Conservative Bullying: The US as a dysfunctional family

In Conservative Bullying Has Made America Into a Broken, Dysfunctional...Sara Robinson convincingly compares the far right to an abusive husband.

... like all marriages, all democratic governments are founded -- first and foremost, above all else -- on an essential bedrock of trust and shared vision.

On one hand, you've got most of the country -- center-right, center, center-left, and progressive -- which sees us as a family in trouble, but which also believes that if we return to our bedrock agreements, focus on solving our shared problems and fall back on our basic goodwill and common sense, we should be able to sort things out. This is the two-thirds of America that poll after poll shows is ready to move forward...

On the other hand, there's another group that has entirely checked out on us, and turned ugly and abusive. The conservative minority is acting like Lakoff's canonical Strict Father scorned: When the family rejects his leadership and his attempts at authoritarian control, he sinks into a punitive, bullying rage, lashing out at the rest of us for what he's come to believe is irredeemable broken faith because we won't let him be the boss.By his behavior, he is telling us in no uncertain terms that he wants a scorched-earth divorce -- the kind that leaves the rest of us broke, ruined, miserable, and utterly at his mercy.

Most conservatives now openly reject the very idea of democracy. Whether it's corporatists seeking to own every branch of government and privatize every public institution, security and intelligence types cracking down on our civil liberties, or Christian nationalists out to turn the country into a theocracy, conservatives are increasingly united by the conviction that Americans cannot be trusted to govern ourselves.

They're actively hostile to the idea of E pluribus unum -- out of the many, one. Anybody who's not white, straight, Christian, conservative, and male is inherently not-American. And the only acceptable function of government is to keep those Others -- both here, and abroad -- firmly in their place. 

[emphasis mine]


Perhaps this comparison will finally help the majority of well intentioned US citizens realize the depth of betrayal of the far right.

Tags: abuse

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The family analogy doesn't work UNLESS both people choose to be in the family. Yours would work in an arrange marriage when the people couldn’t choose their partners. But in elective representative government the majority chooses not the person.

Children don't get to choose their family either, for one thing, so you can just see the analogy from the perspective of children if you prefer, as we are all children of one nation or another. And adults do get to choose what their country is like, to much the same extent they get to choose what their families will be like. You can, for instance, choose to leave this country and become a member of another one which better suits your values.

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