Here’s a short transcript of a Twitter skirmish wherein I find Mr. Conservative spouting ideological tweets opposing Bernie Sanders. I thought the Sanders filibuster was about the most truthful thing I’ve seen in American politics in my lifetime, so I became curious to get some insight into the minds of those who oppose this kind of exposure of important issues.
He summarized the Bernie-fest thusly:
[Conservative Guy] bernie sanders fillibuster summary: “regardless of what history has shown, socialism is good. the rich are the problem *and* our solution.”
So I decided to step in…
[S33]: the rich aren’t the problem, but excessive concentration of wealth is obviously becoming catastrophic for the USA.
[ConGuy]: wrong. the problem is that the lies of leftism propagated by the msm have had decades of being unchecked - until social media.
[S33]: I understand that you think that you’re right, but I can’t imagine how ‘leftist lies’ make oligarchy less of a problem.
[S33]: FOX News = #1 MSM. Ratings as high as CNN MSNBC CNBC combined. Socialism is not the enemy. Families are socialism.
[ConGuy]: spoken like a person who doesn’t know the source of socialism. try germany 100 years ago. NOT an american ideology.
[S33]: Would you say that increasing influence of $ is an illusion, or that it’s good, or that it’s bad but the fault of the Left?
[ConGuy]: fox hasn’t been around for decades. try and keep up the w/ context of things stated. if you continue w/ rabbit holes i’ll ignore.
[S33]: I never said it was around for decades, I just said it’s the #1 MSM. Which it is, by far
[ConGuy]: yes, captain obvious, the actual network ratings have been tweeted by me many times. non-sequitur.
[S33] then why talk about the MSM as if it doesn’t include FOX? It seems deceptive.
[ConGuy] again. CONTEXT. the comment was about decades of msm water carrying for leftists. fox didn’t exist back then. pay attention.
[S33] that wasn’t THE comment, it was just YOUR comment. I’m more curious in how you would address my questions about oligarchy.
[ConGuy] it was THE comment in CONTEXT -> (link to post) geebus, you’re too slow to engage.
[S33] I assume by engage you mean bait into dead end quibbling. I’m 42 and have never seen any sign of Leftist MSM in the US.
[ConGuy] that statement alone precludes you from remaining in my stream.
[S33] good idea. honesty is hard to fight against
What I get from this is a textbook view of how far-Right attitudes manifest in a discussion. I have bolded instances where ConGuy intends to personally dominate his opponent - scolding and intimidating while diverting the exchange away from civil intellectual discourse and toward interpersonal leverage. Bullying is ConGuy’s only offering in this discussion, besides some nitpicking distractions intended to establish that the tremendous Neoconservative influence over American media over the last 15 years is disqualified as MainStreamMedia.
This is one of those ludacrous Right Wing talking points - that somehow the supposedly Leftist influence in the Media over several decades has led to the current American political problems. I suppose people actually believe that, although I have no memory of such a thing even remotely existing. Which major TV network was it that supported hippies in the 60’s? Which ones opposed the Iraq War? Who was the Left Wing version of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck? That longhaired anarchist Walter Cronkite?
What a massive pile of crap. The American Mainstream Media has always supported one thing - the status quo. While it seeks to provoke, titillate, and whitewash for commercial purposes it is ultimately popular taste vs production costs which determines the form and content of media. The media makes money from advertising. It’s fiercely competitive. When someone finds a way to pull more viewers for cheap, that becomes the direction to go in (game shows, news shows, reality shows are all very cheap to produce - cheap to write and stage, no actors). When popular opinion swings Left, media follows - but only to a point.
The media is always been beholden to the innate conservatism of it’s advertisers, who are, invariably drawing from multimillion dollar budgets and do business on a global scale. These are not leftist radicals. There is no such thing, as far as I know, as a far-left corporate sponsor nor has there ever been a major US media outlet not sponsored primarily by corporate money. Maybe I’m not informed about this - I suppose there are some liberal media outlets but only in comparison with the Far Right ideologues who have dominated the scene for the last 20 years.
Back to the Twitter chat, note I have italicized my main points which went unanswered. I was trying, as politely as I could under ConGuy’s tricklings of ad-hominem self-admiration, to gain some light on the FOXy mindset. I want to know, re: Bernie Sanders indictment of financialism in the downfall of the US, are they deluded (what increasing influence of concentrated wealth?), cynical (‘grab what you can’ is the only way to live), or brainwashed (Everything I don’t like is Socialism and Socialism is the root, branch, and fruit of all Evil.)
Anyhow, I just wanted to say that although I’m probably innately radical in some ways I am genuinely open and curious to find out why Cons believe what they do and try to relate in a more productive way. I realize (unlike Con-minded peeps) that if half of the country subscribes to this belief system, they might have a good reason for it, despite my inability to see what that is.
Although I embrace cosmopolitan ideals which conform to generosity and honesty, I recognize that the world has historically been shaped by brutality and cunning - often with the most ruthless being the ones to determine the course of civilization. There may be some elements of liberal ideals which are practically incompatible in a world teeming with desperately poor people. Overpopulation is the mirror image of overcapitalization and it’s no easy task to see a solution to decreasing quality of life for more and more people. It may not be possible to ever heal a world so deeply conflicted and out of control, but I don’t see the harm in experimenting with sanity and tolerance at least on some limited scale - say the West and East Coast?
So I say that I am reluctantly grateful for the wickedness of those who came before me and exterminated an indigenous population and enslaved another so that I might sit on my ass in my nice big house, doing relatively little to deserve it. I’m not trading it in for a life of righteous poverty, and for that, I’m as guilty as anyone. Maybe I get honorable mention for talking the talk, but when the torches are lit and the lean hungry hordes from the East close in on Suburbatopia, I’m not getting a pass. I’m an American and I’ll go down with the American ship if I have to…but I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to pretend that what we do to maintain our privilege is all good, but I will admit that I reap the benefits of it and cannot deny my complicity in it.
For the record, I tend to agree with the assessment by the government study done last year which concluded that ‘conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in “fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity”, but I would really be interested to dialogue with a conservative mind who isn’t smug and callow, and who doesn’t reach for the bully stick at the earliest opportunity. Does such a creature exist?