I interviewed Markos (Kos) Moulitsas, founder of the Dailykos.com and asked him about the failure of conservative values. For him, the conservative value of self-delusion was the greatest failure. He says conservatives value their ideology over actual reality and he pointed out a series of examples of how this ideology ignores reality.
"As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edwin: Have conservative values failed?
Markos: Oh, yeah, the failure of conservative values, the bottom line is that it has no bearing on reality. They created an alternate reality – cut taxes, lower the deficit, balance the budget – where global warming did not exist, where the world was invented 6,000 years ago, where science is bogus, where the best way to educate kids is to defund the schools.
And this is the comeuppance. When you base your reality on an ideology that has really no basis for reality, you’re doomed to failure. When you have an ideology that says that government cannot work, you have to by default run a shitty government. What’s the alternative?
Let’s say George Bush says the government can’t work, we need to shrink it. So, when I appoint my director of FEMA, instead of appointing a horse lawyer, I’m going to appoint an experienced administer who knows about disaster management and logistics planning. So when Katrina happens, the government does a fantastic job, making people’s lives better.
Suddenly, you have sort of a collision of ideologies. When you say government can’t work, and you have government that works, where does that leave the conservatives? In a really, really piss-poor place.
So, by default, Bush had to appoint the horse lawyer to FEMA, I could go down the list – in department after department it’s scandal after scandal. I mean, it’s all because he appointed people who are not qualified. Because they need to fail, they need to prove that government cannot work, and the way you prove government does not work is by running a government that does not work.
Edwin: What in one word is the value that you are saying, fantasy?
Markos: It’s ideology over reality. In one word? That’ three words. It’s – I know what the word is – help me out.
Edwin: I think fantasy, it’s like when you fantasize something, you’re not seeing it.
Markos: Yeah, it’s almost like when you’re crazy. I’m thinking when you think something’s real and it’s not, it’s delusion. There we go. Delusion. That’s the word I was looking for. Is that a value? I think if I had to really squeeze that down to one word, delusion would be that word.