Observers remain befuddled because they have failed to connect the dots between the Republican Party’s intransigent stubbornness and a populist brand of conservatism where the world of facts has been made secondary to the intoxication of faith.
Consider the following: faith is based upon a belief in that which cannot be proved or demonstrated by normal means. Faith is also immune and separate from tests of empirical proof. Not to be overlooked, the contemporary Republican Party is home to the Religious Right. Consequently, the primacy of “faith” as the decision rule in political decision-making is both a perfect and logical fit for conservative populism.
When coupled with conservatives’ penchant for authoritarianism, their adherence to simple moral scripts, and a either/or binary world view, the allures of faith mated with fiction are irresistible to the Republican Party. Thus, the idea that politics should serve the common good for all is truncated and superseded by the pursuit of a common good that is only for the faithful, the few and the ideologically pure.
This cognitive framework colors a wide range of the Republican Party’s policies. For example, in the face of overwhelming evidence the Tea Party GOP continues to deny the existence of global warming. Doubling down, history is made into a plaything; the U.S. Constitution is transformed into a fetish object where the intent of the framers is almost magically divined by “strict constructionists” who pray at conservatism’s altar. School boards in Arizona and Texas rewrite the historical record at a whim in order to indoctrinate students into right-wing ideology. And conservative darlings such as Mike Huckabee and “scholar” David Barton pander ideologically correct, snake oil, flimflam versions of U.S. history to the Tea
In all, the Republican Party is possessed by a spirit of willful denial: aided and abetted by the right-wing media, Conservatives can bend the world to their wishes; reality is subject to their fantasies; any belief, however specious, is made true because they want it to be so. This is a pathology that extends both to the debt ceiling debate and the broader assault by conservatives on the country’s social safety net. Both are examples of a frightening pseudo religion called Free Market Fundamentalism—a faith based on a set of assumptions that are immune to interrogation, challenge or the collective weight of reality.
~ Chauncey DeVega, "Debt Ceiling Holy War: Why Do Conservatives Have Unshakable Faith in Ideas That Are Totally, Demonstrably False?"
...[B]ecause the Tea Party GOP and their faithful are ideological cultists on every almost issue from climate change, to the separation of church and state, to the economy, facts and reason are subverted by faith. In short, it is true because they say so. The mainstream media enables these delusions because they exist in a marketplace and cultural moment where all opinions, however ridiculous, are framed as being equal, and consequently worth reasonable discussion and attention.
~ We Are Respectable Negroes (Chauncey DeVega), "An Epic Fail From the Peanut Gallery: Tea Party GOPers Defend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Honor When President Obama 'Dares' to Channel His Memory"
Substitute "faith" with "opinion" and we come back to a very old discussion on this blog, so I'm not going to go over it again. What I'm discussing this time is the tendency for white people to paint their problematic actions as the fault of black people, and to hurriedly slap a face of color onto a white opinion...and genuinely expect us to fall for it.
Strange as this may sound, I'm glad white people love to assume POC are stupid and incompetent. Granted, that particular prejudice sucks when you're trying to get a job, but in the grand scheme of things, it's the classic case of someone shooting themselves in the foot. Lying, revising, and dumbing things down are the actions of a self-destructive people. Why do they expect us to fall for it? Because they fall for it, and since we're supposed to be dumber than they are, the white PTB have full confidence that the same middle school tactics will work on us as well.
I'm suddenly feeling what POC in eras past must have felt. I can just imagine POC gawking at white folks in bewilderment, thinking, Dear gods...these people are having kids. And raising them. And teaching them what they think is right.
Because ultimately, that's what this is about. White folks (in America in particular) are dumbing down their kids - not ours. You can't pull the wool over our eyes so easily. We're vigilant, we're skeptical, and we take this world with a grain of salt, questioning every line it throws at us. White folks call it paranoia, but you can't catch the paranoid off guard. There's a reason why hypochondriacs tend to be the healthiest people. They raise an eyebrow at every toothache, backache, or sniffle that comes their way.
Ironically, in promoting and maintaining ignorance, white folks are actually demonstrating knowledge. They know...that they don't want to know. And they sure as hell don't want their kids to know. They don't want their descendants looking back and wondering what the fuck was wrong with their ancestors. As it stand, they don't want to their grandkids to know that some of them use to hang people, spit on passerbys, and burn down homes, terrorizing entire communities. As it stands, they can't even admit they like to blow up nations and wreck millions of lives.
And now it's coming back to haunt them - finally. See, I tend to think of white folks as though they were a terminally ill man on his death bed, looking over his life, and realizing that he seriously fucked up. So he tries to write his autobiography in hopes to somehow magically change history, if only to himself, so that he may die in peace.
I say this because if you click the link of the second quote, you'll find quoted comments of some of the most heinous, vomit-inducing, revisionist drone-speak you've ever seen. I started to get a headache after the third one. White folks - here and abroad - are scrambling to stay in control of everything and everyone, and failing miserably. These latest bouts of blatant history rewriting - coupled with making decisions based strictly on "faith" and opinion - are like a frantic, desperate, dementia. First, it's amusing. Then it's annoying. After a while, it gets so pathetic, it's all just very sad.
But it's good; it's all good. As the Nigerians say, a drum beats loudest when it's about to burst. We are no longer in the calm before the storm, my fellow POC. The rains have already started.