By Richard Girard
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."--Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), American Author, Foundation (1951).
"We live in an era of nuclear giants and ethical midgets."--Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981), General of the Army, First Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"Fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons."""Friedrich Nietzsche(1844""1900), German philosopher. The Anti-Christ, aphorism 54 (1895).
Violence pervades most conservatives' souls like kudzu pervades the southern woods.
These conservatives wear buttons that say "There are few problems in the known universe that cannot be solved by a suitable application of high explosives," and "You'll take my gun from my cold, dead hand." Many claim to be pro-life and for capital punishment, all in the same breath. They look back fondly on the multiple, hard spankings (if not beatings) they received as children, and claim that this is what made them "good, God-fearing people." They go to church almost every Sunday, but are intolerant of any denomination that does not closely mirror their own.
They live a life based not on reason, but on a patchwork of simplistic platitudes and aphorisms, handed to them by some authority figure who knows that the easier the slogan is to remember, the less likely it is that the conservative will question its veracity.
They believe in the dog-eat-dog world of social Darwinism, where it is every man for himself. But they are the ones who complain the loudest that it is the fault of blacks, Jews, gays, women, immigrants, etc., for their failure, and not the system that they all but worship. And should they succeed, it is all their own doing; ignoring the help they received from coworkers, employees, advisers, mentors, teachers, friends and family. They are blind disciples of the current amoral, antisocial capitalist system that, like cancer, has as its mindless goal to become ever larger and more invasive in the lives of everyday Americans.
These are the individuals who are so "freaked out" (for lack of a better term) by the Obama Presidency, that they have started stocking up on guns, ammunition, and survivalist supplies against the day they feel a revolution will have to take place in order to stop the "socialist" takeover of the United States. In other words, they feel so incompetent in their ability to persuade their fellow Americans of the "wrongness" of single payer healthcare, the continuation of Social Security, and other facets of the "socialist usurpation of American values;" these individuals believe that they will have to violently impose their wills upon the rest of the American people in order to save us from ourselves and the evils of "socialism."
Incompetence and arrogance: a very bad combination.
"Peace through strength!" is the motto of these conservatives on international affairs. There is an assumption on the part of conservatives that if another nation does not do what the United States wants it to do, it should be punished. This includes the use of force, up to and including nuclear weapons.
Their belief system extends to domestic matters, where they believe they have a need to carry a firearm to be safe outside their own home. They are in denial about the facts of most mass murders in the last several years: that it is someone with a mindset similar to their own, using their Second Amendment guaranteed right to own a gun, to visit death and destruction on the innocent. The recent shooting at the base PX at Fort Lewis in Washington state, home of the Army's elite Stryker Brigade, demonstrates that weapons alone do not insure your safety.
Unlike Voltaire (and I will paraphrase here) who once said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it;" the modern conservatives' attitude is, "I disapprove of what you say, and I will kill you if you try and say it." This is being demonstrated by the Astroturf conservatives' reaction against healthcare reform, by disrupting, sometimes with violence, town hall meetings of Democratic members of the House and Senate.
Violence, or the threat of violence, has always been a staple of conservative reaction to political and economic reform, going back at least to the time of the late Roman Republic. The murders of the Brothers Gracchi, Fulvius Flaccus, Saturninus, Marcus Livius Drusus the Younger, Publius Clodius Pulcher, and Gaius Julius Caesar (to name a few), at the instigation of the Roman Senate's most conservative members, did more to undermine Roman law and tradition than any action of its reformers.
In this country, most of the "race riots" up until the 1960's were mobs of whites rampaging through the "colored" part of town. It was conservative Southern Congressman "Bully" Brooks who walked into the United States Senate, and nearly beat abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner to death with a gutta-percha cane. It was conservative (actually fascist in my opinion) business leaders who attempted to covertly overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt in the summer of 1933. It was the extremely conservative J. Edgar Hoover who denied the existence of Organized Crime for thirty years; because the Mob helped the power elite maintain control over the nation's poor and minority communities.