Too many Democrats fall into the trap of assuming there’s some thing that will finally make non-rich and sane-rich (if you have a better term please provide) Republicans finally just jump ship, but I don’t really see any reason to believe it. Perhaps they’ll lose some downscale whites over, you know, killing them for rich people tax cuts, but probably not as much as you think. Dems underestimate the power of an entrenched worldview as well as a massive propaganda machine to support it, but I think they also don’t understand just how much of white conservative Christian culture (which is predominantly what we’re talking about here) is geared around making those people feel good about themselves. Most people generally want this I think, but as a longtime observer (and, for some time way back when, participant) the extent of it in this community baffles even me. Something like the subtext of “American exceptionalism” shouldn’t be that hard to tease out if you consider which groups are generally reckoned to be “American” and which are not. But more than that, you’re dealing with people who believe that their humdrum lives are cosmically important, that God Himself is finding their parking spaces, etc. You ask them if this is the best use of God’s resources considering the endless slaughter of humans by other humans going back millennia and they’ll say that’s free will. You ask them how God can produce a parking space without violating free will–God would have to persuade someone who wasn’t going to leave to do so to open one up, and on other drivers not to notice it in time–at best you get a “mysterious ways” bromide. Yes, I have had these exact arguments with people before. Fact is that many (though certainly not all) of these folks feel as though they have “the answers” and aren’t motivated to look any more closely. (Also too: there are plenty of liberal followers who can’t drill below a certain level too, though this is not pertinent to the subject at hand.) They simply like the idea of being special. Liberalism doesn’t offer white people a chance to feel special. Tabling the various overblown “PC” objections, the basic view of liberals is that white people aren’t special, just one group among others. Egalitarianism and specialness are polar opposites. So even if they strongly oppose the AHCA, the odds that quite a lot will flip are negligible.

Also worth noting is that moral superiority is what leads to moral relativism, which isn’t a notable feature of liberal/left debates in spite of constant accusations of such (that are usually misused), but is an overwhelming feature of conservative/right politics. Just like “snowflakes,” this is projection. Ultimately the only way a person (or people) can so flagrantly act in the opposite way of their stated values is if you assume your own inherent moral superiority. Like, you know, doing exactly all the things you said were wrong in the last debate. Yes, yes, procedural arguments are generally opportunistic. But this is merely the example du jour.


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  1. Metavirus says:

    This helps me with my constant puzzlement over why conservatives are so damn insecure.  For a people supposed to be able pick themselves up the bootstraps, and make a living by the sweat of their brow, and other such bromides, the minute they hear some liberal say Happy Holidays…  WAR ON CHRISTMAS.  LIBERALS HATE MY CHRISTIANITY.  The thing that always comes to mind for me is:  Why do you care?  In my case, I couldn’t give two shits about all the awful shit conservatives think about me -- it doesn’t influence my concept of self.  Why does a conservative’s self-image rely so much on what liberals think of them?  Think of all the article headlines you’ve seen in conservative press about “sneering” liberals looking down on good salt-of-the-earth folk.  If you’re supposedly so self-sufficient and hardscrabble, why does that hurt your delicate fee-fees?? Why do you need ivory tower liberals to validate your existence? Snowflake projection indeed.

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