A Typical Conservative

Writing at Big Hollywood, John T. Simpson describes his life as a conservative Republican:

I go to bed full of hate and wake up the same.  I hate blacks, Hispanics, gays, women, abortion doctors, liberals, Lefties, Democrats, you name ‘em, I hate ‘em if they’re not like me. I especially hate President Obama for being black. Just ask Janeane Garofalo, although being a Stalinist Socialist doesn’t help Obama’s cause any with me. Fact is, Obama could be a GOP Michael Steele Uncle Tom, and I’d still hate him even more than liberals hate Steele. Skin color trumps all. Thank God I was born the right color, or I’d probably kill myself. Wait, the hoods are dry! Be right back.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Joe is my hero and role model, Archie Bunker a distant second, Ted Nugent a close third. I have posters of all of them lining my walls, alongside such conservative Republican heroes as Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Adolf Hitler and Darth Vader.

I used to have one of Robert C. Byrd, but he lost me when he left the Klan and became the Conscience of the Senate. Whatever that means. Didn’t know the Senate had one. But I never understood that. How can a white guy in good conscience leave the Klan?

The “Bush lied, people died” crowd and their celebrity mouthpieces delight in encouraging these stereotypes among centrists, independents, and so-called “low information” voters.  It isn’t ignorance, it’s an ongoing political strategy at work every day in American classrooms and newspapers.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a winning strategy.  Ridiculing it is a good first step, but not one that will win elections.  Until conservatives can recapture their role in shaping the political narrative, their message will be ignored by the voters in the middle who are unwilling to align themselves with what they see as the party of hate.


5 Responses to “A Typical Conservative”

  1. Eclectic Radical on July 18th, 2009 4:48 am

    For the most part, Republican politicians and conservative bloggers and media personalities do more work to create these stereotypes than liberals. I won’t pretend liberals don’t cross the lines of good behavior in politics, because both sides regularly do.

    Low information voters on both sides often form the largest amount of the total voting public. On the left, most of these voters are casting votes for candidates much less liberal and more conservative than they believe… the best example being in Democratic presidential primaries. Low information voters on the right seem to believe the same thing, that the Democratic candidates are far more liberal than they really are.

    Of course, on the right, many of the low information voters and politicians like them are the reason for the stereotypes about conservative Republicans.

    When attack dogs who normally go after ‘liberals’ target primarily conservative individuals like Meghan McCain (who agrees with the Republican party base on every issue but gay rights and abortion) or Andrew Sullivan (who is more conservative than some of his safely homophobic attackers on a host of issues) for breaking ranks on social issues, the stereotype is perpetuated.

    The way the Republican Party attacks its own members for not toeing the line on social issues and immigration and the political, racial and religious chauvinism of the ‘real America’ rhetoric used by its spokespeople and politicians. When people who believe they are defending American principles are attacked as ‘un-American’ for their support of equal rights under the law, opposition to a conflict they see as unnecessary (which is then made out to be malicious hatred of the armed forces or depraved indifference to the well-being of the troops), or the questioning of the policies of a president as un-American and un-patriotic… well, stereotypes will create themselves under those conditions.

    Do liberals perpetuate that stereotype? I know I do, but only because I believe it to be true of the specific targets of my columns and of the controlling interests of the Republican Party and the voters to whom they appeal. Nor have I seen significant evidence to make me believe that the exceptions to the stereotype are really the norm they claim to be. If they were really the norm and not the exception, we wouldn’t see so prominent Republicans apologizing to Rush Limbaugh for breaking ranks from the stereotype and forgetting their place.

    It’s not a pleasant stereotype, no one likes to see themselves that way, and there are definitely exceptions to it. But there is a very real reason it has become the stereotype and the Republican Party as a whole has worked much harder to prove it than disprove it.

  2. Jenn Q. Public on July 18th, 2009 8:18 am

    For every “macaca moment” on the right, there’s a Joe Biden blabbering on about Indian Americans, a Barbara Boxer treating Alford to a hefty dose of racially charged condescension, and a Kossack urging the suppression of black and Latino votes as a solution to the “Prop 8 problem.” And of course, liberals routinely label black Republicans Uncle Toms or race traitors when they get too uppity for comfort. You should see the vile email my husband gets from liberals who can’t stand that a black guy doesn’t toe the Democratic Party line. The difference is that liberals have the media complicity and organizational structure necessary to artificially amplify racism on the right and to spread fabricated examples of Republican racism.
    Quite frankly, you demonstrate that you’re happy to be part of that when you write unsupported b.s. like, “many of the low information voters and politicians like them are the reason for the stereotypes about conservative Republicans.” You know perfectly well that racism on the right is the exception, not the rule, just like Code Pink and World Can’t Wait don’t speak for the average lefty.

    Regarding Steele apologizing to Limbaugh, I didn’t follow the incident too closely (just as I don’t follow Limbaugh), but from what I gathered, Steele backtracked to put an end to the whole kerfuffle and let the air out of the Obama administration’s idea to paint Limbaugh as the head of the Republican Party. And it worked. Steele was able to get back to work on successfully raising money for the RNC.

    Moving on, no one deserves to be attacked for looks/sexuality, but Meghan McCain and Andrew Sullivan invite plenty of completely valid criticism of their writing, positions, and the way they present themselves.

    Sully deserves huge credit for his earlier work. He took a lot of crap from the gay community for trying to impose the hetero value of marriage on them, crap from conservatives for making the case for gay marriage, and even more crap from both sides about his Catholicism. But now? He’s completely deranged with the Trig trutherism stuff, and his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are appalling.

    As for Meghan McCain, I am utterly embarrassed for her almost every time she opens her mouth (and if you recall, I was a supporter of hers when she first started writing for the Beast.) She hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Her positions are shallow, she calls herself a Republican, but makes no effort to make the Republican case for gay marriage, and even worse, she pretends she’s being unfairly denigrated for her looks and gender rather than admit to gaps in her knowledge of history (see the “Paul Begala Schools Meghan McCain” video on YT). She rails against Republicans for being anti-bc even though 98 percent of American women use contraception at some point in their lives. I could go on (and on and on), but you get the idea. Even though I want to like her and feel sick when I read attacks on her appearance, I bristle nearly every time I read one of her pieces. (And just for the record, she identifies as pro-life.)

  3. Rob Taylor on July 18th, 2009 9:10 am

    So let’s summarize, Eclectic Radical is a bigoted elitist who uses terms like “low information voters” which is a euphemism used by unemployed degenerates without Master’s degrees for the hard working people who disagree with them.

    I don’t know about you Jenn but I’m tired of some downwardly mobile piece of White trash sitting at home implying he’s smarter than me because he watches MSNBC and frequents DailyKos. And for people who claim they aren’t racists, what’s more “low information” than frequenting a site that Bob Parks just recently exposed as having dozens of diaries posted using the “N” word?


    When I get called a “nigger” or “half-breed” on my site it is always a liberal (or a Muslim) who thinks they have the right to use those terms because being liberal “excuses” them from racism. What’s more “low information” than that?

    What’s more “low information” than people thinking you can stave off bankruptcy by increasing your spending?

    What’s more “low information” than urban liberals thinking they can continue to feed all of New York or California when they want smaller delivery vehicles, are driving hundreds of farms a year out of business with high taxes (and the new tax increases will destroy thousands of small farms) and are crippling crop production with ivory tower environmental restrictions? Or what’s more low information than thinking large cities can be fed with organic gardens?

    What’s more “low information” than being against supposed global warming when if it did happen we could FEED THE ENTIRE WORLD with the extra food produced by longer growing seasons and millions of new acres of land made farmable again?

    What’s more “low information” than not being able to see, based on NASA’s own data, that the earth is COOLING, not warming?

    I’m tired of having people who’ve never read a book not recommended by Keith Olbermann implying I’m dumber than them when they’ve spent their entire lives creating a situation for themselves where they will starve to death as soon as we get a bad crop year. I’m tired of the “Eclectic Radical” claiming his constant insults are somehow reasoned debate.

    The only thing worse than pretension is finding it in people who by all rights should be on the receiving end of it.

  4. Eclectic Radical on July 18th, 2009 11:42 am

    “You know perfectly well that racism on the right is the exception, not the rule, just like Code Pink and World Can’t Wait don’t speak for the average lefty.”

    No, I don’t. I’ve told you about my encounters with racial attitudes among the voters in my home county and state before and about the Republican political marketing system catering to those attitudes shamelessly. None of the empirical evidence that I have seen suggests that those attitudes are in the minority, not where I live.

    I know the GOP isn’t made up of died-in-the-wool sheet-wearing crazies who rob banks and kill radio hosts. They have their own political affiliations. Those aren’t the only racists in the world.

    I certainly don’t fit the mainstream of either party. My views are perceived as far out on the left in this country and I know it. My biggest disappointment is constantly the Democratic Party.

    My biggest complaint about the Democrats, however, always comes down to the fact that they are too much like the Republicans. Just about every time.

  5. Jenn Q. Public on July 20th, 2009 4:16 pm

    Rob, I agree that the phrase “low information voters” is fraught with problems. That’s why I put it in quotes in my post and prefaced it with “so-called.” But I think “white trash” (used in your comment) is an equally problematic label. I know this was not your intention, but my feeling is that using race as a modifier for the word “trash” implies that one’s skin color can somehow impact the extent of one’s trashiness. I know that sounds hopelessly PC and overparsed, but as you know, it’s one of my pet peeves.

    Eclectic Radical, funny how “empirical evidence” collected from one’s limited experience works. My empirical evidence leads me to a completely different conclusion about Republicans.

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