The many ways the right wing has become dysfunctional

October 5, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Not all right-wingers have completely lost it. Not yet.

Now before you assume that I’m a knee-jerk liberal, keep in mind that I once voted for a Republican, Ronald Reagan, and I am still attracted to many traditional positions of conservatives. And I fully admit that there are still many thoughtful conservatives out there.

That said, check out the current crop of the salient qualities of prominent Republican spokespersons.   As David Brin sums it up so very well, this hasn’t been Barry Goldwater’s party for many years.  Not in the least. What are the most bizarre changes we’ve seen? Here are a few from Brin’s long list:

* prudence to recklessness

* accountability to secrecy

* fiscal discretion to spendthrift profligacy

* consistency to hypocrisy

* civility to nastiness

* international restraint to recklessness

* efficiency to no-tomorrow wastrelness

* personal rectitude to flagrant licentiousness

I would differ with Brin on one issue.  I wouldn’t attribute these dysfunctions to “stupidity.”  Rather, I interpret them as the results of a combination of fearfulness, groupishness, over-reliance on disgust as a form of morality, and deep compulsion to constantly display badges of group membership.

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Category: Communication, Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. One small correction—this is from David Brin, not Brian. David Brin, bestselling SF writer and genuine scientist-type person.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Thanks, Mark. I corrected that typo.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Bill Maher sizes up the Republican line-up for 2009: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/17/bill-mah

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