There is a visible distinction between some people who tend to feel responsible, or who feel a shared responsibility, for the world’s, the nation’s or their community’s bad stuff that happens. From gun violence, to global climate change, to endemic chronic diabetes and obesity, some people want to continue with their lives with no guilt and thusly no responsibility. Those who read my blog know; here comes another difference between Liberals and Conservatives opinion!
Also read my earlier related article titled Cognitive Dissonance Around 9/11 Questions is Understandable.
Those not feeling responsible tend to attack the determinations of the cause by the other side. Perhaps there is no better current example of this than the wordy battle over global climate change. The opposition to the very premise that global warming and its associated climate change is caused by mankind’s carbon and other gases output, likes to state that the “jury is still out (on man made global warming).” Although essentially 98% of all scientific, peer reviewed articles, having to do with the subject agree that global warming is a man made phenomena. It could very well be that the opposition does not want to take shared responsibility, does not want to share one inkling of guilt for having polluted all their lives.
Were those who deny responsibility punished too harshly as children? Developmental psychologist Erik Erickson may have something to say about this behavior using his classic theory. Operant Conditioning is a form of learning in which the consequences of behavior produce changes in the probability that the behavior will occur, and occur again given similarities in circumstance. Similarities like taking responsibility, sharing responsibility for what effects us all.
This same opposition doesn’t want take responsibility for obesity or diabetes. “Its their own damn fault, not mine!” But if their child’s high school has high fructose corn syrup soda machines in its cafeteria, that’s not their fault. “Hey other parents can tell their kids to stay away, that’s all, its that simple, its not my fault, sugar Nazis!”
Gun control is another clearly defined issue which separates those willing to take responsibility for all our behavior and all of our problem, and those who want to ignore their guilt, shun their responsibility and cast blame on a different causality. Tell a gun owner he should put trigger locks on his handguns at home and he’ll tell you “I teach my kids how to shoot, they are responsible with our guns, they don’t need trigger locks!” This brilliant response both takes away responsibility and places it firmly on the shoulders of his children and attacks the causality of gun violence in the home by suggesting that it is caused, somehow, by children who have not learned “gun safety,” from their parents (“gun safety” is the code for teaching your family how to shoot the shit out of a “target.”)
The gun owner, rather than agree to most sensible suggestions of control over firearms sales and shipping, will attack using a new root cause. A favorite target is the courts and law enforcement who don’t keep criminals locked up long enough, or don’t enact the death penalty with wild abandon to scare off the criminal element. Its as if the only answer that won’t cause their guilt, won’t cause them to have to share some responsibility is to do away with justice and law and order almost completely, or change it into some kind of draconian Dark Ages justice.
Examine where your (usually) conservative opposition gets his or her causality for problems, and their reasoning for solutions (or lack of), for opposing a fix, or ignoring a problem. Notice the words form a meaning that says “no responsibility for me, no guilt. Dammit Liberal I’m sleeping good tonight!”