The Right’s Perpetual Victimhood
There isn’t enough room up on the cross for all the conservatives who act as if the slightest indignity they suffer or perceive is equal to Jesus.
No matter the reality, righties act as if they and they alone are among the persecuted, despite the sometimes ridiculous lengths our society goes to treat their absurd beliefs/policies/ideas as perfectly legitimate.
Within the last 12 years, we are currently at the height of the conservative persecution complex. Under the presidency of Obama, a moderate, mainstream, center-left Democrat, the right acts as if they are being stamped out.
A bureaucratic screw up at the IRS is transmogrified into a conservative passion play, and standard issue IRS actions (audits, etc.) are recounted as the boot of the government crushing the conservative throat. Conservatives constantly mewl about their rights being taken away, yet can never actually point out a single one (hint: there aren’t any).
This hysteria doesn’t even include the absurd race-based conspiracies that have become conservative mainstream thought. Black panthers, black nationalism, black liberation theology, etc. have all been described as the “real” motivation behind Obama’s actions. The man who has more in common with Heathcliff Huxtable is described as the intellectual offspring of Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X, and The Boogeyman. Why? Because it allows conservatives to be the wimps they often accuse liberals of being.
But while conservative’s perception of their victimhood is at a high now, this is not the most absurd it has been. During the Bush era — an era that apparently only a few of us can now actually remember — they still acted like they were persecuted.
How was this possible? How did the movement that at a singular moment in politics had control of the presidency, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court manage to claim that they were being oppressed? The liberal media, of course.
According to them, even as the media did its best to allow the right to propagandize in favor of invading Iraq,cut taxes for the super-rich and dismantle government regulation, they were still oh so biased. Never mind that the press regurgitated every negative story about Democrats like John Kerry — true or false — according to the right they were still being oppressed, crushed, and dominated by what Palin later called in her pidgin language “the lamestream media.”
I believe that conservatism requires its practitioners to always feel under assault, persecuted for their beliefs so that they can all do a little Jesus cosplay. The reality doesn’t matter. Right now, conservatism is in retreat and the unnecessary wailing is at a high. But even when conservatism was ascending, they wailed almost as much.
They just need to be a victim, damn the reality.