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Chris Hayes podcast: The Conservative Movement with Corey Robin
Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:30 PM
Corey Robin has written a book, tracing the modern conservative movement back to the French Revolution. Contrary to popular belief, conservatives have not always been about "small government", "freedom", "tax cuts", "prudential approaches to risk", or "military superiority". He sees a core component of the movement as being, "a meditation on — and theoretical rendition of — the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back".
This conservative worldview is "zero-sum", coupled with a belief in "losing ground". So, for example, when they see minorities and women gaining ground, they see that as a loss (part of a zero-sum worldview) -- "You can't say anything anymore!" "I wish the world were fair, but it isn't. We've gotta cut 'em lose, in order to keep me from losing ground!"
In reality, the rich get richer and more powerful, and are most definitely not losing ground. So, at least rich conservatives, and even upper middle-class conservatives, are not losing ground; they are gaining ground.
Posted 09 April 2019 - 05:40 PM
I should also add: many poorer conservatives really have experienced financial loss. They blame minorities and "liberal elites" for the loss, while also professing a belief in free markets and capitalism. Many are opposed to trade agreements like NAFTA.
But this is delusion. First of all, NAFTA and other trade agreements are what capitalism is all about, liberating markets. Trade barriers are more commonly linked with Mercantilism, not Capitalism.
Second, minorities are not to blame for people losing their jobs at the steel mill. Being out-competed in global trade by more efficient companies, is probably more the reason. The is how Capitalism works, and it makes no guarantees you will get that job back. It's exactly why liberals make such a fuss about "safety nets" and other protections.
I suspect many poor conservatives are simply deluded. The Republicans -- the rich politicans -- are not their friend or have their best interest in mind.
Poor conservatives vote Republican because of tradition (like sports teams), religion (Republicans are perceived as defenders of religion), and culture (they feel their way of life is under threat).
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