The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 21, 2012: What’s Your Comfort Level?

After an interview in GQ magazine with Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was published, in which Mr. Robertson had some harsh and completely inaccurate things to say about both gay people and what life was like for black people in the pre-civil rights days, a lot of conservative mouthpieces took to their various publications to support him. Stepping up to present his own hyperbolic testimonial was Red State founder and former CNN contributor, Erick Erickson.

Really, Erick? This idea gives you comfort? You like the idea that those who don’t love and obey your god will be doomed to an eternity of suffering. This pleases you, does it? Does it actually make you physically comfortable? Or is it just that the thought soothes or consoles you? Or maybe you feel so much grief over the idea of LGBT equality that merely thinking about people burning in Hell can cheer you. It really boggles my mind the way conservatives can find pleasure in the suffering of others. Why should we even listen to people like that when asking what’s the best way to serve the interests of all humanity?

There are definitely differences in the way the brains of liberals and conservatives work. But whether these differences are what leads to one’s political orientation, or is the constant thinking along those political lines what leads to one’s brain developing in a certain way, is not entirely clear. Fear plays a critical role in political thinking. We hear a lot of Conservatives denounce the president’s policies because of the “uncertainty” that would result. This is disingenuous primarily because it’s conservative Republicans who are constantly threatening to shut down the government because the American people don’t want what they want. Liberals can handle uncertainty better than Conservatives, who have a tendency to be afraid of more things than Liberals. And while we all react similarly to positive stimuli, conservatives have even stronger reactions to negative incentives. Now throw in a study finding that Liberalism is focused on advancing positive outcomes, Conservatism is focused on avoiding negative outcomes, and it begins to become clear why someone would enjoy the idea of political opponents suffering in Hell. Finally, add in the study showing that Conservatives learn better from negative stimuli and one can understand why Conservatives say some of the stupid, insensitive, ignorant things they do. They’re afraid. They’re afraid and they want people who don’t think like them to be punished. And they want them to be punished because that’s how they learned things.

Is this really the best group of people to have leading a nation forward? Do you really think a nation progresses by using negative stimulation out of fear of trying new things? Does the thought of people like this running your country, at any level, comfort you?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss anything you want. Don’t be afraid.

52 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 21, 2012: What’s Your Comfort Level?

  1. Sitting in an understaffed by 2/3 urgent care with 20 other people, who apparently were raised by cretins who never taught them to cover their hacking mouths, and they couldn’t figure that out on their own.

  2. Erick reminds me of an idiot I ran across online several years ago. He was, iirc, a judge in Richmond VA; he was also a Christer, and he detested all of us who were self-professed atheists or nontheists. He and I got into it one day, and he explained how, on no uncertain terms, I was going to spend eternity in HELL!!!. I asked him, calmly, if he thought he was going to wind up in Heaven. He said yes, most surely he would. I said, “Well, I’ll see you there then, because if I am forced to spend eternity with assholes such as yourself, that’s the worst HELL I can imagine!”


  3. Excellent post, Wayne. 🙂

    Fear and uncertainty: A huge divide between conservatives and liberals, that I don’t think we can close. Changing one’s basic nature is almost impossible.

    I can’t imagine ever becoming as angry, spiteful, and fearful as conservatives, and I assume they can’t imagine ever becoming as easy-going, loving, and awesome as liberals.

    • More and more I seem to sense that wingnut anger/fear is evolving and manifesting itself as an intense and totally irrational hatred. I don’t know what the final outcome will ultimately be, but when it’s only hatred that drives a major segment of a society, the outcome is never pleasant.

      Who knows, maybe intense climate change and the probable mass extinction to follow will prove to be, after a couple hundred million years, a blessing.

    • I read that a couple days ago, and it is FANTASTIC. When I finished reading it, I hoped that Palin would have something to say about Savage victimizing her — so he could write another scorcher of an article.

    • Yopu’d have to be blind not to see it.

      WBC is as phony as Duck Dynasty. And what Phil Robertson has given A&E is a dose of redneck reality. Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more?

  4. via Retronaut – c. 1940s – 1960s
    Christmas Ads for Women:

    This year, there is no gift like
    Borg’s magnificent bath scale…the “Flight”.
    This jewel-like beauty sparkles like a precious gem
    in any bath and puts an end to all weight-guessing.
    You can trust its honesty. With wide-vision dial and Lifetime Service Warranty.

    • I don’t understand Texas. They’re a bit weird. One of the rather silly incidents I’ve run across is a Texan who is rich enough to race WW2 vintage airplanes but couldn’t find an American made plane that suited his needs and budget. So? He bought a 1949 British warplane and painted it red, white, and blue and calls it “The Spirit of Texas”.

  5. Wow. I’ve gotten more than 50 retweets for this one.

    It just seemed like a logical question to ask. What else do you do with bullets?

  6. George Zimmerman painting sells on EBay for $100,099.99.

    “Whoever wins within the Continental United States, will receive this painting delivered by me personally,” said Zimmerman.

    Is there some court order that says George can’t leave the mainland? Cuz with a $100K payday I would think he could pop for a ticket pretty much anywhere.,0,1080701.story#ixzz2oAN2DUBb

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