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(33,567 posts)
Tue Jan 10, 2012, 10:26 AM Jan 2012

Why do Republicans delight in suffering?

I get that the Republican leaders want the Rich to keep as much money as possible and get richer at the expense of everyone else.
But anyone that can read a simple chart knows the Middle Class has been going downhill for 30 years and things are only getting worse. The Republicans not only fully support the policies that drive this, but seem to delight in the suffering. They want all Union jobs to go away and brag at the lower paying jobs that replace them. The talk with glee about ending any program that might help to poor. The cheer at people dying from lack of insurance. It's not just benefiting the Rich, it's that everyone else need to be hurting.
Where does this sadism come from?

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Why do Republicans delight in suffering? (Original Post) edhopper Jan 2012 OP
I doubt there's any one answer... phantom power Jan 2012 #1
It's because a high percentage of those Repubs. in power are sociopaths. And these, Cal33 Jan 2012 #3
I'm with you on this. newspeak Jan 2012 #9
It's a way of separating themselves from those "other" people. The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2012 #2
Torquemada would have been a rethuglican. lpbk2713 Jan 2012 #4
I did not even mention edhopper Jan 2012 #5
Because a fundamental aspect of the RW philosophy is that the strong in society should be allowed to LeftishBrit Jan 2012 #6
Good post! edhopper Jan 2012 #7
Spot on! PurityOfEssence Jan 2012 #12
Wrongly believing rank and file Republicans "delight in suffering" kctim Jan 2012 #8
I love your posts, they crack me up. Ikonoklast Jan 2012 #10
I agree Puzzledtraveller Jan 2012 #17
I think I was talking more about edhopper Jan 2012 #22
If you make $8 or $10 or even $12 an hour hfojvt Jan 2012 #11
Well, it basically comes to the same thing... LeftishBrit Jan 2012 #15
Whut? lonestarnot Jan 2012 #24
I don't minimize their evil - I think you might have been referring to another post. LeftishBrit Jan 2012 #26
Religion. FarLeftFist Jan 2012 #13
I don't know. I think you have to be born that way. raouldukelives Jan 2012 #14
Oh, they delight in suffering, all right . . . Brigid Jan 2012 #16
It Makes Them Feel "Superior"... KharmaTrain Jan 2012 #18
They don't call it the "R-complex" for nothing: IDemo Jan 2012 #19
To get in real good StarlightGold Jan 2012 #20
To have someone to look down on treestar Jan 2012 #21
Verminists! lonestarnot Jan 2012 #23
For all the reasons already mentioned, plus that... Crankie Avalon Jan 2012 #25

phantom power

(25,966 posts)
1. I doubt there's any one answer...
Tue Jan 10, 2012, 10:47 AM
Jan 2012

One is that, by definition, 99% of republicans are just as poor as the rest of the 99%, and so the party leaders *require* an ideology that teaches them to blame all of this on the poor themselves. Because the alternative is that they would blame the 1%, and then who would vote for them? So, they propagate an ethical system where basically anything bad that happens to a person is inherently their fault. They call this Calvinistic philosophy "personal responsibility."

Another reason is that white republicans tend to mean "poor minorities" when they think in terms of suffering and moral hazard, subconsciously or consciously. It has been observed that racism is so strong with many people, even in 2012, that they'd prefer to live in squalor rather than risk any government aid going to "the wrong sort."



(7,018 posts)
3. It's because a high percentage of those Repubs. in power are sociopaths. And these,
Tue Jan 10, 2012, 11:29 AM
Jan 2012

by definition, have no compassion for other people in pain and misery. A psychological
testing had been performed some years ago:

A number of people were shown a movie of people being humiliated, beaten and tortured
(only a movie, of course, but it looked real). Each of them was also being given a
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test. The results showed:

Normal people had feelings ranging from disgust to horror, and this could be verified
when their MRI tests showed that the "pain" or "displeasure center" of their brain was aroused. This can be seen as an enlargement of the arteries supplying the displeasure
center of the brain.

Sociopaths and psychopaths showed no change in their MRIs.

On the other hand, sadistic socio- and psychopaths did show a change in their MRIs.
Their "pleasure center," which is located in a different part of the brain, was aroused.
They were enjoying what they were seeing!

We've got to have fewer of these sociopaths in high places. They can bring nothing to
our nation but ruin and destruction. And being sickos, most of them don't even know they
are destroying our nation. The few who do know, don't even care. Their consciences are
defective. Their concept of morality never developed beyond the stage of that of the
small child. It remained arrested there.

Can these sickos be blamed for being they way they are? Of course not! But we don't
have to elect them to positions of high responsibility either. They are not capable of
feeling responsible for anything.


(4,847 posts)
9. I'm with you on this.
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
Jan 2012

I believe they are sociopaths. Of course, the wealthy who have exploited others to gain that wealth or stolen innovations, to me, are a club of vultures. When one of their own fall on hard times, they no longer befriend them.

But, I think, especially today, we are being desensitized to others pain. The media plays a big part in that desensitization. I remember a dittohead calling in to his god limpballs show, he had just lost his decent job. Limpballs showed no sympathy; actually it was more like "why are you telling me?" Then he told the caller that walmart is taking applications, go apply. Of course, limpballs didn't tell the caller that walmart is not considered a decent job and that walmart probably will be giving instructions on how to file for food stamps and medicaid-two things limpballs wouldn't be for.

The wealthy, repugs have been using scapegoats for a long time. Blaming the most vulnerable for the greed and corruption of others. And, unfortunately, some of the people in this country have bought into it, even when they become the most vulnerable.

The Velveteen Ocelot

(115,673 posts)
2. It's a way of separating themselves from those "other" people.
Tue Jan 10, 2012, 10:47 AM
Jan 2012

Most of their leaders are in it just for the money, but they achieve and retain power by deliberately stirring up the fears and prejudices of conservative voters. Conservatism is at its core a fear-based ideology - GOPers are afraid of damn near everything. By demeaning and belittling the disadvantaged and approving policies that hurt them, they are separating themselves psychologically from the things that happened to those "other" people: "I'm not like those people so those bad things I'm afraid of can't possibly happen to me." They cheer the idea of someone dying because he was "irresponsible" and didn't buy insurance - "I'm a responsible person; I bought insurance; that can't happen to me." Union jobs? "I don't belong to a union and it's unfair that union people get paid more than me, so they should lose their jobs. But that won't happen to me." Welfare for the poor? "I'm not like those undeserving, lazy people; I won't ever need food stamps. There shouldn't be welfare for people like them."

And for many, "people like them" means black or Latino people. The racist element just doesn't want any tax money to go to help "those people."


(41,205 posts)
6. Because a fundamental aspect of the RW philosophy is that the strong in society should be allowed to
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:47 AM
Jan 2012

triumph over the weak.

Mostly in modern society this means allowing the rich to triumph over the poor; but it also includes the attitude that ethnic and social majority groups should be able to triumph over minorities, and a 'Might means Right' attitude to foreign policy.

Also, and related to the above:

(1) A very negative view of human nature: people will only work, behave themselves, be productive, if they are constantly kept in fear of ruin, poverty, or legal punishment. Punishment as such is an obsession with some on the Right. British right-wingers, at least until recently, were obsessed with the need to bring back hanging and flogging (nowadays that kind of right-winger tends to be more preoccupied with hating benefit claimants, and xenophobia against immigrants and the EU). A British Cabinet Minister recently actually said that in order to increase productivity, it is necessary for workers in the public services to be kept in fear of losing their jobs.

(2) The concept that life is a zero-sum game: people can only gain at the expense of someone else. Co-operation is a meaningless concept; competition is everything. One person's happiness means another person's suffering. To prevent suffering is to deny 'opportunity'. Anyone remember Tom Paxton's satire on Reagan-voters, 'A Truly Needy Family of Your Own': 'For success alone is not enough to make a life complete/ It's seeing the other guy fail that makes it all so sweet!'?

(3) A significant number of people can be readily convinced that suffering is intrinsically good for you; the nastier the medicine tastes, the more good it will do!


(13,150 posts)
12. Spot on!
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:27 PM
Jan 2012

It's not enough to be sated at the overflowing banquet table of life, one needs the skinny toothless beggar in the corner to throw bones at to make one feel successful.

You've pretty much covered the points quite succinctly...



(3,575 posts)
8. Wrongly believing rank and file Republicans "delight in suffering"
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:21 PM
Jan 2012

is why our Democratic Party does not have a 70+% advantage in government.

Rank and file Republicans place individual rights and freedoms ahead of the desires of society. Finding the proper balance would make the Republican Party nothing more than an irrelevent fundie Party.


(23,973 posts)
10. I love your posts, they crack me up.
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:34 PM
Jan 2012

Hilarious...unintentionally, I'm sure, but still hilarious.


(5,937 posts)
17. I agree
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:08 PM
Jan 2012

Thats why points need to be made by contrast and comparison of policy and ideals and results. With the understanding that both side really believe that they proceed from the best interest of the country. An inability to articulate "our way" without rhetoric will always be a roadblock to greater achievment for democratic and progressive goals. Keep in mind, the populace is already desensitized to sensationalism. Claiming Republicans "delight in suffering" or Democrats want communism is a lose lose tactic.


(37,573 posts)
11. If you make $8 or $10 or even $12 an hour
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:56 PM
Jan 2012

You might see Union workers not as fellow workers like yourself, but as rather rich, privileged a-holes who act like forcing me to pay another $100 in taxes so they can keep their awesome pay and benefits, is somehow a huge benefit to me.

They also see "the poor" as people who WILL not work, and instead just have their hands out asking people who do work to support their lazy a$$es. It's not about wanting them to suffer, it is about wanting them to pull their own weight instead of being a drain on society.

The analogy I would use is of people on a hike. If one person falls and breaks their leg, nobody begrudges carrying that person out of the woods. What they begrudge is some others who see the injured person being carried who then fake an ankle sprain so they can be carried too. They see anti-poverty programs as helping a lot of fakers and free-loaders, and they feel that more people can tough it out, and just walk on their sprained ankles, especially self-inflicted injuries.


(41,205 posts)
15. Well, it basically comes to the same thing...
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:57 PM
Jan 2012

When people see the poor as 'people who WILL not work' and want them to 'pull their own weight instead of being a drain on society' they *are* basically seeing them as deserving to suffer. When people are prepared to let genuinely poor people suffer rather than risk freeloaders taking advantage, then while they may not 'delight' in suffering, they are saying that they'd rather let people suffer than risk cheating. (This is not saying that cheating is a good thing, or that it never happens, or that one shouldn't have strong safeguards and sanctions against it; I am referring here to those who would rather *not have the programmes at all*, than risk the possibility of their being abused.) When people 'feel that more people can tough it out and just walk on their sprained ankles' or equivalent, then they *are* endorsing suffering.

The analogy of a hike only works to a certain extent, because no one *has* to go on a hike, and one could validly say that people who are unprepared, or for various reasons incapable, of pulling their weight on a hike, could avoid going and placing an extra burden on others. Everyone has to go on the journey of life, and when people take a harsh attitude toward other people's weakness, and lack of survival abilities, and assumethat everyone who needs help must be cheating unless their reason is as instantly obvious as a broken leg, then they are inevitably going to permit and implicitly endorse a great deal of suffering.



(77,097 posts)
24. Whut?
Thu Jan 12, 2012, 10:39 AM
Jan 2012

Why capitulate on the vermin's behalf? Just wondering. Minimizing thier evil doesn't help them or us.


(41,205 posts)
26. I don't minimize their evil - I think you might have been referring to another post.
Thu Jan 12, 2012, 07:01 PM
Jan 2012

I was saying that treating the poor as freeloaders and wanting them to 'stand on their own feet' comes to the same thing in practice as endorsing suffering.


(5,178 posts)
14. I don't know. I think you have to be born that way.
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:46 PM
Jan 2012

It's the same thing with Republican humor. It's never funny. It's always laughing at people in pain or veiled racist insults. Odd ducks.


(31,706 posts)
18. It Makes Them Feel "Superior"...
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:11 PM
Jan 2012

A wingnut will always be self-righteous about how they work hard or know more than anyone else. They have this need to be superior...even if its in rhetoric only. Anyone who challenges this "worldview" is either a slacker or jealous. Thus they're convinced into supporting and now defending the 1% cause somehow they feel like they're a part of the elite...but are too stubborn and stupid to realize they're being used over and over again...


(16,926 posts)
19. They don't call it the "R-complex" for nothing:
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:21 PM
Jan 2012

The reptilian complex, also known as the R-complex or "reptilian brain" was the name MacLean gave to the basal ganglia, structures derived from the floor of the forebrain during development. The term derives from the fact that comparative neuroanatomists once believed that the forebrains of reptiles and birds were dominated by these structures. MacLean contended that the reptilian complex was responsible for species typical instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays. <- Bingo!



(365 posts)
20. To get in real good
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 03:46 PM
Jan 2012

with God. Honestly...their mentality is "If you suffer on earth, you'll get an extra scoop of ice-cream in the afterlife".
If that's how they want to run their lives, fine. But they are determined to have the rest of us suffer along with them.


(82,383 posts)
21. To have someone to look down on
Wed Jan 11, 2012, 04:15 PM
Jan 2012

They cannot feel right unless they can deem themselves "better" than someone.

Crankie Avalon

(5,261 posts)
25. For all the reasons already mentioned, plus that...
Thu Jan 12, 2012, 01:34 PM
Jan 2012

...being able to dehumanize the many victims of a system helps to justify the existence of the few beneficiaries of said system. If you acknowledged benefiting from a system that victimized almost everyone else, you would have to conclude that you were something like a parasite attached to an otherwise healthy host. You would change your life. But that is very difficult. It is much easier to simply rationalize your position by saying that the host/victims are not healthy and somehow deserve to be victimized by your existence, anyway. Something is wrong with them and they SHOULD be victimized. When you can think like that, then you can believe that you are not doing anything wrong by being a parasite on the rest of society. On the contrary, you are "doing the Lord's work."

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