I love reading material from the web site Skepic. It’s associated with a solid science group which debunks and educates about pseudoscience and fakery. Sometimes it’s pretty interesting stuff.
This gem was in an essay titled “Once Upon a Time-Rethinking the Fight Against Extremists” by Tina Dupuy:
Every group of radicals nee extremists—from ISIS to the Klan to the House GOP’s Freedom Caucus—all have the same lure: Today is chaotic, unpredictable and worse than it was, so we must return to a time when things were better. A well-proven formula for radicalization is to take the disorientated, disenfranchised and disappointed; add a universal yarn about the Good Ol’ Days and stir.
Extremist is a word which might describe the House GOP Freedom Caucus only if you’re very much on the far left of the political perspective.
The Pew Research Center described the members as conservative, “though not all are on the rightmost end of the spectrum.” But it’s fashionable to toss conservatives in with ISIS and the KLAN, because apparently each group is for some wild-eyed radical agenda like beheading infidels and keeping the cost of government down.
The Republican Party—and conservatives specifically—tout the 1950s as being the storied time they want to get us back to. That’s when America was great and it was great to be American! GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s slogan is “make this country great again.” Also-ran Carly Fiorina’s is the boilerplate, “take our country back.” That was also the battle cry of the tea party. They wanted to take their country back, I assumed they meant from the black guy running it, but they’d tell you it was to take the country back to the Eisenhower administration. “Brian Williams began his report on the death of Annette Funicello,” writes Toni Bernhard in Psychology Today, “by wistfully referring to the 1950s as ‘a sweeter era, one of genuine innocence.’”
Well, it wasn’t sweeter for everybody.
What are Dupuy’s pieces of evidence that conservatives hanker for the ’50’s? Two slogans which seem to indicate that both Trump and Fiorina are trying to tap into either optimism or frustration about the last few years. Neither mention the ’50’s.
Since Brian Williams probably isn’t a conservative, his use of the phrase about a sweeter era really has more to do with Williams and his writers than it does about conservatives. Dupuy’s other example was from somebody on the forum Topix. Really?
Do Republicans yearn for the glory days of the 1950’s? Big cars, mom in the kitchen? Minorities in the back of the bus? Blacklists? Two superpowers aiming nukes at each other? A rising standard of living? Commies in the State Dept? Duck and cover drill? No. Not all of it.
Like everyone, conservatives and liberals alike want to take what we have now, and improve it. I’d like the Eisenhower economy, or even the Clinton economy, and the patriotism of the post-war years. It’d be nice to have a common culture that tolerated, if not supported all religion. America had optimism and pride, well earned in both respects.
I know we won’t get there if both sides only know each other only as radicals or extremists.