I felt really good last Tuesday. We got Qusay and Uday, and the Eiffel Tower caught fire. Now my betters tell me that feeling good was bad because I was exercising “uncertainty avoidance” and seeking “cognitive closure” on Q and U. Maybe I felt good because of the “terror management” mechanism in my head. Clearly, I have severe symptoms of conservatism, or what I should be calling the conservative psychological pathology. Just ask the experts at U.C. Berkeley.
Does your fear of terrorism cause you to feel aggressive toward, say, certain Middle Eastern nations? Do you shun and even wish to punish (perhaps by boycotting French goods) those outsiders who threaten your cherished world views? If you suffer these symptoms, you should be diagnosed as suffering from conservatism. Four professors — in the Orwellian study “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Condition” — conclude that conservatism is less a political philosophy than a mental disorder.
According to the Berserkely study, there are common psychological factors linked to conservatism. Conservatives are less “integratively complex” (i.e., dumber) than others. The study says conservatives support inequality by accepting the segregationist policies of Strom Thurmond (1948 version) and rejecting gay rights.
The Berkeleyites conclude that conservatives — and here they list together the examples of Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh — “preach a return to an idealized past.” But all this, they reassure us, “…does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled.” Necessarily.
But we are, according to the Berkeley research team, more fearful and less courageous than liberals. The study says that the “terror management” feature of conservatism can be seen in post-September 11 America where, “many people appear to shun and even punish outsiders…” Like the Taliban?
Okay, conservatives ain’t perfect, but are we nuts? I spoke to a liberal pal of mine who happens to be a prominent Washington, D.C. psychiatrist. He said, “Look, there are many traits, styles and patterns of thinking. It’s a mistake to pathologize them.” When I asked him about the powerful scientific methods supposedly used in the study, he said I shouldn’t worry. As far as science goes, “There’s a lot of crap out there.” We signed off when he said, “Don’t worry, Jed. Conservatism is not a diagnosis.”
OK, so we ain’t nuts, or at least any more than the average guy. Forget about the obvious agenda these clowns had (which you need not go further to prove than to see Hitler, Mussolini, the Gipper and Rush in the same paragraph). Maybe they were only talking about conservatives to divert attention from some political candidates that have what #4 son would call, “issues.” If some conservative psychiatrists want to do a parallel study of the libs, I’m happy to provide an outline for it.
You gotta start with Sen. Bob Graham. Here’s part of his exchange with Tim Russert on Meet the Press a couple of weeks ago:
MR. RUSSERT: “…Here’s a portrait of you from the governor’s office in Florida. There you are. Holding a notebook, the much-discussed little notebooks. You’ve kept 4,000 of them during your public career, with obviously logs of people you’ve met, to-do lists. But also very minute specific information. For example, this is what the St. Petersburg Times said.
“You woke up on September 17, 2002, a Tuesday, Third Street town house. You weighed 181 pounds.
“Applied scalp medication. You were in the kitchen, you brewed coffee. You read the Post. You dress in a gray suit. And on and on and on.
“This has been called neurotic, obsessive, bizarre. How would you explain to the American people why do you keep such minute detail of what you do every day?”
SEN. GRAHAM: “Discipline. I have been doing this now for almost 30 years. My father used to keep a notebook in which he would keep information about the farm, sick cows and other things. And I picked it up from him, and I have refined it to meet my purposes. It’s mainly a list of to do that day. It is a recording of the names of people that I meet, and what their concerns are, so that I can follow up.
“It is a log of what happens to me throughout the day, so that I can go back, as I will later today, and review what I did during the last week to see if there was a phone call that I intended to follow up on or other things…”
MR. RUSSERT: “But it’s more than that. It’s specific things, like what you’re wearing, what room you were in. It’s different.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online