In a comment in a previous post, I talked about “misperception of risk.” This is a well-known phenomenon, where the perceived risk is either greater or lesser than the actual risk. One of the best examples is the “anti-vaxxer” movement, where people refuse vaccines because they fear various side effects. That the problems they fear are either non-existent (autism), or that the side effects of vaccines are minor and rare compared to having the actual diseases does not matter to them. In looking back over my blog posts over the years relating to Republican voters, there’s a constant theme: Fear. They’re afraid. They’ve been told for years that they need to be afraid, and that in order to protect themselves, they need to vote for Republicans to keep them safe. It’s covered up with various buzzwords and dog whistles, but boiled down to its essence, it’s “you should be afraid of this.” It may be fear of “different,” it might be fear of a loss of status, privileges, or some other fear, but there’s always a fear. But their fear doesn’t match the reality.
Tag Archives: environment
I know places where there is high poverty, poor education, a high percentage of single parent households, large numbers of out-of-wedlock births, lots of violence, and enormous drug problems. Generations have been living on the public dime, and despite various liberal programs the people there never seem to want to show any gumption to change that. Conservative politicians would have you think that if only you took away all those programs, it would force people to stop demanding government services and special treatment, get jobs, and lift themselves out of poverty. After all, “those people” are getting all sorts of things that “Real Americans” aren’t!
In my last post, I talked about how the Republican Party’s establishment has been watching in horror as their formerly (badly) hidden encouragement of racism and bigotry has exploded in their face. While true, and definitely attention-grabbing, it’s distracting from their other big problem. Three years ago, I talked about how the Republicans needed to “check their assumptions,” and sadly, they haven’t. The end result is that their basic philosophy of government has been a complete failure.
Over the past several years, I’ve had to listen to conservatives talk about “job killing environmental regulations” and how we should be doing more exploitation of fossil fuels. As they put it during the 2008 campaign, “Drill baby, drill!” Yes, if only we would wave aside all those “greenies,” open up public land and offshore areas to drilling, build the Keystone XL pipeline, and get out of the hair of those who want to frack new areas, we would hit the promised land of cheap gas and energy independence. Life would be good, right?
One of the subjects I’ve devoted some time to here over the past few years has been the subject of regulations. As I pointed out earlier this year, there are reasons we have regulations. Most often, those reasons are remembered when … they aren’t followed, enforced, or not there to begin with. According to conservatives, regulations are “unnecessary” and the “free market” will behave properly or correct itself if left alone, all evidence from the past and present to the contrary.
One problems I have with conservatives is that they’ve turned the debate into defending the need for them in the first place. I’d rather have a much different conversation.