard…not just theirs.

Every legislative proposal by President Obama was predicted to yield the worst consequences for Americans, by both the Deplorables and moderate conservatives alike. His economic stimulus package (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) passed with no conservative House Republican votes (“House Passes Stimulus Plan With No G.O.P. Votes”), despite some of them actually taking credit for the same stimulus package bringing economic projects to their home districts (“Obama Criticizes Republicans Who Opposed Stimulus, Then Claim Credit for Projects It Funded”). Totally ignoring the unprecedented economic crisis the country was in, the Tea Party movement (where many Deplorables had gravitated) considered this imitative as another example of “runaway government spending” on a dubious plan to help stimulate the economy despite positive assessments by a consensus of economic analysts (“Did the stimulus work? A Review of the Nine Best Studies on the Subject”).
But perhaps no single piece of legislation did more to give moderate and Delporable conservatives a unified voice than the Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). This proposal to grant more Americans access to affordable health insurance by using a combination of government spending and free market resources was slandered by every avenue, every conservative outlet—the internet, conservative media, town-hall meetings, public input gatherings, and public protests (both choreographed and spontaneous). While moderates no doubt were motivated, at least partially, by the prospect of a Democrat winning the hearts and minds of Americans of every stripe, Deplorables were motivated by fears of a “Socialism” Boogeyman. Most felt—or twisted—the prospect of government

involvement expanding healthcare insurance to more people as an “intrusion of government into the lives of Americans” (thereby making it “un-Constitutional”). Deplorables such as Sarah Palin would go on to famously make the accusation that there were provisions in the then-proposed Affordable Care Act for “death panels” what would make “life and death decisions.” Of course, this wasn’t true, but Deplorables took this narrative and ran with it in demonizing the plan (to this day, some Deplorables still believe that these panels exist). Moderates, for their part, predicted that Obamacare would be a “job killer” if enacted, which—outside of a few anecdotal instances—proved patently untrue considering the 70+ months of job growth (sluggish by some standards) under the Obama Administration (“Obama’s Final Jobs Report Marks 75 Consecutive Months of Growth”).
And even without his “Marxist” policy proposals (as promulgated by the Deplorables), Obama was easy enough to hate by Deplorables on his own. Having a background as a community organizer working with various voter and anti-poverty initiatives, many moderate conservatives (as well as Deplorables) often brought this point up as proof of Obama having relevant background for the presidency when Obama looked to be the likely Democratic presidential nominee. Newt Gingrich went to far as to compare Obama’s “radicalism” with that of Saul Alinsky. Allow me to interject that, having an academic background in history myself, I had no idea who Saul Alinsky was before Gingrich repeatedly brought him up as he red-baited the issue….and I’ll wager most Deplorables had never heard of him either. Suffice it to say, after reading up on who Alinsky was, and the work he had done with the poor back in Chicago, suffice it to say that Gingrich—as a mouthpiece for the Deplorable wing of conservatism—was just conjuring up another Boogeyman for the weak-minded to seize upon in order to further caricature Obama (“Who is Saul Alinsky, and why is Newt Gingrich so obsessed with him?” and “Saul Alinsky: who is he and why does Newt Gingrich keep mentioning him?”).
Anti-socialism propaganda by far right-of-center ideologues, implying a "socialist agenda" to "impose" the socio-political and -economic system--by liberals/Democrats--on America.

These same individuals would also conveniently ignore the fact that he was a Harvard-trained lawyer who taught courses in Constitutional Law at the college level (“Obama a Constitutional Law Professor?” When the issue of his legal background was brought up to challenge his lack of knowledge about government, Deplorables promoted a narrative about both Obama and his wife, Michelle having “lost their law licenses.” And despite the persistence of this particular conspiracy theory in the minds of Deplorables, it has been debunked and discredited more times than can be counted (“Taking License,” Snopes. And “The Obamas’ Law Licenses,”
And then, there were the comments and remarks with racial overtones regarding his heritage. At first, many Deplorables and their Tea Party fellows attempted paint these instances as outliers and fringe elements within their respective activities (“Are Tea Partiers Racist?”). But as more and more instances appeared in the news that seemed to indicate that such sentiments among the Deplorables were not as isolated as they would attempt to project, they would often accuse the president himself of harboring “racist attitudes” and “hating white people.” Granted, for a time, Deplorables had something in the way of “proof” that Obama, did in fact, “hated America” and white people in the form of a videotape of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright inflammatory speech condemning the country’s past (and some would say present) racist policies (see: Video below for the full context of this speech).

Of course, it didn’t matter that then-President Obama would go on to denounce and distance himself from the controversial pastor (“Obama Strongly Denounces Pastor,” and “Obama 'Outraged' by Wright's Remarks.”). Some Deplorables, like Gingrich were clearly upset, and wrongly claimed that there wasn’t saturation media coverage of the controversy to the point where it would impact his image negatively (“Gingrich: Obama Got a 'Pass' on Rev. Wright Controversy.”). Deplorables would then go on to cite the president’s own words regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida as more “proof” of the president’s alleged propensity to “race-bait” (for the sake of clarity, the president was just trying to illustrate that he could identify with the parents of Martin—as well as other blacks killed under similar circumstances—as it relates to the possibility of losing a child. The ludicrous accusation that this was “race-baiting” is an illustration of white fragility in regards to issue of race by Deplorables). In fact, more than a few acts by the president was seen and ascribed racial motives, from “fanning the flames of violence against police officers,” to “endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement.”
 White fragility, exhibited by Deplorable propaganda that depicts Obama as being "racist" (but is really a reflection of their own racist proclivities). The Obama's attempt to illustrate his ability to identify with the victims of a racially-motivated shooting were deemed "racist" by way of perception of Deplorables, not by way of fact, as most reasonable individuals saw it.

And in the background was the birtherism controversy, most publicly peddled by none other than future Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. This is a good point to point out a major point as it relates to Deplorables. One of the things that makes Deplorables, in fact, deplorable is their penchant for ignoring the facts in favor of their own beliefs. Rather than admit that their “messiah,” Donald Trump has spent the better part of Obama’s two terms trying to discredit and delegitimize his presidency, his citizenship, and his education credentials, they would rather manufacture the conspiracy theory that Trump’s former campaign rival, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was, in fact the basis for the controversy. Like the case of the Obamas’ law licenses, this has been debunked more times that can be counted (“No, Clinton Didn't Start the Birther Thing. This Guy Did.” “Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Claim Hillary Clinton Started Obama Birther Movement.” “Trump Drops False ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New One: Clinton Started It.” “After Birth.”).

This false narrative that Obama was “born in Kenya,” and “gained” American citizenship by way of a “forged birth certificate,” though discredited rather quietly among moderate conservatives, was ignored rather than denounced. What’s more, calls by moderate and hard-right conservatives for Obama to use the phrase “Islamic terrorism” when discussing terrorist attacks inspired by radical Islam gave a false credence to the Deplorable position that Obama, was in fact, a “closet Muslim” himself. This in turn, gave the birther narrative the ground it needed to take root. Since most of their fellow conservatives could fall back on the premise that such a thing was “too preposterous” to even “dignify” with a response, this stance had the silent benefit of not alienating the Deplorable vote by publicly denouncing birtherism…as some moderate conservatives needed their support in order to remain in office.
Oddly enough, moderate conservatives would publicly demand moderate Muslims denounce the radical Muslims within their midst, while they themselves would not denounce the racists and Deplorables within their ranks. This would come back to bite them in the election of Donald Trump.
I don’t want to beat the issue of race like a dead horse in Benghazi (lest I too, will be accused of the same thing) in regards to Obama and the Deplorables. But suffice it to say that although many Deplorables would like to think that racial animus did not play a part on their hatred of Obama, the evidence suggest that, for a great many of them, issues of race, xenophobia, and a hatred of all things perceptually “socialist” (i.e., any idea to the left of Ted Cruz) was and continues to be a factor. Quite simply, many are only fooling themselves.
And this brings us up to the present.

Conservatism Under Trump

Given their evolution—or devolution—from traditional conservatism, the motivations of conservative Deplorables can be summed up as being motivated by unreasonable fears that border on an almost pathological paranoia. Their characteristic paranoia is often accompanied by a dissonance that allows them to reconcile seemingly contradictory notions of their own beliefs, based on their extreme adherence to conservative beliefs (again, much like religious zealots), to the exclusion of how it might affect those who don’t fit into outmoded, outdated conformed thinking. By this, most Deplorables believe that traditional conventions and institutions, those that they feel made America the preeminent global power, should be shared and practiced by all…and that those who think otherwise are just commie, pinko, anti-American, and unpatriotic fags/socialists/libitards, etc. This

would mean that to be considered real Americans by the most fanatical of Donald-Trump-supporting Deplorables , we would have embrace the following mindsets:

Fanatical believers in—what they see as—“Christian” dogma. And while the freedom of religion is a Constitutionally-protected right enjoyed by all Americans, Deplorables believe that Christian beliefs are the only ones that matter. They believe that any way they want to practice their fundamentalist brand of Christianity is protected by the Constitution, they also believe that the Separation of Church and State as a legal doctrine does not apply to them...and that the doctrine should be interpreted in the most narrowest of sense—one that allows the Christian Church (as well as their followers’ beliefs) to cross into the realm of secular government. We saw an example of this with Alabama state legislators passing a bill that would allow at least one mega-church the right to form its own protective police force, complete with all of the same enforcement and arrest powers—a move that completely blurs the separation of church and state, as well as delegate a government power to a church (see: “Alabama Church May Get its Own Police Force”).
Oddly enough though, they can reconcile the belief that we should all practice being “good Christians,” without practicing Christian principles. As an example, most believe that their taxes should not be used to lower the costs of healthcare for all Americans, or that the government has no responsibility in creating a system of universal affordable and accessible healthcare for those who simply cannot afford it. In their minds, any government role up to and including legislating any system of universal affordability is “bit government,” or “socialism.” Based on their interpretation of Christian beliefs, Jesus surely would have prioritized money and the profit motive over the health and welfare of human beings—especially since He (purportedly) healed the sick and infirmed without asking for their health insurance card first—but then, we are talking about Deplorable beliefs here...

What are their fundamentalist beliefs? Deplorables believe in blind faith in concepts such as 2,000 years ago, an old man built very large boat, and somehow managed to coax two of every animal species on the planet (including the over 300,000 species of beetles) to climb aboard it in order to ride out a global flood caused by an invisible deity…but reject the idea that all of the chemicals and pollutants that man has put into the planet’s atmosphere over the last couple of centuries of technological growth can effect changes in the atmospheric dynamics. To them, faith devoid of evidence to explain the ways of the world should be the basis for perceiving reality, not facts, science, or even reason.

Their paranoia comes into play with their fear of fundamentalist (radical) Islam as a competing religion, and as potential terrorist-inspired ideology. While granted, incidents of radical Islamic-inspired terrorism in both Europe and America over the last several years are reasonable, the notion that fundamentalist Muslims, terrorists and non-terrorists alike would attempt to establish communities in the U.S. based on fundamentalist Sharia Law is not (“Fears of Sharia Law in America Grow Among Conservatives”). With regard to these fears, there have been many instances in recent years where local and state lawmakers—fueled by the need to appeal to Deplorable paranoia—have acted with unfounded unreasonableness to propose legislation banning the use of Islamic Sharia Law in courts and/or in local government ordinances based on either occurrences that have never happened, or have—when believed to have happened—been debunked (“Chain Email: Muslims Tried to Open Nation's First Sharia Court in Irving, Texas,” Politifact). From all indication, Deplorables reject others’ beliefs, but would have seemingly no problem imposing Christian Sharia law on secular America.

Questioning and/or discrediting any news source that doesn’t have a favorably conservative bent. Before the rise of Donald Trump and his most Deplorable supporters, the narrative from the hard right regarding the news media was the perception of a “liberal news media,” and “liberal bias.” This narrative gave the views o the Deplorables an air of (questionable) legitimacy, as they could discredit any agency that was able to weaken their policy positions by simply screaming “bias” (conveniently forgetting that a conservative bias is still a bias). This meant the creation of an ideological bubble that gave Deplorable, rather than moderate conservatives a “safe space” by which to hang their extreme brand of conservatism. This stable foothold in the school of traditional conservatism proved to be fertile ground for the rise of more public voices for the Deplorable wing of conservatism (e.g., Sarah Palin), as well as the growth of the conspiratorial imaginings that has come to be the hallmark of Deplorable thinking; “death panels,” “Deep State,” forged birth certificates (all long-discredited beliefs), and the like. Given this reality, it’s a small wonder that Trump, with his years-long promotion of Obama’s “fake birth certificate,” was able to come along and sweep these gullible individuals off their collective feet. The habit of fact-checking opposing views, while taking views they already support as gospel is a decades-long habit of Deplorables that is not likely to be broken any time soon. And slapping the label of “fake news” on any unfavorable media coverage is a tailor-made tactic for those unwilling to even consider the possibility that their position might be wrong.

Just troll social media, and search for the “fake news” accusation prior to the arrival of Trump; you won’t find it. Trump brought it with him—along with his own spin doctors and public relations people—to the political discourse, so that now, you see this Weapon of Mass Deception used ad naseum. The result is a new political “reality,” on in which Donald Trump’s version of it is the only one that matters. Quite frankly, it’s a sad dynamic in the way Trump supporters take his words as gospel…to the exclusion of any and all other perspectives. But this is not all Trump’s fault. It takes a will level of participation on the part of the believer, who has to suspend his/her judgment in believing that (1) that there is no gold standard of unbiased news anywhere in America, (2) that Donald Trump is always right, regardless of his lack of proof or sources, and (3) that everyone else is always wrong…insomuch as they don’t like what’s being reported in the media. It’s a sad proof how Deplorables grab on to the hem of his garment. He spews a line and/or phrase, and suddenly it becomes part of their [political] lexicon as well…a clear indication of a lack of individual thinking. Anyone who doesn’t see anything wrong is as likely to be persuaded by false and counter-narratives as Deplorables themselves.

When challenged on the veracity of any questionable statement by Donald Trump, the Deplorables’ favorite go-to “proof” of how news is “fake” is their incessant need to point to the polls prior to the election of last year that projected that Hillary Clinton would win. To say that this is a disingenuous spin on reality would be a criminal the very least because it ignores the decades-long accuracy of most polling services that indicate that most projections are almost, always right (Historical polling for United States Presidential Elections). Deplorables would have to engage in selectively ignoring the consistency of all of the polls over the last several decades in order to accept that the outlier is, in fact “representative” of [their] reality. What’s more, Clinton did win the popular vote, so in essence, all of the polls that Deplorables attempt to discredit were actually right.

So it’s easy to see how the arrival of Donald Trump and his “fake news” narrative of any news that doesn’t cater to, or report his oftentimes delusional thinking sticks in the minds of the Deplorables. The very term “fake news” has been weaponized by Trump and his Deplorable supporters to delegitimize every non-Trump-related news agency that challenges their version of reality. When they invoke the F-Bomb as it were, it’s usually an indication that can't really litigate the details of facts. They use the "fake news" narrative in an attempt to deter people from "blindly" following mainstream stories and/or sources that don't promote Trumpism (which includes believing many unsubstantiated claims--without fact-checking--to bolster his agenda and exaggerated perceptions of his own lack of ability). At the same time, invoking the “fake news” narrative is attempts to malign any source that promotes any level of logic or argument that opposes theirs. This overplayed tactic of the Deplorables’ brand of conservatism is Donald Trump’s biggest asset, because it plays to supporters who believe that any negative news is fake news.

As far as the “fake news media” goes, the Cable News Network (CNN) has been a particular target of Trump’s ire. And as you would expect with his Deplorable supporters, they have followed suit by also “hating” CNN as well. Both he and his supporters will point to a recent instance where CNN was forced to retract a story that proved to be inaccurate and untrue about a Donald Trump, whom was supposedly linked to Russian business interests, which we in turn, supposedly linked to Trump (“3 CNN Journalists Resign After Retracted Story on Trump Ally”). Granted, this was a sloppy piece of journalism, if we are to use the instance of retracted news stories as a criteria for what’s consider “fake news,” then pro-Trump outlets Breitbart and Fox News would also have to be considered “fake media” as well (“Fox News Retracts Seth Rich Story That Stirred Controversy.” ““Fox News Retracts Allegations of “No-Go Zones” for Non-Muslims in England and France.” “VIDEO: Fox Issues Startling On-Air Retraction: ‘Nobody Has Been Shot.’” “Breitbart, Sherrod Near Libel Settlement.”  Also, see video below for an on-air repudiation of the "fake news" narrative by CNN anchor, Don Lemon).

Ignoring Trump’s Lies By Deflection, Dissonance, or Denial. This particular attribute of Deplorables defies logic and reason of any kind. In theory, to engage ignore Donald Trump apparently pathological lying, one would have to engage in the most extreme forms of cognitive dissonance and/or false equivalency. Even before his current troubles related to the possible issue of campaign collusion with Russian officials, Trump was and is, by any objective measurement, the most untruthful presidential candidate—or president—in modern times…and that would include Richard Nixon (in Nixon’s defense, he lied as a matter of political necessity; that is, when asked about issues he was involved in). Trump lies unprompted; just watch any of his videotaped campaign rally speeches. It’s one tall tale after the next. Granted integrity isn’t the first word that comes to mind when one speaks of Hillary Clinton as presidential material, it’s a light years far and away when compared to someone with the background of Donald Trump (see: Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain").
                                             A chart comparing the honesty of statements made by both Clinton and Trump (courtesy of the Washington Post).

Seizing on the last point, if Trump feels that his own ego is threatened — if broadcast footage and photos show a smaller-sized crowd at his inauguration than he wanted — then he targets the news media, falsely charging outlets with disseminating “fake news,” air-brushing photographic evidence, and/or insisting, against all evidence, that he has proved his case. That’s not normal. And as you would expect, his Deplorable followers swallow the narrative, hook, like, and sinker…every time. Even if you took into consideration the possibility of a “fake news media” out to get Trump, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that words, delusions, and outright lies that came out of his own mouth—and documented by footage or some other media—captured time, place, chapter and verse. In searching the internet for a list of lies, as told by Hillary Clinton, the best I could come up with is the following:

The lie is Hillary,” Washington Times 06/19/16
From Whitewater to Benghazi: A Clinton-Scandal Primer,” The Atlantic 11/06/18
Comparing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter,” Politifact

When doing the same for Donald Trump, I pretty much had to pick and choose which lists to make my point from:

Trump’s Lies:  The Definitive List” New York Times 06/23/17
Canadian Newspaper Compiles List of Almost 500 Trump Lies During Campaign.” Slate 11/05/16 “The Complete List of All 363 False Claims Donald Trump has Made as President.” The 07/11/17

Are we supposed to believe that every site on the internet is “against” Trump, all because he’s some knight in shining armor arriving to save us all from the evils of the world…selflessly? This is one of those instances where deflection—you know, the pointing of fingers in another’s direction, and saying “What-about-him/her…” simply doesn’t wash. We’re not talking about a group of people supporting someone who tells an occasional—and expected—little white lie of political expediency. Trump-era Deplorables are a different breed. They not only bring their own brand of thinking to the political discourse, but, in many cases, bring their own realities with them. So much in fact, that many of them are steeped in the same realities that comprise Trump’s lies and delusions. Besides this, pointing out other liars does not absolve one of the moral crimes of supporting and/or cavorting with one themselves. It would be like a doctor telling you that you have cancer, and you respond by pointing across the room at someone else who was similarly diagnosed; it might help you feel that you're not alone, but doesn’t help you heal by doing so.

What’s really shocking—or maybe not so—is the fact that Trump won many of the (so-called) Evangelical Christian vote, despite his proven penchant for telling untruths. This means that so-called Christians were willing to sell their own Biblical beliefs—not “principles.” One has to have them in order to sell them—for the sake of gaining political influence through Trump. These are the same people who found more liberal candidates “too untrustworthy” to vote for. On the plus side, in voting for Trump, they, and the Deplorables” will be unable to effectively use the narrative of an “untrustworthy” or “lying liberal” candidate ever again…without being called out on the fact they they were willing to ignore the precepts of their own Bibles: “I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites.” (Psalm 26:4).

Liberals Are Always Wrong and Trump Is Always.   Right OK, so let’s start with simple logic; nobody bats 1,000. For those of you who aren’t privy to the language of baseball, that means that no one gets a base hit at every bat. By that logic, not one is always right, and no one is always wrong. With that having be stated and proven by simple math, how is it that Deplorables can assume that every law, idea, or thought formulated by non-conservatives (i.e., liberal Democrats) is inherently wrong? I invite you to troll social media, particularly the news feeds. If you see the need to post a comment that is based on logic, but does not adhere to moderately conservative, or the Deplorables’ brand of conservatism, you will be instantly slandered as being “liberal”—like that’s a bad thing.
 First of all, it takes a very narrow mind to assume that everyone can be pigeon-holed into the paradigm of “liberal” vs. “conservative.” Second, it takes an even narrower mind to assume that “liberals” and “conservatives” are the only life-forms in the known universe. I wrong a piece some time ago in regards to this idea (“Why I'm Not A Democrat...Or Republican! (...Or, "Who Am I?")). But that it yet another hallmark of a Deplorable conservative…the assumption of ideology. Intelligent people don’t form a rubric of ideology in their minds, and measure reality against their beliefs; they do the opposite. They look at reality, and measure or not their beliefs gel with reality. To assume that one side or the other has all the answer is tantamount to an insane level of narcissism and arrogance. Liberals gave us the 6-hour work day, child-labor laws, Civil Rights, expanding voting rights, and a whole host of other socially and economically valuable notions. Conservatism reinforced the notion of the traditional nuclear family, the importance of saving, entrepreneurship, community, and—like liberalism—a whole host of other valuable socially and economically valuable notions (though to be honest, not all of those are exclusively conservative ideas). The point is, Obama was not always wrong, and Trump is not always right. The difference is that most Deplorables are seemingly unable to admit that their chosen one is incapable of making any type of wrong decisions…which is something you see in cults, not in a traditional political supporter.
Deplorables will selectively point to the fact that under Obama, economic growth wasn’t as great as it had been in times past by pointing to certain negative economic indicators. In fact, to hear a Deplorable tell it, Obama was "the worst president in American history."  But are we to believe a group of people whose grasp of American history is so weak that many of them recently attacked National Public Radio in response to their posting segments of the Declaration of Independence on Twitter this past Independence Day, and accused the radio network of "anti-Trump propaganda" ("NPR Tweeted Declaration Of Independence, And Trump Supporters Flipped Out")?

Deplorables tend to (conveniently so) ignore a whole host of other positives that are—in most cases—complete reversals from where they were when he took office (“Did Trump Inherit a Mess? 8 Charts Show Otherwise.”).
However, modern conservatism, under the at times overwhelming influence of the Deplorables within the Republican Party, has become a driving force not so much of conservative ideology policies... but merely anti-liberal ones. Take Donald Trump’s agenda to undo Obama-era environmental regulations. Not all regulations are bad; painting them so with a broad paintbrush, however, is. Trump and some of his Republican allies are seeking to repeal a great many laws and measures, not because they impede economic growth, because they interfere with efforts to help revive dying industries…they are doing so simply because liberals passed them to begin with. That is not traditional conservatism. Traditional conservatism requires actual thought, not reactionary responses. What is happening with Trump and his Deplorables is not true conservative ideology. It's not even close to true conservative ideology anymore. It's strictly reactionary. Its xenophobic. Its paranoia. It’s fear…not at all traditional American values. It’s the worse form of patriotism…the kind that deludes the adherents into thinking its working for the good of everyone, but motivated by a fear of the unknown. And anyone who blindly adheres to this type of faux-conservatism without the benefit of individual analysis or fact-checking is little better than the meekest of sheep.

As I end this return to the blogosphere, let me leave you with a small segment of the observational humor of Chris Rock (see video below), as well as a quote from one of my other blogs:

Here is why I don't like Conservatives & Liberals. 1
- They fantasize about their utopias that are logically impossible to build in a free society. Conservatives want to go back to this golden past that never was, while liberals want to move on to this golden future that never will be.
2- They're filled with hypocrisies that make no sense at all.
3- They twist historical facts and get them completely wrong because it supports their selfish agenda. 4- They both only want what is good for their supporters and not everyone else.
5- If your views or different from theirs, one group will call you a "communist traitor" while the other will call you a "racist, sexist, homophobic bigot."
6- They wish that everyone thought like them.
7- One group is pro-death penalty & anti-abortion while the other is anti-death penalty & pro-abortion. Seriously people is it too much to support or oppose both at the same time?

 Environment- I'm a liberal Gun control- I'm a conservative (to a point).


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