Salon: Conservative brains wired for "mass hysteria" and "folk devils"


Salon claims, invoking “science”, that conservatives suffer “mass hysteria” and “permanent paranoia”, because conservative brains are wired differently.  I’m not making this stuff up, folks.

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. Given that conservatism seems to be part of human nature — just as liberalism is — we’re going to need all the help we can get in figuring out how to live with it, without being dominated, controlled and crippled by it. [emphasis mine]

The last sentence in that paragraph really makes my side split trying not to laugh…”figuring out how to live with it” like we need some support group.

“Hi, I’m Steve” (“Hello Steve!”) “…and I’m a conservative.  I see folk devils.” (“The first step is to admit it!”)

The post cites papers authored by John R. Hibbing.  This guy must write Nancy Pelosi’s speeches because he’s about as incomprehensible as she is.  This is the kicker:

Hibbing is a political scientist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which has a political physiology lab “dedicated to exploring the relevance of individual-level biological variations to political orientations and behaviors,” which may well be the only one of its kind — so far.

Hibbing’s a political scientist—he isn’t even a sociologist, psychologist, or even a cosmetologist.  He knows less about the human head than my hair stylist.  And he’s talking about brain structure of conservatives, using such experiments as this:

The threatening images included “a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it.” The policy issues were “support for military spending, warrantless searches, the death penalty, the Patriot Act, obedience, patriotism, the Iraq War, school prayer, and Biblical truth; and opposition to pacifism, immigration, gun control, foreign aid, compromise, premarital sex, gay marriage, abortion rights, and pornography.”

Dear God, he’s reenacting A Clockwork Orange, with real people.  The Salon article blathers on…actually it’s 4,805 words, but I had to stop reading somewhere around the 1,200 word mark because the tears were staining my shirt.  I kept wondering if this was satire, but no, they take it seriously.  I think I’ve found my new definition for mad scientist, and he lives in Nebraska.

I did, however, skip to the end, to see how the author capped of this journey into nuttery:

The fireworks today may be at the border — or in Gaza, or Ukraine — but meanwhile our goose is slowly being cooked by global warming, and conservatives have convinced themselves it’s all a liberal hoax. If that kind of thinking isn’t wrong, then what is?

If that kind of thinking isn’t wrong, then what is?

How about this:  using crackpot “science” with inhumane experiments to lead you to the same conclusions you believed in the first place.  Liberals see themselves as the cool, collected, scientific, rational people in a world filled with frothing-at-the-mouth conservative paranoid haters.  And they think conservatives are delusional?

The Left is looking in a mirror that they think is a window.  They’re only seeing themselves.

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