Conservatives have used every tactic except a logical reasoned argument against health care reform. Universal health care was taken out of the mix before the pot could even get stirred. So radical it was despite its existence in virtually every functioning society. So rigid is the religion of American Exceptionalism that any recognition that another nation has anything worth our attention is traitorous.
So I guess conservatives went to the default mindset that defines the very term conservative. A new idea or any systemic change is a slippery slope into some dark unknown. The only acceptable form of change is a shift back to some earlier imagined status quo. That unknown element of any type of change curdles the baseline insecurity of the conservative mindset.
But caution is not a disease. The conservative disposition is a necessary mate for the more adventurist liberal predisposition. It’s not a coincidence that we evolved that way as a means to create large social structures. Too much of one or the other ultimately leads to extinction.
All genetic predispositions have excesses built into the mix. But the self-serving mindset of most politicians can move benign conservatism to an ugly zone where scary narratives – real, imagined or invented – are planted in the public mind so that people turn against legislation designed to benefit them. At least their current torment is familiar.
The Affordable Care Act, as bland a policy shift as it was, was presented as platform for death panels and an inevitable march toward tyrannical socialist dictatorship. And a public trained by right wing media and the incessant insults delivered by an educated cosmopolitan Left has come to consider knowledge and intellectual curiosity as suspect. So around half of the voting population is likely to accept silly propaganda as comforting truth and actual truth as something alien and dangerous. Feeding that willful ignorance is an education system that hasn’t kept up with cultural shifts of the past century; so it teaches most of us to hate the tools for learning and even the very idea of seeking information.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, June 7, 2017
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