Saturday, April 10, 2010

Closed Conservative Thinking

This blog post provides a variety of explanations for why conservative minds have "closed."  Lots of interesting explanations are put forth, including the dominance of the south, a narrow demographic base, geographically isolated areas now forcibly exposed to the world via technology, responses to Iraq, or perhaps it is the natural life cycle of intellectual movements.  The piece concludes:

I have a lot of sympathy for this kind of explanation, simply because I’m temperamentally conservative. I think it’s very hard for people to change once they are set, and so the formative experiences of a generation have a lasting political and intellectual impact. Intellectually, the children of the Bush Administration on the right are a lost generation. They may grow in wisdom, chastened by experience, but this will come at a price of lost confidence; or they may retain their confidence, but this will come at the greater price of never attaining wisdom.
An open mind seeks wisdom, first and last.
The last explanation is the only when then can explain the "why now" well.  But there is another development--the ironic impact of media dominance.  While Rush Limbaugh and talk radio have been around for a while, it seems that he has become more powerful of late, in his effort to exclude "deviant" Republicans from the party.  Likewise (if my impression is correct since I cannot stomach it), Fox News may have been presenting a more strident, narrow variant of conservativism.  Together, these two forces have made it very hard for reasoned debate to exist within the GOP. 

Perhaps I am wrong as I do not listen nor watch to this stuff, so perhaps these guys can and do encourage thoughtful discussions of different ideas of how to be a good conservative.  Yeah, right.

1 comment:

Mrs. Spew said...

The conservative mind isn't closed, because otherwise they wouldn't contradict themselves every five minutes, denouncing what they previously promoted. The conservative mind is focused on power, on identifying an enemy real or pretend and then stalwartly opposing that enemy in an attempt to get money, media attention and more power. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but because it works sometimes -- and works to make media moguls money -- they keep doing it. With a black president, the opposition can be made racial and fantastic, in order to try to influence, garner money and obtain more power. The new guard of conservatism is split between those who think it needs to move back to moderation in order to gain power back, and those who think the old guard lost all the power and it must be grabbed back by opposition rhetoric, sometimes aimed at the old guard as the enemy. So you could say that the conservatives have decided that power is more important than security.