Low-Information Conservatism

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The well-intentioned serial alarmists who manifest conspiracies of government tyranny and fiscal demise as a result of reasonable gun legislation and tax revenues are the very same individuals who manufacture issues of socialism, birth certificates, death panels and Obama-phones.

This paranoia-cloaked sub-culture remains contradictory and misguided. Viewing creationism as a valid science and climate change as a hoax, they don’t believe government should regulate banks, Wall Street, the food industry, environmental polluters, FEMA, guns or education. They support increasing defense spending while slashing entitlement programs. These low-information conservatives support eliminating the department of education, the FDA, even the post office, yet cling to unrealistic expectations the U.S. can support the worlds highest medical costs and largest military with tax rates among the lowest in history.

There was a time when the conservatives embraced moderate intellectuals and exercised arguments founded on pragmatic principals to influence legislation. Unfortunately this new variant of conservatism coalesces around an anti-government, anti-intellectual, anti-science extremism that subscribes to an apocalyptic worldview.

“Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government and Free Markets,” is routinely expressed with half-baked preoccupied theories of trickle down economics, the Bush tax cuts and Wall Street deregulation, de-funding Planned Parenthood, head start and NPR as cornerstones of good economic policy. Dismantling long-held social institutions like Medicare and Social Security, repealing the federal reserve act, repealing the 16th (Income Tax) and 17th (direct election of senators) amendments, repealing hate crime legislation, repealing healthcare, the ADA, the department of education and describing the civil rights act of 1964 as an overreach of government is the solution to a limited government.

Their misplaced fears of the American dream becoming increasingly stacked against them because of the poor, unemployed, the elderly, immigrants and labor unions ignores the very groups they have been protecting all along….. the influence peddlers, global conglomerates and Wall Street gamblers who bastardized the process right under their noses. Worse, most of these fears are not judged with-in the abstract of a free-market but according to a preconceived notion of deservingness, an elusive definition seemingly influenced by racial and ethnic stereotypes. Therefore defining government spending to less than deserving recipients as a handout. In contrast, they define themselves as hard-working middle-class Americans who have never relied on federal assistance from the government and therefore pull their own societal weight. The fundamental lack of logic in this position is fairly apparent; most middle-class families have always benefited from government assistance such as: the FHA, Pell grants, 529 College savings, mortgage deductions, child tax credits, veterans benefits, the GI bill, as well as Social Security and Medicare.

This demographic is generally older, white and middle class men between 45-75 years old with a significant percentage 65 or older. The obvious irony is the 65+ demographic is the group that gets the largest share of benefits from big government, of course, when almost half of Social Security beneficiaries have convinced themselves the government mailing checks to people is not a social program, it becomes easier to understand why they might not recognize themselves as participating in government entitlements. These tri-corner colonialists are symbolic of the final gasp of breath within the old white establishment and they are angry about it. The countries demographics and the world are changing all around them. Our economy and social systems are becoming increasingly more costly and complex, as a result they don’t understand the rules, the score or the objective and just want to pick up their ball and go home but they cant.

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