Movement Conservatives and the Difference Between Opposing Policies and Principles

Terrance at the Republic of T describes what should be obvious about conservative opposition to Social Security, but is not thanks to gormless Democrats and an incompetent political journalist caste (italics original; boldface mine):

Maybe that's why they fought so hard to protect bonuses and compensation for Wall Street banksters. They will likely fight as hard to reduce your paycheck and mine as they did to protect Wall Steet's excesses.

It's not hard to figure out why.

It's not just that conservatives are opposed to minimum wage. It's like with Social Security. It's not that conservatives are opposed to Social Security, the program. They are, of course. It's that [they're] really opposed to the idea of social security (with a small "s") for any American who work for a living and make less and a few $100K a year, at least. What they're in favor of is social security only for those whose bank statements prove they deserve it.

It's not that conservatives are opposed to a minimum wage. They are, of course. What they're in favor of minimal wages for everyone. Or almost everyone, anyway.

They, of course, can't admit this, although sometimes it slips out when they talk about how much income someone 'deserves' (as in stockbrokers deserve their salaries, while teachers do not). Now, let's move to the social issues sphere.

Ken Buck, a former district attorney and now the Republican candidate for the Senate in Colorado, did not prosecute a rapist, even though the rapist admitted that he had done so. Thomas at Yes Means Yes describes Buck as a member of the pro-rape lobby (italics mine):

Perhaps there are some rapes that a guy like Ken Buck would prosecute, but there clearly are whole categories that he won't, and those categories are the majority of rapes in the US...

That's the pro-rape lobby. It's not that they don't believe the victims. The victim could come forward with a taped confession, a notarized confession, a pack of witnesses -- it's not about belief. Because even when the rapist supports the victim's account, as he did here, the pro-rape lobby are the people that don't care that it's true, that don't care that it's nonconsensual, who don't care that it makes out a violation of the statue, because they really don't think that certain kinds of rape -- against certain kinds of women, or women in certain circumstances, is wrong. They're perhaps against some rapes, the kind where the rapist jumps out of the bushes with a knife, maybe -- but the rest, they're for. They don't think most rapes should be crimes, they don't think the rapists who commit them should go to prison. They're the pro-rape lobby.

Like the conservatives who are opposed to social security as a principle, Buck didn't prosecute because he didn't believe he could win the case or because he didn't believe the evidence. Buck didn't prosecute because he believes women who get drunk 'are asking for it.' But Buck can't admit that, since there are still enough decent people who would be appalled by this.

Everything I learned about movement conservatives I learned from creationists (and the union between the two sets is rather large...): they can't admit what they really believe, so they dissemble around it. Teaching the controversy and so forth.

To combat this, we need to call them out on what they believe, show how harmful those beliefs are, and then describe them accurately. Even if it's uncivil.

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While I agree, it is a sort of double edged sword. The conservatives would claim that liberals have similar underpinnings - that when we call for social programs, we say that because we really believe in socialism and aren't honest enough to say so.

So, while you speak the truth, some care needs to be put into who is accused. Some actually espouse what they claim, others do not.

scathew: "that when we call for social programs, we say that because we really believe in socialism and aren't honest enough to say so."

When I was in school, we learned that socialism meant gov't ownership of the means of production. Hardly anybody in the U. S. believes in that, anymore. So what does "socialism" mean? Who knows? A lot of people, it seems, think that social security is socialism. Some people think that gov't subsidies are socialism. Does anybody know what it means now?

I think America practices a new form of religion that sanctifies Social Darwinism. The Puritans and Calvinist shared the concept of predestination; the concept implied that godâs grace was evident in this life in the form of wealth. Poverty was a sign of moral inferiority. Those ideas never went away. From Herbert Spencer to Ayn Rand we still practice this form of Social Darwinism. Look at the church of c street (AKA The Family) they believe that the invisible hand of the market is the hand of god, rewarding the righteous and punishing the rest. They oppose any social safety net because poverty is the punishment we deserve if godâs hand did not favor us with wealth. While C Street has few members the idea is shared by a large segment of our population. This secular religion of free market jihadism is growing stronger, and is very frightening.