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Why do conservatives love hatred, war and authoritarianism so much?

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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:53 AM
Original message
Why do conservatives love hatred, war and authoritarianism so much?
I've been taking the pulse of my self-described hardcore conservative acquaintances lately in an attempt to find out exactly why they still support our so obviously failed boy king and his so obviously disastrous foreign policy. What I've uncovered isn't pretty. The ones I've talked with seem to believe that the USA could win the "Global War On Terror" (tm) if only everyone in the USA would learn to fear and hate Muslims and love war as much as they do. It's like they really think we can somehow use our giant military to kill the very concept of terrorism, if only everyone in the USA had the same will to fear and hate Muslims that they have. Just think how absurd that is on its face.

Just look at Israel vs. Palestine. Israel has the fourth largest and probably the most efficient military in the world, and Israel has all the will in the world to defeat Palestinian terrorists. Against this juggernaut, Palestinians have sticks and stones and a few homemade bombs. And it is just this asymmetry of force that creates suicidal terrorists. If the Palestinians could actually strike blows against Israel using conventional military tactics, do you think they'd be strapping bombs on themselves?

Whenever we try to "fight terrorism" using our overwhelming powerful conventional military force, we create the same state of asymmetrical warfare. The only way the enemies we naturally make by invading another country can strike back at us is through guerrilla warfare and by using terrorist tactics. So we create exactly what we seek to defeat.

Conservatives don't seem to understand that a person can condemn all terrorism in the strongest possible terms without remaining willfully blind to the conditions that foment it. To them, the simple act of considering the situation from the enemy's point of view in order to strategically evaluate which methods of fighting terror are most likely succeed is equivalent to appeasing the enemy. If killing and torturing thousands just makes things worse, their prescription is to kill and torture tens of thousands. No other approach can even be considered because that would be equivalent to "coddling the enemy."

The other way conservatives ask us to "fight terrorism" is by happily giving up our civil rights to the executive branch of our federal government. According to them, if only we would clearly recognize the horrible threat of the crazy Muslim horde, then we would happily allow the federal government to search our homes and computers, tap our phones and read all our mail without any due cause. They say we must we condone torture and give up our long sacred right to a fair and speedy trial. We are told we have to fight "Islamofascism" on the other side of the world by instituting domestic totalitarianism. It simply doesn't make sense. Do we actually think that a few crazy terrorists can do anything worse to us than what we are doing and proposing to do to ourselves? Are we really so deathly afraid of a few Arabs with box cutters that we can't just man up for ourselves against them like the passengers of Flight 93 did when and if the time comes? Are we really going to let a few nutcases scare us into shredding the Bill of Rights that has made our country the envy of all others for over 200 years?

If we don't wish to fight meaningless, never ending wars against whichever countries the President decides to target nor give up all of our civil rights, we are called "soft on terrorism"? But what does this label actually mean? Osama Bin Laden and the anthrax killer are still on the loose, and our current leadership couldn't care any less. Meanwhile, there was no link whatsoever between Hussein and al Qaeda, but all of our military resources (and much of our treasury) have been squandered to make Iraq into a new sanctuary of terrorism. Is that what being "tough on terrorism" is supposed to look like?

Terrorism is best fought with improved international relationships. Bush has blown that.

Terrorism is best fought with infiltration of terrorist groups. Bush has made that job much harder.

Terrorism is best fought with increased special operations troops. Bush has done nothing to beef up special ops, who are largely bogged down in Iraq.

Finally, terrorism as an ideology is best fought through ideological persuasion. As we dismantle every claim we have to any moral high ground, we create both sympathy for our enemies as well as new enemies.
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd tell you exactly why, but...
Edited on Fri Sep-22-06 11:56 AM by Totally Committed
then Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel would have to kiss up to the Republicans again.

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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. um . . . because they're hateful, war-mongering authoritarians? . . . n/t
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. Because, those are fascistic in nature
Edited on Fri Sep-22-06 11:58 AM by whistle

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
by Lawrence Britt
Spring 2003
Free Inquiry magazine

Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.

The 14 characteristics are:

Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
Supremacy of the Military
Rampant Sexism
Controlled Mass Media
Obsession with National Security
Religion and Government are Intertwined
Corporate Power is Protected
Labor Power is Suppressed
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fraudulent Elections

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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Lack of education and zero intellectual curiousity
Education and studying and knowing shit is for sissy liberals. Blowing up shit and torturing people, now that's cool "conservative" stuff (as long as someone else is actually doing the stuff.)

Combine their ignorance with a very large dose of pride and you have failure as can been seen in looking at the bush administration. His supporters are way too ignorant to know they have fucked up and way too proud to admit it if they did have a clue.

"Conservatives" are cancer cells on our country.
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. Because they'll be the ones in charge.
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specimenfred1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. They're self-loathing bigots who are too stupid to run anything.
Their outward expression of hatred is really how they feel about themselves.

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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Milgram's 37 mindset nt
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. All of those things serve their own personal best interests.
Every had any contact with one of those "people"? It's all about having. having more, and having better than the other guy. It's a subhuman predator mentality cloaked in "wealth and success". They don'tgive a shit about how they make the money or get the power, just that they have it.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. All the "outrage" of a moral and political nature that the rightwing think
tanks promote are the works of shills who try to give an intellectual and religious aegis to the Megacapitalist Agenda. Noone would say "one corporation for the entire world" and fight and aplogize for it, now would they? However, wrap oneself in a flag and shove a cross in one's face and many are frightened to not jump on the bandwagon.

They, the MegaCorp, chose "terror" and "culture war" as their own private memes and the media have enabled them to the point of it not even being remarkable.

They could have cloaked themselves in a progressive mantle, had they chosen, but the Ayn Rand fetish is too strong for them to shake. See, "conservatives" are strong! Individualists! Oohrah! U-S-A! Don't you know that making money is all there is in the world and to shape the people who aren't even really people in the mold you, the true man desires?

Rather like rigid religious fundamentalism and strict Stalinism/Trotskyism: in a changing world, one clings to a set of beliefs to the ultimate day to give one's life purpose....

And oh, what a purpose it has...
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riona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm just not so sure
there is a whole lot of deep thinking involved at the polls with your average repug voter. This is their perception: Democrats in power = more social programs = more taxes. Until the Dems can disprove that perception, they will vote their pocketbooks every time.
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135th Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. I don't think they do love those things.
I know plenty of conservatives who do fit this bill, but it is just a stereotype. I know just as many who believe what they do because they have seriously looked into politcs and decided they agree with conservative philosophy. None of them would say they loved it for "hatred, war and authoritarianism", rather they would list off a series of arguments usually involving Laissez Faire economics and/or a realist view of international politics.

Before someone labels me a rightwing troll for defending them, I am doing so because I don't like to see stereotyping on either side of this issue. Threads like these are just as bad as threads like "Why do liberals hate America and all it stands for?". Neither statement is true, and it just further increases people unwillingness to see eye to eye with the other side.
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CatholicEdHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Compensating for something?
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Fear.
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
15. I don't think these sort of descriptions are useful
the more you talk to people the more you realize they're divided by social and economic issues. Most seem to favor conservative and liberal issues on both, I know many democrats that are socially liberal, but fiscally conservative, with abortion being the swing vote. Same goes for repubs...many are socially conservative, but not married to fiscal conservatism in any way....usually abortion swings them as well. This is particularly true for the large segment of blue collar folks who reap no benefit with conservative fiscal policy. In terms of authoritarianism, it probably depends on the issue....I know democrats who seem to think they know better than anyone else, on a myriad of health and welafare issues. Is that not also authoritarian?

I'm very leftwing on every issue, including the dispersal of wealth...some would argue that my economic socialist policy stances are very authoritarian, since I would MANDATE certain changes.
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General Lee Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
16. They love them for the following reasons:
Edited on Sat Sep-23-06 10:59 AM by General Lee
1. Hatred is a major factor in rousing a nation to war. Hence they champion hatred as a virtue.

2. They love war as it is they who profit most from it and seldom if ever have to fight it.

3. Authoritarianism is the basis of most conservative thinking these days. Just look at the asshole in the white house, his second in command and the neocons who pull the strings.

Need I say more?
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