Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Have conservatives lost touch with reality?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) February 15th, 2012

It seems like the conservatives are getting ever more radical as the amount of money flows into their superpacs from the outrageously wealthy supporters like the Kochs and others supporting Romney’s PACs. They have more money than God, so they can hire the most effective ad people, and then they start to believe their own rhetoric.

But could it be that the people are finally catching on and starting to think for themselves? Could it be that the lies these superpacs are peddling are finally so totally ridiculous that anyone can see it? Could it be that the cons are losing touch even with those most susceptible to their lies? Are the conservatives losing touch with the base they relied on?

If so, what evidence do you have for this?

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51 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think these guys are getting more attention. It was probably naive to think (as I did) that the Republican Party would reinvent itself immediately after the last election. Maybe they can do it in time for 2016.

Edit: But also, I think that if it happens, it needs to be a genuine grassroots kind of movement. Is anyone hearing what Republicans like Buddy Roemer have to say about campaign finance reform? It seems like the media are effective at keeping that from happening.

Blackberry's avatar

Short answer: yes.

Actually, let me edit that, as it’s douchey. They are in touch with reality, but their level of compassion and tolerance is quite low, and their level of narrow thinking and possible greed is quite high. It still sounds douchey, but I elaborated.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes.

Basically everything happening in Wisconsin proves they’ve completely lost their marbles.

Even my husband, a conservative, is taking issue with the Walker out-of-state funds for the recall race, and with the way in which Walker is proposing to use the mortgage bailout.

IMO, the Republicans are beginning to lose touch with their base.

ragingloli's avatar

>>implying they ever had any

mrrich724's avatar

I think everyone that think that any candidate for president is going to do any better for them as a free person has, in one way or another, lost touch with reality.

Conservative or liberal.

JLeslie's avatar

Could it be people are catching on, even the conservatives themselves? For the most part I would say no. The “conservatives” who see through the bullshit are those who never really identified with the “conservative base” of the party is my guess. They are Republicans, but they are the other 50% of the Republican party.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie There have been a few public figures that have come and essentially said “I’ve been a conservative/republican for x amount of years, but now these guys are getting out of hand”.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Are they right wingers? Or people who have been rational all along, just tend tp be in the otherside of a lot of issues from the liberals?

flutherother's avatar

Political reality in America is money, unfortunately. Your system is broke, it needs fixing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Aside from Ron Paul, the Cons are plum gone, lunatics. Now don’t get me wrong, lies are everywhere, including the Obama Brand recognition campaign.

Politics in general have run amuck. Now that Frisbees and Footballs are banned on LA Beaches, and threats to regulate sugar as controlled substance, our current Nanny State has gone too far. The hypocrisy is vulgar.

Right here in Missouri, smoking has practically been banned throughout the entire State. But guess what… It’s still allowed in the legislative offices voted permissible 113–45. Wanna have a smoke? Go see your State Representative and just light up in his office. My tax dollars are keeping the State Capitol Building smoke friendly, while they ban smoking in the Veterans Hall. The old Vets can kill and die for our country, lose a leg for the sake of freedom, but not enjoy a cigar while playing poker with their old pals. It’s just sickening, the hypocrisy.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie Good point, they were probably the latter.

Nullo's avatar

I would be slow to class Romney as a conservative. And please keep in mind that conservative =/= Republican. Adam Sandler is a Republican, but nobody would call him conservative.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You took the words right out of my mouth, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies . I didn’t even know what Ron Paul was all about until I listened to some of the debates, and was surprised to hear a presidential candidate make sense for a change.

Our government isn’t just government anymore. They are the world police, the world welfare office, the world surgeon general and everybody’s father. The American people have been demoted to less than adults who aren’t allowed to decide for themselves if they want to smoke, drink, watch dirty films, eat junk food or play Texas Hold’em.

The age of prohibition was lenient compared to what we have today.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies That is just too much. Smoking in legislative office. Gotta love it. It’s like in MD when I was a kid we had one of the highest minimums for DWI 1.2 blood alcohol, no doubt to protect then politicians driving to their homes in MD from their DC offices., at least that’s what we used to say. I’m sure it has been lowered now. I remember several months ago there was some argument about not allowing our military to smoke. I think that is ridiculous! When we treat drug addicts in outpatient, smoking is very tolerated, practically encouraged. If a soldier wants a smoke to cope, I say have it, as much as I hate the habit and wish it did not exist, and I fully support laws that don’t allow it in restaurants and clubs. Well, I think a restaurant should have to choose one or the other.

Linda_Owl's avatar

To me the conservatives have clearly lost touch with reality, because they have been listening to & following in the footsteps of the fundamentalists/evangelicals who are dead-set on forcing their religion down everyone’s throat by controlling how everyone lives. These people have no compassion for anyone who is on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. Their views are so narrow, that they condemn anyone who does not adhere to their specific beliefs. They are stripping away the rights of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies, they are attempting to restrict sex to being only for procreation & only between married couples, they are even trying to restrict contraceptives. They seem to be totally ok that big pharmaceutical companies are charging the very ill monsterous amounts of money for the drugs that they need to survive. They seem to be perfectly willing for insurance companies to be able to discriminate against people who have pre-existing medical conditions. They appear totally willing to gut the entire social services programs that so many Americans depend upon. To me, all of this says that they have lost touch with the reality that the average American lives with everyday.

syz's avatar

Seriously, what the fuck is going on in this country? The stuff that I see in the media is terrifying – how is it that we’re going so backwards?

Bush’s decimation of civil liberties? The GOP’s war on women? The good guys (us!) condoning and using torture? Thinly (if at all) veiled racism toward our president? Religion in politics? Amendments to state constitutions to discriminate against the LGBT community? Demonizing the Muslim faith? Anti-birth control rhetoric?

Madness. Deeply depressing madness.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I contend that all of you voluntarily civilized are out of touch with reality. Otherwise how could you hold up this monstrosity?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@incendiary_dan How very Henry David of you ;)

woodcutter's avatar

relax folks, its the primaries and they all have to blow each other to satisfaction. Its the money shot that they want to see. After that part of the campaign is passed the whole throng will have to settle down because even they know most people don’t associate with their rhetoric. I have to believe they have researched public sentiment and know that there will never be a president sitting in office who will be as far right as they claim to want. It ain’t happening unless….Obama and the Dems really screw the pooch hard.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@SpatzieLover When you realize that basically everyone could be living like this or this, civilization seems even more ludicrous. Systems of control become intolerable when it becomes apparent how little work living could require without them.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I ggree @incendiary_dan. I think there is movement away from created chaos. It’s just slow and quiet

ETpro's avatar

It certainly seems so, @wundayatta. First the idiocy of the Birthers, with the Donald finally piling on. The clown show of the Republican Primaries this election season. The debacle of the House Republicans threatening to deliberately default on the nation’s debt; resulting in Moody’;s downgrading the USA’s credit rating for the first time in the nation’s history. Then there was the silliness with Speaker Boehner being unable to control his own caucus, and ending up in a humiliating defeat on the extension of the middle-class tax cuts. Their attack on unions has translated into a war on workers. In 37 states, they are hard at work suppressing the vote and trying to rig elections in their favor. Senate Republicans are on record filibustering a Democratic attempt to remove tax breaks from companies for offshoring US jobs. They filibustered to try to keep Wall Street regulations just as they were when the banking system blew up. Now they are lining up to oppose birth control. They are fighting a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yes, though I don’t know that I want to go with the assumption that then liberals have a grasp on reality. What’s really strange to me is how often I hear “yeah, the Republican party is cracked, except for Ron Paul – he’s where it’s all at”, because Ron Paul is the nuttiest of the all, imho.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Aethelflaed Yeah, it worries me that Ron Paul looks so sane while standing near the other candidates – people take a lot of their opinion from the sane things he says, while totally ignoring the very, very insane things he plans to do with the country. Scarier is that it looks like he is taking most of the delegates in the Repub race so far, despite what look like victories for Santorum and Romney. It seems Paul will be the guy to beat.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dappled_leaves “Scarier is that it looks like he (RP) is taking most of the delegates in the Repub race so far…”

huh?

@dappled_leaves ”...totally ignoring the very, very insane things he (RP) plans to do with the country…”

huh?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Ron Paul’s strategy to win the GOP nomination.

As to the other thing, @wundayatta has given an excellent description of what scares me about libertarians in general in this question.

wundayatta's avatar

@SkaggfacemuttOur government isn’t just government anymore. They are the world police, the world welfare office, the world surgeon general and everybody’s father. The American people have been demoted to less than adults who aren’t allowed to decide for themselves if they want to smoke, drink, watch dirty films, eat junk food or play Texas Hold’em.

Clearly you seem to think that things like being world police, welfare office, surgeon general and father are bad, but why? What is wrong with feeling a sense of responsibility, empathy and caring for our fellow world citizens? After all, our future is dependent on them.

Why is it that when we watch over each other, we demote our fellow citizens to less than adults, in your opinion? What is wrong with trying to influence others to live healthier lives? We’re not forcing them to. They are still free to smoke. Why do you characterize this as being nannies?

My concern, really, is that you don’t do things that cost me money by claiming personal responsibility. It is irresponsible to smoke when I have to pay for your hospitalization for emphysema. It is irresponsible to gamble when I have to suffer at the hands of your children who rob me in order to put milk on the table, since you gave all your money to the casino. Not only that, but I then have to pay for jailing them.

I am not going to sit around and let you rip me off by smoking and drinking and overeating. If you want to move somewhere and sign a waiver to health care and social welfare and all that, maybe I’d consider it, but otherwise, you live in society, and you must behave responsibly, or forfeit your right to citizenship benefits.

Go ahead and smoke your lungs to coal. Just don’t make me pay for your medical bills.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@wundayatta It isn’t government’s job to legislate morality! I DO take personal responsibility and that is the way it should be. I do eat healthy. I take exception to a government that wants to FORCE everyone to eat healthy by removing their choices. I can play a game of poker with my friends without my kids having to steal from you for food. That is just stupid! Besides, it isn’t the casinos that are illegal – it is illegal in my state to play poker in your private residence!

Let me explain to you why it is bad to think that the American people should pay to police and feed the rest of the world. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

In a perfect world with unlimited funds and soldiers who don’t die, it would be nice to help everyone. However, in this world, it is financially impossible.

I can’t afford to feed all of the citizens in foreign countries or afford to fund their political uprisings. Can you? I have no problem with feeding and policing our own citizens.

I am sure that I don’t even have to explain to you why the government is overstepping it’s bounds by regulating our every move. Or why it makes me feel like a child who can’t make responsible decisions, or why the government is under the dillusion that they are now my father.

By the way, I am not fat and I don’t smoke, and I am probably healthier than you are. I am more than likely paying for YOUR medical bills!

Aethelflaed's avatar

@dappled_leaves Exactly. Libertarianism: For White Dudes Only.

wundayatta's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I agree it isn’t government’s job to legislate morality. But I don’t see smoking and eating as issues of morality. They are issues of health, and I think it is the job of our government to help us take care of ourselves. We all have an interest in good public health. I presume, you are not interested in having AIDs or flus or whatever spread around. Obesity and violence and addictions are equally important public health issues. Maybe more so, because they are more costly.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I would have thought you want to save money, not make life more costly. To me, issues of helping other people around the world are cost/benefit issues. We are better off—WE, the Americans—when we help others around the world. Of course, what constitutes “help” is a very important issue. We have historically “helped” other peoples in ways that they didn’t like so much; ways that were purely in our own direct self-interest; not our indirect enlightened self interest.

Still, in principle, if people around the world become wealthier, they will form bigger markets for stuff we make, and we’ll get that much wealthier. If people around the world dispose of toxic chemicals safely, our air and water will be cleaner, and our people will be healthier. We live in an interdependent world. We turn our back on the rest of the world at the expense of our own livers, so to speak.

I argue that you cannot afford to not support other people’s democratic movements. Yes, in the past we have supported the wrong people—the monarchs and facists, but that is no excuse to lay off now that we have an opportunity to support native democratic movements. Hopefully, they will remember their friends, but whether or not they like us, they will have to deal with us if they want their economies to grow. We have the money.

Your feeling that government acts like your father seems to me to be a personal idiosyncrasy. I doubt it is shared by a majority of people, nor even a significant minority. This is not to devalue the feeling, but it makes me think that it has to do more with your personal life than with a political reality.

You are probably healthier than I am. If there were a fat law of some kind, I’d be a beneficiary. Perhaps it would be the incentive I need to finally lose some weight. But I doubt if you are paying for my bills. I have damn good health insurance, which I pay for, and I pay a lot of taxes, so I pay for a lot of health care for the poor and the elderly as well as for the health care for my family. There are not a lot of people in the world who pay for more health care than I do (and very little of it is actually for my own personal benefit). But that’s what the purpose of insurance is. Everyone pays the same and some of us use a lot of care, and others very little. Socialism.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Okay, @wundayatta . Sorry I was rude, but you attacked first, calling me a smoker and a fat slob who can’t make good decisions for myself and a person who gambles the rent away and lets my kids starve.

So lets peel ourselves off the ceiling for a minute and have a calmer discussion about this.
I don’t believe that it is the government’s place to FORCE their will on us, taking away our choices. The very essence of the “freedom” that we cherish so much is the freedom to make choices. You know, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

A government that takes away choices is scary beyond belief to me. Reminds me of what we have always heard about Russia.

I still say that we can’t possibly afford to support the whole rest of the world. Our economy is going down the tubes. We have problems of our own, which we should be fixing instead of trying to fix everyone else’s problems.

As far as the idea that other countries being potential customers for our goods and services – as a nation we don’t produce anything anymore. If we help other countries, they are more likely to have the means to attack us. Were you following how our welfare dollars in Afghanistan were spent? Harboring Bin Laden. This is how other nations think.

Bottom line is, you trust the government to act in the best interest of the people. I can see past that and recognize that the only things that means anything to a politician is money and power.

Paradox25's avatar

Geez it’s the thing to do today, brag about how conservative you are. Everybody’s doing it these days, just in case you havn’t been paying attention to the tv ads. Personally I think that the majority of ‘conservatives’ have gone crazy, and it seems like they have been trying to create a ‘New Rightist Movement’. The last New Rightist movement was the fascist movement back in the earlier part of the twentieth century. There is nothing ‘conservative’ about the majority of these new breed of conservatives, and it seems like they’re trying to tear apart the very institutions that have made America great and I find nothing conservative about that.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 Not really. becuase “conservative” in American politics has strayed so incredibly far from the true meaning of the word, an increasiong number of politicians and the public are proudly announcing that they are liberals. This is a good and a necessaty thinkg.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

”...becuase “conservative” in American politics has strayed so incredibly far from the true meaning of the word…”

Agreed. Today, conservative means “the self appointed morally self righteous”. Which is exactly why most of the Reps on the stage look like TV Evangelists preaching from podiums.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ultra-conservatives have lost their touch with reality. They even think that they speak for all conservatives.

wundayatta's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I know it can be ambiguous, but when I said things about “you” costing “us” money by smoking, etc, I was not referring to you, personally. I was referring to the hypothetical smoker or fat person… whatever. I figured you wouldn’t take it personally because you know I don’t know anything about you, even if you do smoke or have problems with weight. Though, from what you say, you don’t do either. In any case, it is a rhetorical technique, although it is a somewhat risky one. I bet wrong that you would understand it the way I meant it. But please understand I was not talking about you personally. I was really trying to get you to see it from the position of a person who is paying for other’s health care, as I assume you are (and if you pay taxes, you are).

I take it you don’t mind paying for a hospital stay for someone with lung cancer? At least, not enough to try to make it more difficult for people to smoke.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Ah, the impersonal you. Responsible for so many misunderstandings.

woodcutter's avatar

this has been real fun, especially the originality of it all.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro “an increasiong number of politicians and the public are proudly announcing that they are liberals”: Where is this happening at in America? Perhaps in a few of the most traditionally ‘liberal’ areas of the country, but being labeled as a liberal these days in most places in America is still likened to being labeled as a terrorist, communist, fascist, traitor, etc. For sake’s sake I hope you’re right on this, especially considering how the definitions of both liberalism and conservatism have been so severly twisted over the past 60 years.

dappled_leaves's avatar

“being labeled as a liberal these days in most places in America is still likened to being labeled as a terrorist, communist, fascist, traitor, etc.”

I genuinely wish I could understand why this was so. I mean, I get that the tactic is one of trying to vilify the “other side”, but why do so many conservatives believe it so easily?

Paradox25's avatar

@dappled_leaves A major reason for this was the Republican Party trying to reinvent itself after WWII since it was struggling at the time. A major strategy was put forth by right wing think tanks to try to label who were considered America’s enemies at the time into a single ‘collectivist’ ideology, with varying philosophies but with the same purpose in the end, totalitarian collectivism. As a result communists, fascists, socialists, etc were all labeled as left-wing threats to our freedom and placed under the same political spectrum. This site describes this process very well.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Paradox25 Yes, I do understand that – but why do you suppose that, for example, Glenn Beck’s audience listens to that kind of rhetoric (e.g., “Obama is a Communist”), and just believes it, seemingly without a clue that it’s a total misrepresentation of liberals?

Paradox25's avatar

The best I can give you is this free ebook by Dr. Altemeyer that you can download for free right on the page here. It is a good read and I actually learned of it from the author of this thread himself.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Paradox25 No chance of the Cliff Notes version, huh?

syz's avatar

@ETpro I miss The West Wing. Even though it always depressed me because I was absolutely certain that the dialogue on that fictional entertainment was more intelligent that what was actually being said in the White House at the time.

ETpro's avatar

@dappled_leaves You can get that by just clicking to each link and seeing who’s saying it. And if you don’t have tiome for that, just try the very last link. It’s a video. No reading required. And it’s shorter than a Cliff’s Note. :-)

@syz Me too. It was a fantastic show.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@wundayatta Yes, I get what you were saying, but I find that it is easier to take personally if I write in the context of “me” and “you.” And we should all take personally the fact that our government has become the “self-appointed, morally self-righteous”, just as @RealEyesRealizeRealLies said. And if our government hadn’t become so socialist, we wouldn’t be paying for other people’s sicknesses – only our own.

Personally, I take more exception to the fact that I am paying to feed, clothe and educate 5 million Mexican nationals than paying doctor bills for other Americans. I think I am paying more for them, and for people with non-smoke-related diseases than I am for smokers.

So what is the real problem here? It’s our government, gone out of control, waging war on the American people and using our tax dollars to fund it, because that is how I see it when our government is persecuting its own people for eating, drinking, or smoking things that they don’t want us to eat, drink or smoke. Funny they don’t have a problem with the perscription drugs like pain killers, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, anxiety pills, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics. I’ll bet if they took pot and ground it up, and pressed it into pills, then no one would have a problem with it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt You aren’t paying to feed, clothe, and educate 5 million Mexican nationals. You pay into a system with all other taxpayers pay into that then feeds, clothes, and educates way more Americans than immigrants. You personally paid about $5 towards an immigrant getting to eat. Don’t act like you’re doing this all on your own.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

That’s funny. A minute ago, you were saying that you were paying my medical bills – all by yourself!!

Aethelflaed's avatar

Who, me? Where?

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