I returned from a trip to Mount Pleasant, Michigan (O.K., I get the pleasant part, but there was nothing remotely resembling a mountain) pretty tired, and my favorite pastime in that condition is surfing – channel surfing that is. And besides my continuing astonishment at the sudden cultural significance of one Mylie Cyrus, I was again faced with the eternal question – what the hell is the matter with conservatives?
Certain subjects seem to summon up a totally illogical fervor and willful blindness when confronted by the right. The part of me which is convinced of the basic irrationality of humans and their motives can only see in it some kind of emotional blockage, witnessed by Ann Coulter’s wide eyed, anorexic hysteria or George W. Bush’s cross-eyed possession by some very petty demon. The conspiracy buff portion, however, can’t help but see that these same counter-intuitive opinions are very helpful to the corporations that shovel money into the Republican money bins. Like so much that is unfair and unbalanced in the media, Fox news first came up with the concept – corporations own the broadcast companies that televise the news, so why not slant the "facts" in ways beneficial to big business? Fox is still the most egregious, but a quick channel surf will demonstrate that the conservative taint infects all the cable news channels.
As the blowhards opined, here’s one of the many questions that occurred to me – why are conservatives so vehement in denying global warming? Talk about a struggle being fought inch by inch. At first the right stridently resisted conceding even the existence of global warming, only abandoning that position in the face of overwhelming evidence. Now they’re dug in at the O.K.,so maybe it is happening but it’s not our fault stage of denial. Any crackpot with a contrary theory is welcome to air it on these shows.
Even if mankind is improbably not responsible for global warming, surely the most obtuse observer can see that it’s clearly in mankind’s interest to reduce pollution and even more clearly in America’s interest to end our country’s dependence on oil and gas. Emotionally, I guess you could chalk up the shrill disbelief to the right’s insane hatred of Al Gore for getting more votes that Bush and being so right about things since he was jobbed by the Supreme Court, but if you look at who has an interest in emissions as usual, you’ll find Bush’s buddies in oil and gas who so enjoy selling ever more costly gallons, the car companies who so hate to change and other industries who might have to follow EPA laws. Of course given the perilous state of the planet, their position is extremely short sighted, but that’s the only kind of vision that the conservatives seem to offer, what with the rapture being right around the corner and all. And until Americans tell them to shut up, the corporate interests will be defended with volume if not logic as long as there are middle aged white guys who will take a buck for doing so.
And don’t get me started about Iraq, where we will be "winning" for the next hundred years (and lining the pockets of Cheney and his corporate pals) if the electorate votes McCain in the next election…