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How Republicans Live with Themselves: The Entitlement of Hypocrisy

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While the older set go to the younger gays for clandestine fun, the younger Republicans have their own antics, and those who happen to be the most repressed by the Republican ideology of their parents, have been known to go over the top. The object here is not, however, fun. The object is revenge and vengeance. It has happened a hundred times if it has happened once. One or more smart-ass Republican turks make like gays, corral a willing victim, take him yonder and dispatch him. Until very recently these urchins were nearly always acquitted.

It is this strain of obdurate ugliness that the Tea Party is bringing to Washington along with other erstwhile innocent ideas. Let me clue you into something here. One method and one method only works against this. Shame, and loads of it. Such is the lesson of history, whether liberals like it or not. At war you do what works, you fight fire with fire until the war is over. You apply shame. When everywhere they look there is a scowl, a stare, an upbraid, they will begin to actually use what their god gave them between the ears. They will come to know how they in particular enjoyed treating slaves and servants not so very long ago. Just because it's a different time and place doesn't mean the motivations are no longer in their breasts. The evidence clearly says that it is. The only folks not taking it sufficiently seriously are the liberals. Take the gloves off.

Who needs a harem when all of life is easily enriched by fabricating what is not already stretched or bent into personal service? It isn't that Republicans don't 'get it'; the real issue is simply that they don't even care that they don't get it. Republican office-holders can return to their districts where they spend every other minute of the day telling everyone who will listen how very much they truly do   -- get it -- and in so doing discover still more reasons why they can expect to get elected and re-elected. They use and abuse. And then, as the chips turn, they have the balls to vocalize in dry tones that it really is we the public who don't 'get it' (e.g., Mayor Bloomberg vis-a-vis OWS).

Mirror,   mirror " am I not the fairest of them all (don't answer that)

This is less about what looks back when Republicans look into the mirror, than about what they see. Life in front of the mirror seems an apt metaphor, what with the ever-present recourse of Republicans to pruning ruffled feathers, applying the wife's foundation over the easily bruised ego, caking the shadows behind lying eyes and, of course, the justly famed forked tongue of hypocrisy. That's a lot to do, so it takes a lot of their time. Republicans are nothing if not vain in the sense that they allow self-entitlement to project both fanciful needs and fanciful enemies. It's just another way that felt entitlement manifests.

This leads to unexpected and far-flung consequences ranging from disparagement of fellow lawmakers to out-and-out war, whether with gays, minorities, women or, in spite of themselves, God. Republicans expect to ride in self-delusional ticker-tape parades that are forever threatened by enemies wanting nothing more than that their lives' lasting contributions to humanity be to rain on the Republican parades. The fear so many had of Jewish networks secretly manipulating the world is reflected in Republican paranoia that liberals are itching to lay a turd that would swallow the earth. The anxiety over these fears is palpable, magnified by the amorphous quality of the expected attacks, which might arrive in ten minutes or ten years. Fears based in congenital insecurity are fears that reign forever. Why would anyone elect such people to high office?

Insecurities based on the fear of lost entitlement yield other consequences. Since the world is against them, there is no even playing field, thus no reason to play fair. Ergo, no reason to compromise and every reason to hold back and play chicken, knowing that in this game the odds are in your favor. Decent people back down, a time-honored precept of honor-based war tactics. Further, only winning is important, and only on their terms, regardless the cost. This is honor, after all.

Such attitudes occasionally result in showy boastfulness. We all know what Senator McConnell announced as the number one goal of the minority party for the Obama administration. That was pretty sick, and the only thing sicker is that the base shouted their hurrahs in unison, just like they booed (during the Republican debates) a gay vet and then the notion that sick people might be entitled to healthcare. What barn are Republicans born in, anyway?   Answer: The barn of entitlement -- to be crass, ugly and stupid all at once. And we shall fight to let them keep that entitlement. But to get them to rethink entitlements altogether, we need to think how best to shame them. Honor-based peoples maintain order with the threat of shame. We are dealing with honor-based mentality, ergo...

However wrong it may be as a fact, still one can be forgiven the presumption that Republicans deem themselves special in god's eyes. Rightly or wrongly, perception counts for something. Someone should casually inform them that the mere perception of such attitudes used to land Jews in serious difficulties over long stretches of time. Whereas Jews lacked the power to prevent backlash, Republicans oftentimes find it and abuse it. It's the honorable thing to do; when you're behind, honor requires every effort and tactic; when ahead, well ... the same, since the way they enjoy the perks of power will likely require all the explaining that honor can muster. Just look at the wealth of suspicion left behind by the last occupants of the White House.

Being tone deaf carries many of the same problems. Mitt Romney's vision for kids looking to pay for a college degree is simply to borrow funds from the parents. Take a moment over this. Who is the presumptive audience, and who is the audience omitted, deliberately or not? This guy does not have the lower sixty percent of the population within five inches of the frontal lobe. In this example, one that is readily generalized, Mitt represents the part of the Republican base that flows with milk and honey, the part that, more than any other, thinks only of and for themselves. I will suggest that it is just this group that supplies endless groupies for Ayn Rand's pursuit of selfishness. Between their ideology, what they hide, and an upbringing that helps ensure tone-deafness, they are typified by words and deeds so disconnected and disorganized that connecting them   has come to require a storm of static latterly dubbed "the Republican noise machine'.

Behind glass walls

Living life with heavy baggage exposes one to a couple of added issues. On the fear that others can see through to one's inner fanaticism, it helps greatly to construct a façade to satisfy the mind's eye if not also those of the onlookers. Creative Republicans can also generate blinds that keep out preying eyes, but in glass houses they go up at the expense of hiding reality from their own superego. In either case we observe the tell-tale signs that Republicans are a Freudian dreamscape of sublimations and compensations when, that is, reality isn't completed condensed into fantasy (to be fair, Republicans demonstrate the ability to attend to reality in many cases where liberals are flakey to say the least; in good honor-based form, contra political correctness and fighting fire with fire are two biggies).

Honor-based societies believe strongly in their values as if they possessed today's equivalent of ideology. Herein they resemble Republicans, who are nothing if not ideologues, believing that anything they aggrandize, and anything they demolish, can be justified by the self-same ideological reasoning. Empty entitlement breeds an excuse factory. The principal difference between the honor-based culture and the Republican is in their views of reality, but only in parts thereof. When values are at issue, both will ignore facts in favor of faith, convenience or ideology. Attending responsibly to the reality without which one cannot become successful again finds them on the same page. The difference we're looking for is found in the logic and process of reality as it unfolds. When modern medicine cures what the witch-doctor makes excuses for, the honor-based usually have the good sense to accept the newfangled. Republicans just dig in their heels, believing that any giving into the wrong reality is tantamount to skimping on devotion to ideology.

Of course, it all depends on how you define reality. These days Republicans define good reality as whatever makes their lives more enriched, in every sense of that word save for the rational or the spiritual. Whereas a Roman leader might forgo a labor-saving devise because of the families who would go wanting (not everyone was worried that a monopolist would go wanting if the latest deal fell through), Republicans have handy mottoes and cliches to justify money above all else.

In any culturally-dependant discussion of reality, including that of money, it is helpful to realize that the honor-based are more spiritual and moralistic, the dignity-based taking up the ethical and ecumenical side of things. In addition, we need always to recall that economics and markets are everywhere predominantly honor-based, meaning that businesspeople must per force be trusted to obey regulations, their honor in the deal carrying forth as a component of their repute. As God's very special creatures, however, Republicans would rather be trusted absent the regulations that to them are just one more variation on the theme of enemies ready to rain on a money parade. All of which goes back to entitlement and hypocrisy, since cherry-picking reality is practically the same as making the laws as you go when you can't otherwise use law to Gerry rig.

The Republican disposition to identify with faith thus makes a great fit for the honor-based fondness for moralizing. At the practical end of the stick this means that Republicans find it possible, indeed preeminently rational, to declare to themselves and to the world that making money and being successful are the moral prerequisites to a healthy democracy. Don't laugh; there is a brand of Protestant theology gaining wide traction that stresses exactly that message. Apropos God's will that we go out and propagate dollar bills is the commonplace that Republicans fill the ballast of those entrepreneurial pyramid programs like Amway. Republicans are nothing if not thorough about their self-interest, even if that requires putting words in God's mouth.

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Mr. Herrman is a liberal philosopher specializing in structural metaphysics, where he develops methodologies enabling him to derive valid and verifiable answers not only in matters of the ontology of reality, but also in real-world concerns for (more...)
 

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One reason I wrote these articles was that so many... by C. S. Herrman on Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:46:06 AM
Any member of the republican party must know that ... by Francine Caran on Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 11:56:44 AM
You must be good with a hammer, Francine, cause yo... by C. S. Herrman on Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 12:01:12 PM