Friday, February 23, 2007

Conservatives' Defense is Their Worst Offense

In an earlier post on this blog, "Behind Every Great Show is a Huge Schmuk", I discussed the baseless arguments of "24" co-creator, Joel Surnow. In passing, I mentioned that he is also the brain behind the abysmal "Half-Hour News Hour" which aired this past week on Fox News as a right-leaning response to "The Daily Show". And, as reported by Shelley Lewis on The Huffington Post, it seems as though we have now been graced with Conservapedia. Yes, this is the right-wing answer to the pinko e-rag that is Wikipedia. In my previous post, I flippantly remarked, "And they call Democrats the party of reaction," and now I would like to retract it because the premise of my comment is false. I'll explain:

My comment served little purpose except to be cute and get me to the next paragraph, but I now see that the Democrats have ever been on the defensive, would assume that the Republicans or mainly the conservative Republicans have been on the offensive. As I read the word Conservapedia and thought about Joel Surnow's ambition to produce a film that portrays McCarthy as an "American hero", it dawned on me (and I'm sure I'm not discovering the New World here) that the very nature of conservatism rests on their being defensive and figuring out what they are on the defensive from -- a party whose history has been steered by isolationism and xenophobia, Red Scares and protection of the American family -- it is not enough merely to say that conservatives run on a platform of fear, for they don't just instill fear in the populous; they are afraid, themselves. Honestly, I don't know how they sleep at night (lack of conscience).

Here's what it says on the Conservapedia homepage: "Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses."

That's a load off, I'll tell ya. Cause with all this "C.E." talk, I almost forgot who Jesus Christ was. In all seriousness though, I've always had difficulty grasping the root cause of such anxiety that fundamentalist Christians, and I believe they are a very vocal minority of all Christians, express. Perhaps such uneasiness stems from the tenets of Christianity, but compared to the God's wrathful violences in the Torah, Jesus was a fairly mild mannered and peaceful divinity. A more psychological approach (though of course we all know that this will be anti-Christian because I read that they used to call that a "Jewish Science") might attribute their self-propelling paranoia and neuroses to their continuously powerful presence in America. I had hoped to look up some of Freud's theories on the matter, but Conservapedia only offered a 6 sentence article on Sigmund Freud, and the last 2 sentences didn't shed much light on his theories:

"Critics of Freud point out that he fabricated some of his data in order to make some of his claims. Late in life, Freud asked his doctor to kill him, which his doctor did."

I would keep going, but I've been digesting the existence of Conservapedia, and excavating a rational thought from the many layers of hypocrisy takes its toll. I'm honestly in disbelief (a heathen) after having previously understood their site to be a response to something "anti-American", only to find, in my first search, what was at best shoddy research and at worst pure, unilateral, and ideological propaganda aimed to conceal vast swaths of information and to discredit someone with whom they don't agree. When fundamentalist Christian conservatives react in their own defense or in America's defense, they serve only to discredit themselves and exemplify the type of intolerance that American immigrants came here to escape.

1 comment:

Jon Swift said...

Conservapedia is running a bit slow but you can read other examples of the fine scholarly minds behind this project here.