I’ve hit a point in political discourse where much of the time I teeter on the edge of anger and laughter when dealing with conservatives. To me, many conservatives don’t behave like people who follow a political party, but rather like individuals who have joined a cult. And while many people often seem shocked at how so many Americans continue to vote against their own interests, it’s really not as complicated as it might seem.
You see, Republicans have developed a great scheme for creating the perfect brainless conservative zombie. Someone who just grunts out right-wing talking points, without a thought in the world as to whether or not there’s any reality to support them, who strolls through the political world aimlessly waiting for someone to tell them what to think or do.
So I thought I’d explain how this process works.
1) Use fear: It’s human nature to fear the unknown or resist change (out of fear of it). And fear is a great emotion to exploit to make people act irrationally.
2) Attack education: Facts show the more educated someone is, the less likely they’re going to be conservative. A well-informed electorate is bad news for Republicans.
3) Use a lot of patriotic propaganda: Take it from someone who deals with conservatives constantly, they really do believe liberals hate America and that they’re the beacon of patriotism. Which is ironic considering the only time you really see anyone promote secession from the United States, they’re from the conservative political spectrum. They think flying an American flag at their home, shouting “God bless America” whenever they get the chance and loving guns makes them “patriotic.” But all they’ve done is wrapped a flag around their ignorance while calling it patriotism.
4) Find things to hate: Conservatives hate a lot. Be it immigrants, non-Christian religions, minorities or the poor – they have a seemingly endless list of people or groups they despise. Hate is a great tool that’s often used to unify and justify ignorance.
5) Make themselves into the victim: Whether it’s the media, Hollywood, science, environmentalists, teachers, unions – conservatives are always the ones who it seems the entire world is out to “get.” Well, at least according to them.
6) Promote guns: It never ceases to shock me how Americans are so obsessed with guns. All conservatives had to do was decide that no matter how many thousands of Americans were slaughtered every year by guns – they were going to endlessly promote guns. They’ve managed to convince millions of Americans that when any mention of gun regulations are brought up (even if it’s something as simple as universal background checks) the side pushing for those regulations is filled with anti-American radicals trying to confiscate guns. Usually with some kind of Hitler reference thrown in for good measure.
7) Create catchy talking points: Whether it’s referring to rich people as “job creators,” the infamous “drill baby drill” or the popular gun talking point “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun,” it doesn’t matter if what they’re saying makes any sense – as long as it sounds good.
8) Continually repeat your lies: Republicans are masters at making lies seem true. It’s not enough that they just come up with their propaganda, they have to commit to repeating it over and over and over until even non-conservatives aren’t sure what is or isn’t true. You can bet if it’s a talking point pushed by the GOP or Fox News, even if it makes absolutely no sense, conservatives all across this country will soon be repeating it nearly word for word.
9) Use code words to mask prejudice and bigotry: When they say “we need to secure our border,” what they really mean is “we need to stop Mexicans from coming here.” When they say they’re “protecting religious freedom,” what they’re really saying is that “we want to find a legal means to discriminate against homosexuals.” When they claim they’re “protecting women’s health,” what they’re really doing is trying to ban abortions. And when they talk about “welfare abuse,” they really mean “minorities on welfare.”
10) Religion: The most important aspect to all of this. Religion has been proven throughout human history, and even now, to be the best mechanism with which to manipulate people. You tie in religion to a political ideology and you can get people to believe pretty much anything. That’s exactly what Republicans do.
So, group all of this together and we get:
A fearful, false patriot who despises anyone who’s not just like them; devalues education; loves guns; almost always feels like the world is out to get them; who repeats spoon-fed talking points whether or not they even make sense, all while masking their intolerance with code words and justifying all of this because their party is the party fighting for “Christian values.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the recipe for creating the typical mindless conservative zombie.
Image via Rob Tornoe / MediaMatters.org