Conservative fears of nonexistent or overblown boogeymen — Saddam’s WMD, Shariah law, voter fraud, Obama’s radical anti-colonial mind-set, Benghazi, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism’s prudent risk avoidance as having morphed into a state of near permanent paranoia, especially fueled by recurrent “moral panics,” a sociological phenomenon in which a group of “social entrepreneurs” whips up hysterical fears over a group of relatively powerless “folk devils” who are supposedly threatening the whole social order…
Consider the recent wave of hysteria over Central American children turning themselves in at the border. There were the hordes of angry demonstrators protesting busloads of children, like it was Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. There was the congressman/doctor Phil Gingrey’s warning letter to the CDC, claiming that the children might be carrying the Ebola virus — a disease unknown outside Sub-Saharan Africa. There was the ludicrous myth of the “$50 million illegal alien resort spa.” But above all there was the most basic, fundamental fact that the children were turning themselves in at the border — it was anything but a failure of border protection, although that’s what the right-wing hysteria portrayed it as.
Put simply, none of what conservatives have been doing in the recent “border crisis” moral panic makes any sense in terms of pragmatic problem-solving. But it all makes perfect sense in terms of expressively defending a threatened group identity — and that is very much in line with what researchers have found to be the defining characteristics of conservatism.
Dernier Plan (La), (© 1996-2014 by Joseph Le Pedriel. Images by François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters, Casterman)
Land of the free home of the rich
What really scares me is that they all have significantly cheaper health care AND education, which means Americans not only make the least, they pay the most.
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Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes
The Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Passeriformes - Fringillidae) a a very large, huge-bill, big-headed, short-tailed, short-legged finch, bigger than all other common finches of temperate woodlands.
This species has a large range, and is a widespread breeder across much of Europe, but it also occurs in Eastern Asia, the North of Africa and even Alaska.
Photo credit: ©Uri Kolker | Locality: not indicated (2011)
Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Sous les peupliers [Under the poplars] , 1887. Oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm.