Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Even after a GOP autopsy report released by the RNC last week outlining serious, “red alert!” level party issues that threaten the viability of the Republican Party, many of the issues self-inflicted, we’ve seen an overall reaction from the GOP bordering on “meh” to hitting the alarm snooze button. The damage is happening now and only getting worse, so why won’t the Republican Party embrace the need for true policy change and repositioning now? The secret is an all-too-human one –self-deceptive pretzel logic.
If you’ve ever watched shows like Intervention, you have seen the shocking depths alcoholics and drug addicts can sink to. Addicts who’ve lost their house, job, family, or had to perform sex acts to follow their habit. Horrible. Or it might make you think to yourself, “I’d never live like that.” Yet, many of these people do. Why? Despite the conditions that may eventually kill them, if they can get crack or their desired drug out of it, today’s still a good day. With just a crumb of immediate benefit, there’s no reason to make a bold change for a bigger sustainable benefit. That tiny enabler takes just enough sting out of their misery to make not changing tolerable.
In politics, the enablers that sustain failing policies or real-world pressures on ideology are conspiracy theories and revisionism. Ideas that protect people from change by finding a crumb of benefit to cling to from a bad idea or unreasonable position. We see this human fallacy happening in the Republican Party.
Instead of conceding rape as possible reasonable grounds for abortion, just protect having to move from your position by simply arguing that rape has upsides. Like Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said in the final days of the 2012 campaigns, a baby born from rape is a gift. Or Republican Todd Akin dismissing abortion exclusions for cases of rape because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Instead of conceding that slavery was maybe a not-so-proud moment where America compromised its ideals and took freedoms away from people, why not argue that people who owned other people were actually doing them a favor as some attendees at CPAC and a personal acquaintance of mine have argued? Or instead of conceding an election because the majority decided, argue those who voted, are morally flawed by being “takers” who simply want to feed their lust for government.
Because if you hold on to those little slivers of perceived benefits, even gerrymandered-like cut from a bigger piece of untruth or madness you don’t have to change.
It’s that mental out, that keeps people from having to change.
Conspiracy theories and revisionism save people, like some members of the Republican Party, from feeling like they hit ideological rock bottom by simply digging a deeper floor to make more room to make staying where they are tolerable.