Never underestimate the ability of white conservatives to feel sorry for themselves
I had a conversation with a friend last night about the nature of evil. She’s someone who’s very new-age spiritual in mindset, and we’ve had variations of this discussion before, but her perspective drives me nuts because she’s someone who should be smart enough to know better. The gist of her argument is a moral relativism which states there is no objective right and wrong in the universe. There are only differing viewpoints. So, for example, slavery is not evil per se, just a case of differing values and the context of the environments in which those values formed. And, to this end, in talking about Trump and conservative support for child abuse on our southern border, this friend of mine stated she didn’t think it was “evil,” just the fact privileged people don’t have the background or life experience to have an empathetic view towards people in this situation.
I believe this is absolute bullshit.
If someone sees suffering in front of them, or is told their actions are harming another, a person’s indifference to or rationalizations for it is evil. Because that’s what evil is: extreme selfishness. Whether it be slavery, pedophilia, child abuse, or just your average, every day dickish behavior towards one’s fellow man, all of them have in common that someone somewhere decided their pleasure and comfort were more important than someone else’s pain. This friend I’m talking about is also a vegan who in the past has lectured me about how I’m “consuming” the suffering and negative spiritual energy of an animal every time I have a cheeseburger or drink dairy. Well, if that’s true, then what the hell kind of consumption is going on when people either actively cheer, make excuses for, or are indifferent to children screaming for their parents?
The past 50 years of the conservative movement has been based in selfishness. Whether it’s a “fuck you, I got mine!” rejection of any social safety net, a need to impose their own religious tenets on others, or a glee from spite (i.e., “suck it, libtards”) when they destroy anything a Democratic president has accomplished, all of it is selfish. It’s always rooted in an individualism which borders on narcissism that’s all about them. It’s not about society. It’s not about the future. It’s about expressions of their needs and insecurities. All of this, in and of itself, has been bad enough, but it’s the sanctimonious rationalizations which piss me off the most.
Over the past year, I’ve written a lot about conservatives seeing themselves as victims and how that mirrors trends in popular culture. But it also has some rather disturbing historical implications as well. Because … history may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme.