For years I have wracked my brain trying to fairly explain why Conservatives behave the way that they do. Largely, they all believe the same things, and act similarly—just as liberals do. However, that behavior bears a blemish. For many, conservative is synonymous with miserly. After all, that is the point of conserving: to be thrifty, if you want to put a more positive spin on the ideology.
Currently, however, positivity isn’t aligned with this political creed. The news is chronicling a sad state of affairs that worsens by the moment. This development is nothing I did not see coming for decades, since I was a girl. Despite the clear trajectory, and historical precedence to support it, people still fell in line with the belief system, edging further right by the decade. Seeking an answer as to why this happens is a natural reaction. When people defy logic and self-immolate, it’s quite curious. Have we not learned that “We’ve always done it this way,” is not an acceptable reason to continue anything? That the same old thinking wins us the same old results?
But then, conservatives appear to be fans of the olden days, as they imagine them (informed by mid-20th century television and film).
Social media has provided a means for a closer examination. The internet provides no end of research into the conservative mindset, with the ample sites dedicated to their faith. Slogging through it all can be quite maddening, as it makes no sense to think as they do, at least to those with fully functioning emotional abilities. Not to mention that people will dismiss the information gathered as anecdotal because there are no names and writings in great number to attach to much of it. Social media has given names in vast number.
The result is a full frontal view of some of the most sociopathic narcissistic people. Yes. That is uncomfortable for many to admit, but the fighting and blocking on social media isn’t happening in a vacuum. There are things people say that can be forgiven. However, abusive actions are harder to look away from or forgive. When people reveal that they care very little about the well-being of others, or say nasty things based on bigotry, and then insinuate that we are twisted or over sensitive, that becomes difficult to abide. We’re told to allow others their opinions and not to make waves because, deep down, they’re good people. Still, it sits at odds with sense. That’s because it’s a manipulation to allow bad people to pose as good people who are flawed. It allows for the abuse to continue with ease, no passage barred.
This has been going on since well-before social media.
Seeing that lack of care for others should be a huge red flag (no pun intended). Yet, it has taken some time to relinquish the desire to give people the benefit of the doubt. The Social Media Era has raised the stakes. Abuses cannot disappear or be dismissed as before. It is now impossible, in the face of video documentation and overt action (just look at the videos of people showing their real faces on camera, almost all professing devotion to the 45th president of the United States). Yet, you see these people denouncing their accusers as snowflakes and race-baiters, and insisting they are the victims, suffering a loss of free speech.
Thus, I have concluded that conservative politics reveals a sociopathic nature, usually combined with narcissism. As I have stated above, they pose as charming individuals, and use manipulation to maintain their image and gain control over the narrative (if not people), focusing on a larger maintenance of a status quo where they enjoy power over others (whether that is women, poeple of color, LGBTQ peoples, or all of the above). The abuse is targeted and it is sustained.
I’ve written about sociopathic narcissists (SocNarc) in the past several times (click here for a search of my site using that term). The personality type features in my books in various incarnations. I’ve been on the receiving end of SocNarc manipulations. Studying them has become a preoccupation of mine, along with educating the public on the perils of allowing this dangerous bully all the freedom they claim they deserve.
The connection between conservatives and SocNarcs came to me when I started to recognize the behaviors. The trick is that they’re not directed at individuals but entire groups. In this manner, people miss it. They make excuses to dismiss the identification, because it makes things difficult. Think of the way that friends and family make excuses for domestic abusers in their midst. Certainly, that doesn’t make sense to do, but people do it. That’s why it is important to call out bigotry when one hears/reads it. Some opinions are harmful, and therefore, no, they’re not entitled to their opinions. The reason being is that it doesn’t stop at just opinion, but informs their actions, as in voting and other social interactions. History is overflowing with examples of hate-filled opinions becoming actions (laws, judgements, social behavior, and so on). One does not have to respect opinions that endanger the welfare of others.
Let me be perfectly clear: airing opinions creates ripples that flow out and influence others, especially when they are echoed by others. Acting on such opinions furthers them more. Those with terrible opinions who gain and wield power, use it to enact terrible things. Even when they have little power, you see the nearly obsessive focus to gain it and use it cruelly on specific targets. Like your angry, conservative uncle who can’t fathom the gays, and talks incessantly about how wrong they believe being gay is.
So, why do we shy away from identifying this personality type in those around us? It’s inconvenient to one’s worldview. It’s uncomfortable. Do you want to admit that those you are close to are unfeeling, manipulative individuals capable of monstrous acts? Of course not. Not to mention that we think that we see these people in good times, where they emulate love and affection. Therefore, they aren’t bad people rings true for many despite what they know. Sociopaths are incapable of true emotion. They do learn how to fake it. Narcissists are not incapable, but are not concerned by any feelings outside themselves.
There are other reasons for dismissing such an assessment of loved ones, friends, or strangers. We may be concerned about what it says about ourselves. What if we agree with the things they’re saying? Does this make me like them? If you’ve stood by while conservative friends and family belittle others, does this mean that you accept the things done and said, and believe they were normal actions to take? For instance, silent bystanders when a muslim woman is being harassed on the subway. They fear the attacker, and would likely want to help the woman, but they sit back, minding their own business, because it’s not their problem. Say that the situation escalates to violence. Now, one has that baggage to carry around. The witness will defend their silence and inaction, perhaps with tears, insisting there was nothing to do about it. In a short time, they will brush the incident off, sharing the story as a harrowing tale about themselves. Indeed, there are indications that the witness is a narcissist, but no sociopathic. There is no real joy in the discomfort of others here, just self concern. That’s why they don’t speak up and tend to go along to get along.
The reason that this all applies to conservatives is that this is the behavior they exhibit, in private or public. They become belligerent when questioned, as well, just like a domestic abuser who is maintaining power and control. No matter what transpires, they always win the argument (in their own minds). It is their right to behave as they will without anyone’s judgement (although they seem to need to live up to someone’s ideal, for fear of disappointing them).
I will lay it out plainly, once more: conservatives manipulate and gaslight those who disagree with them. They will attempt to recruit minions, as they believe in a top down hierarchy that has them at the apex of the pyramid. They isolate their families and anyone else they can wield power over, to limit the information they have. They despise whole groups, and will go out of their way to make those groups feel their wrath. In their mind, they are in the right. They like this process, because it makes them feel powerful and in control.
This is why they hate people of color, LGBTQ people, feminists, the poor…liberals piss them off, because we constantly threaten to tear their masks off. That is my intention with writing this. Once you see the process (it really appears to be scripted), you’ll be thankful and better armed to face them. See, once you know what they’re up to, you are not likely to fall victim to their efforts.
Quite frankly, that’s what’s going on in the United States: the mask has been removed, and the monster beneath is exposed to the light. #Resistance is not allowing bad people to enforce their terrible opinions, or cause any further harm. Resistance is putting an end to the sustained and focused abuse.