My long-time readers know that I've spent a fair amount of time on the question "Why?" I'm pretty clear on 'what', but the rationale for the seemingly senseless behavior of people who, as I state in my preamble, are like 'chickens voting for Colonel Sanders', has puzzled me to no end.
I can understand completely why the Bush Crime Family and the NeoCons do what they do. No puzzle there. They are the beneficiaries of this corruption. But the average working joe whose job has been outsourced, whose paycheck buys less and less every year, whose kids are cannon fodder - why would they vote for these thugs who treat them like so much Charmin? Stockholm Syndrome?
But, finally, the puzzle piece has fallen into place. I've just started reading George Lakoff, the Berkeley linguistics professor and social scientist who writes extensively about framing. He says that people tend to see the country as a one of two family metaphors, the 'strict father' (conservative) and the 'nurturant parent' (progressive - or, the hell with it - I'll say it - liberal). Of course, you may already know about Lakoff, but he's new to me.
He claims that these frames are so deeply ingrained within our personalities that if a fact conflicts with it, it simply slides off. So it really doesn't matter if Bush lies. He's the 'strict father', taking care and protecting us, and the pesky facts have no effect on these people.
It is the only explanation that makes sense to me.
But Lakoff does more than explain; he offers ways to counter this. I for one used to think that, if only the facts were out there, people would wake up and rise up against these murderers. But it doesn't work that way.
It's not just the Bush Crime Family, but conservatism itself, that is the real enemy. If you wonder why Republicans are suddenly coming out against George Bush, don't be fooled. It's because, since he can't be re-elected, he's the perfect fall guy. If they can blame every disaster that they've inflicted on us on the Kowboy Koward of Krawford, then when he's out, they'll get a 'better' conservative in. Bad Bush! Naughty Bush! Not that Bush has been anything but a brain-damaged puppet since before Day One. But you and I know it's the bigger picture - the multinational corporations, the military/ industrial complex, that is supported by this anti-democratic conservative regime. Believe me, everything is going just swimmingly for these people. No mistakes there!
Conservatism is about domination. About unquestioned authority. About punishment. About dog-eat-dog. About self-interest being the highest good. According to conservative philosophy, caring for those who can't care for themselves is immoral. Rewarding the weak by giving them something they haven't earned is not just foolish. It is immoral. Morality is represented by those with the discipline to get ahead - therefore, the good people are rewarded for their discipline and hard work by wealth. So, the wealthy deserve to be wealthy and the poor deserve to be poor.
I'll be getting into more of this, so stay tuned!