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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Conservative Psych-Out . . Whoops!

If you’re a politically apprised liberal you may have already heard the reference to conservative policy as “everyday is opposite day.” That refers to their actions resulting in the contrary of their rhetoric, or of their legislative initiatives with titles designed to fool the large segment of the public, that is not paying attention. But there is another kind of opposite the conservatives practice, which could be called “Freudian Theory Gone Wild!” It’s the general acknowledgement that all people resist and revert, or resist and convert, or just run the other way when faced with an action to initiate that resistance. It’s the Republican Psych Out! It requires arrogance and hubris and goals which have secondary and self serving outcomes.

Usually the outcome is not what the conservatives had planed on, and might have been prevented just by knowing more of what they were talking about, or by consulting with non-partisan experts. But it also comes about by believing the postulations of conservative think-tanks that publish suppositions on everything from social policy that deals with the poor, to foreign policy that prepares for war. Of course the authors of these well dressed documents had never fought in a war, or for example had never gone grocery shopping with a poor family. These misguided preclusions occur almost entirely when the conservatives try to estimate the reactions of people.

Remember when you were a child and you thought you had the world figured out? There was a short while when it seemed that opposing action seemed to be the results of most actions. That everything had a resistance which caused it to move in the other direction, go up instead of down. As we entered adulthood some of us came to learn that complexity dictated reactions and they are individualized in nearly all matters, especially among people. But there were others among us (conservatives) that decided that these rules seemed to apply broadly, and they kept that belief, and became policy makers.


  • If you fight that school yard bully who has been pestering you; then he’ll respect you and stop picking on you. Child Psych!

    Whoops. The bully is into revenge and wrath and protecting his dominance. He beats the piss out of you the very next day. Mom was wrong.
  • If you leave your bike unlocked on the sidewalk, it won’t get stolen, because the thieves will be surprised and think that your watching them, and assume that it’s a set-up. Criminal Psych!
  • If you cut the beejeezus out of the Welfare programs, the lazy bums will all run-out and get jobs, saving the taxpayers millions. Republican Psych!
    Whoops. Poverty has increased exponentially, with four million more families living below the poverty line, and almost two million more children living below the poverty line. Apparently the reasons for having welfare to begin with, were not addressed when attempting to get rid of it. The Republicans were wrong.
  • If you bomb the hell out of the nation’s infrastructure, killing several thousand civilians (as collateral), invade the nation, then occupy it, the people will “greet us with candies and flowers.” (Dick Cheney, February, 2003). War Psych!
    Whoops. The conservatives forgot to ask the population how they might feel about being invaded and occupied. The bombings really pissed them off. The deaths even more so. The invaders never gained control of the streets and mayhem ensued and never really stopped. Infrastructure has never been fully restored. The candies and flowers became Improvised Explosive Devices and car bombs.
  • If you stop teaching sex education in schools, the kids will stop having sex. If you stop allowing them condoms, they’ll stop getting diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Education Psych!

    Whoops. It turns out kids weren’t having sex due to the presence of, or absence of, condoms or sex education anyway. All the data was available, but the conservative’s hypothesis were just so convincing! In fact the numbers of sexual diseases and unplanned pregnancies among teens went up. Apparently the taboo factor was increased for the teenagers. Also those teens were far less likely to discuss sex with their parents, being the subject was literally off-the-table.

  • Arrest and incarcerate over four million men and women for drug offenses and eventually drug use will go way down or stop completely. They’ll realize the error of their ways! Fear Psych!
    Whoops. Conservatives and Republicans continued, year after year, to fail to provide proper funding for drug treatment clinics. They didn’t want the psych-factor to occur among drug addicts. The addicts might see those carpeted clinics as a reward for breaking the law. Drug use went up, selling drugs became more profitable because the incarceration possibility was more likely. The majority of the imprisoned are minorities as they are the easiest to arrest, living more poorly, more visibly. New and cheaper drugs were invented in the streets to better feed and begin new addictions.
  • Criminalize abortion services and that will cause pregnant teens and women to realize they love their fetuses, and then they will carry their little babies to term, and will probably keep them and wrap them up in soft pink or blue little blankets and will great parents. And we can indoctrinate them into Christianity while they are staying at our “women’s health center.” Criminalization Psych-Out!
    Whoops! Several newly pregnant young mothers committed suicide in each state that has severely restricted abortion each year. Many others mutilate themselves in attempts to abort their own fetus. Doctors establish hidden clinics to perform illegal abortions, risking their careers. Raped women, and those determined to abort are held in quasi jail-houses to carry to term forcefully.
  • If you bomb a nation, killing civilians and destroying their homes, in order to get to an enemy faction within that nation. The people in that nation will rise up against the enemy faction, blaming them for the bombing and not you. War Psych!

    Whoops! Those people turned out to not be idiots. They knew who was dropping bombs on their heads, they experienced the death and destruction, and they saw no excuse good enough to pardon the bomb-droppers from their actions. In fact they now hate them with a vengeance and most of the regular populace has joined the enemy faction.
Often to carry out a Conservative Psych-Out, the conservative policy maker requires the presumption that the effected persons will be stupid, or just ignorant. But the policy begins focused upon people assumed to be so from the start – or else there would be no policy.
A conservative policy wonk might say: “Those stupid welfare mothers, those stupid Arabs, those stupid teenagers, those stupid pregnant sluts, those stupid drug addicts. They don’t know what’s best for them. We can concoct a solution which favors us primarily, them secondarily, and give the appearance to the population that we’re handling a problem. Why we’ll use psychology! Television psychology!”

If today’s Conservatives did not exist. We would have to invent them.

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Please be kind. Be productive. ATTACK THE ARGUMENT NOT THE PERSON. If you are incapable of this please move-on and check your emotions. Remember: the First Amendment is FIRST because we will never grow to be a better nation IF FREE OPINION IS NOT ALLOWED! This is why we really love the United States.