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Advice to Conservatives

Entry 1328, on 2011-09-07 at 16:24:35 (Rating 4, Politics)

I'm really sick of conservatives. Not all conservatives of course, but the individuals who are most outrageously offensive to thinking people. In fact, on reconsidering the issue, I probably am sick of them all because even the ones who keep their opinions to themselves still mess the world up when they vote and when they influence the world in other ways.

Yeah sure, people are entitled to believe weird things if they want to. They can believe all people who vote towards the left are lazy and unrealistic, or that global warming is a vast conspiracy to raise taxes, or that liberalism has destroyed the morals that an old fashioned Christian upbringing gave people.

And they can continue to believe that sort of thing, even when good evidence is given to the contrary, if they want to. All that does is confirm that they are what most of the rest of us have suspected all along: unthinking and uncaring idiots.

But as I said above, this simple-minded, arrogant, and obstinate attitude does have significant dangers. People act based on their ideas and sometimes it seems that the more they are demonstrated to be wrong the more determined the person becomes to act unreasonably in defence of their discredited beliefs.

That's why evolution deniers are determined to have their superstition taught in schools, and why global warming deniers are insistent on having no laws in place to reduce the problem, and why conservative Christians want the ten commandments prominently displayed even though they often don't even know what they are and anyone can see that those commandments are either just common sense or ridiculous superstitious dogma anyway.

Conservatism is quite successful at the moment and I think that is because it offers a simple message which people can easily relate to. The fact that the message is so simple that it can never possibly work and the fact that a lot of the message is based on demonstrable fiction doesn't matter because they have struck a winning formula where reality is largely irrelevant.

But there are problems. Obviously there are problems for thinking moderates and liberals, but there will also be problems for the conservatives in the end as well. Most of the conservative policies are counter-productive, so the more success they have the less successful they are.

For example, reducing taxes in the US and spending less on science will just hasten that country's demise, not prevent it. And failing to act on the threat of global warming will affect the rich nations which caused it as well as poor island nations who are the innocent victims. And disguising the fact of evolution by teaching fiction like creationism will just result in a lower standard of medicine and biological sciences in the countries stupid enough to allow it.

So finally I get to my advice to conservatives. There are some things central to your belief systems which are untrue. When the evidence shows these things are untrue don't invent a vast global conspiracy, or refuse to acknowledge any sources of information other than people engaged in the same delusion, or get involved in other behaviours which disguise the truth. Just move on instead.

And if you insist on maintaining your conservative world view you should still be able to do that to some extent. For example, admit global warming is real, admit humans contribute significantly to it, but debate what the response should be. That is where genuine debate is possible and if you do that you will gain the respect of your opponents as well as advancing the state of world knowledge instead of inhibiting it.

You don't need to stop being a conservative but you do have to stop being a brainless conservative idiot. Stop sourcing all of your information from far-right blogs, listen to what science is really saying, genuinely think about whether what you believe agrees with what the experts are saying, and be skeptical of your leaders: they are deceiving their followers as much as they are deceiving their opponents.

That is all. Good luck with achieving a new brand of positive and realistic conservatism!

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