This article is a follow up of one that I previously wrote about the world being driven by fear. In that article, I wrote about those individuals who are constantly looking in the mirror, primping their hair, their face. I said that they are not egotistical people, people who think themselves special. Just the opposite: they’re afraid they don’t look just right and, because of that fear, they constantly check their appearance. That previous article opined that it is that fear of inadequacy rather than superiority which drives those fearful people to disdain others, to looked down on those different from themselves in the hope that this narrow, niggardly attitude will actually serve to enhance their stature, permit them to overcome their fear – realization – that, deep in their hear, they do not feel, they are not, special at all.
Let us now consider that concept further; let us concentrate on those individuals who categorize themselves as Conservatives, Republicans in the U.S. of A. I really dislike categorizing people with labels. But many people voluntarily – proudly – categorize themselves into these classifications; they are anxious to identify with, to attach themselves to certain groups, hoping, perhaps, that there really is strength in numbers, that their identification with this or that group will serve to identify them as part of a powerful entity, will serve to displace some of the fear that causes them, in their heart’s heart, to cower.
Just as an example, consider the Republican Tea Party folks who want to do away with programs that benefit the poor, the unsuccessful, working stiffs amongst us. Conservatives want to dismantle the Affordable Health Care program, for instance. They want to do away with a program that has provided an opportunity for millions of people who never had health coverage before. Why do Conservatives want to do away with such a program? What is it to a Conservative Republican to specifically want to disenfranchise millions of people from having health coverage? If you actually asked an individual Conservative that question, they’d be hard pressed to give you an answer – other than ‘those people are getting something they don’t deserve’, ‘why should they have it, they didn’t work for it’; ‘I worked for mine, they should work for theirs’.
The Conservative mind has a single, reflexive bent; ‘conserve’, ‘keep’, ‘don’t let anyone take anything away from you’, ‘make everyone do for themselves’. Beneath all this fear, the fear that if someone, anyone, is receiving something is being given a leg up, that something may be a thing taken from them. It is Conservative thinking that the only way for Conservatives to keep for themselves is not to let anybody, anybody, get a free leg up. Keep. Keep. Keep. Even if it doesn’t belong to you. Even if they, the Conservatives, have plenty enough ocean surface on which to float, they cringe at the thought of others getting a place to float on that ocean. After all, the ocean might dry up, no?
You know the story of the turtle and the scorpion. The scorpion is stranded on one side of a flooded stream. Can’t get across. It asks the turtle to let it ride on the turtle’s shell across the stream. The turtle resists. “You’ll sting me”. Of course not, says the scorpion, you’ll be saving my life, why would I sting you? So the turtle gives the scorpion a ride and just as the turtle is close enough for the scorpion to step ashore, the scorpion stings the turtle. “Why did you do that,” asks the turtle. “You said you wouldn’t.” “It’s my nature,” shrugs the scorpion.
So too with the Conservatives, the Republicans. It’s their nature to keep, to conserve, to hold on to. They can’t even stand the sight of someone else, giving something, anything, to anyone. Don’t give! Keep! A Conservative may not be able to articulate why they don’t want the other guy to have something, why they want to cut back on a program of benefit to others – it’s just their nature. Their knee-jerk reaction is to hold everything tight to their vest, keep things, conserve things – even if those things don’t belong to them. Why? Because, deep down inside, they’re afraid they won’t have. Therefore, giving, sharing, is loathsome, something to be avoided, always, everywhere.
Now you might think that this Conservative trait is totally different from the guy with the comb who’s always looking in the mirror. It’s not. It’s exactly the same trait.
The guy with the comb is afraid he doesn’t look good. So he can’t help himself. It is in his nature to constantly look in the mirror and check – even if his 5-minutes-ago look in the mirror reflected that everything was in place. The Conservative is equally, constantly afraid; but the Conservative’s fear is ‘not to have’; he’s afraid that someone getting something that that person didn’t physically, directly work for. Largess is loathsome to a Conservative. It is in a Conservative’s nature to reflexively react against, revolt against, the idea of another person, any other person, even a person the Conservative doesn’t know, even from source that has nothing whatever to do with the Conservative, receive anything.
Simply, Conservatives fear that a time may come when he won’t have something available to him in a moment of need. Therefore, as a precaution, don’t let anybody give anything, to anyone, at any time. I may need it. When I look in the mirror, my hair may be mussed. It isn’t. No, but it could be. The same with what’s mine. I may have plenty. But I may not some other time. Giving is fraught with danger. Always be on guard, always conserve, everything, always.