Written By: Anton Sawyer
The die-hard supporters of the GOP are mentally and emotionally incapable of surpassing the age of five … and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. Some will see this statement as an attempt to “GOP-bait,” but I am going to provide direct hypocrisies from the Republican leadership. More importantly, I’m going to share a personal experience showing the damage that can occur when someone has bought all of the deception brought about by a conservative way of life. Completely absorbing both the religious and political ideologies for their entire existence, and the ramifications that come from the realization that their core as a human was built on lies (spoiler alert: suicide was attempted).
Lean, mean, no B.S. … here we go.
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Most of the data and information I’m going to use is from the 2020s. If I spent an entire article going decade by decade looking at even the most blatant of hypocrisies, it would lengthen this article to that of a novella as there are 150 years to go through. Focusing specifically on some of their most beloved topics, i.e. the police and the Supreme Court Of The United States, they have flipped their core values more times than can be counted. Given that these two topics are always a part of someone’s campaign or stump speech, there’s a lot to comb through. Out of what’s available, I decided to pick the examples that make me most sick to my stomach.
Let’s start with the handling of the January 6th insurrection, shall we?
During the first day of testimony by the police officers during the January 6th hearing, Fox News personality Laura Ingraham appeared to mock police officers who testified before the House select committee. Ingraham, host of the network's “The Ingraham Angle,” gave those present at that day of testimony mock awards for their "performances," including the police officers who were present at the riot. "The theatrics were intended to produce an emotional reaction, logic, and facts be damned," Ingraham said. "It is with that knowledge that we will unveil the Angle Awards for today's best performances," she went on. "Now the award for best use of an exaggeration in a supporting role, the winner is [Capitol Police Sergeant] Aquilino Gonell who thinks the pen is literally mightier than the sword." I’ve heard various conservative news pundits blow these statements off as “just having fun,” along with other excuses justifying her responses as nothing to be taken seriously. Of course, this is also the same group who cannot understand why people were calling National Poison Control to see if someone could legitimately inject bleach to kill Covid-19 after ex-President Trump made a mention of it. They truly think that they have the cream of the crop when it comes to constituents. So to them, there is NO WAY Trump’s statement and those calls are related. Because of this disconnect, many GOP members were surprised that someone called and left a hate-filled voicemail for Capitol Officer Michael Fanone which was played during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. "You want an Emmy? And Oscar? What are you trying to go for here?” the male caller asked. “You’re so full of shit,” he added, before using a homophobic slur and several profanities. And of course, party members see no connection between those two events, either.
Due to the overwhelming amount of time and energy that the Republican Party has spent boosting the police officers of America, their constituents are incapable of realizing that what they say and do is just as detrimental to law enforcement as anything the liberals of America want to do. The pro-police book “Breaking Blue” and its author Sean “Sticks” Larkin have been featured on Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and many other conservative media outlets espousing the belief that cops are just as much victims as the people they arrest when it comes to false accusations. There have been other GOP leaders who have been pushing the legislation of “re-fund the police.” The idea is because less money has been allocated to many law enforcement offices nationwide, the officers are incapable of doing their jobs effectively. When researching it, it’s not that simple and will be something I’ll examine in-depth another day. It’s an idea Fox News has jumped on board with and has been pushing quite a bit. When taking everything at face value for this topic, it’s nearly impossible for it to make any logical leaps.
You want the cops to have more money so they can do their job “effectively” (this definition can change from one person to the next, but usually involves no accountability for any officers). You will do anything and everything you can to put political leaders in charge that will allow these cops to do their job “effectively.” Yet, if the officer or department does not do their job “effectively,” or if the officer targets ANY GOP member for ANY reason, then they weren’t a real cop and they deserve to be destroyed for turning their back on their country and fellow man. Keep this in the back of your mind as this kind of flip-flopping is going to be very important when understanding how these mental gymnastics come into play overall.
Moving on to the Supreme Court …
When looking at the headlines of all news outlets when it comes to the Supreme Court, it could be seen that their rulings haven’t been overly biased. Over the last year, we have seen the court issue rulings that were of benefit to both sides at one point or another. Pro-conservative measures like Brnovich vs. Democratic National Committee. This ruling allowed limiting the ability for minorities to challenge state laws they believe are discriminatory under the historic Voting Rights Act by a 6-3 margin. Around the same time, the Supreme Court also voted 7-2 in favor of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for a third time in California vs. Texas. When it comes to the narrative, the GOP has been focusing on the pro-liberal rulings and have been excoriating the SCOTUS in the press for these rulings. This has led to low approval ratings for the judiciary. Americans who identify as Republican have made it clear that they do not trust this Supreme Court—even when it is in their favor. A recent poll shows that only 49% of Republicans trust the SCOTUS. When you look at all of the cases and the reality of the situation, the SCOTUS has been maneuvering the system in such a way as to favor the conservative party of America mightily. This has all been done with the help of a little-known procedure called “Shadow Dockets.” Between the time of day these occur, along with the fact that it is only meant for “emergencies,” they are just as shady as you would think (no pun intended).
In the middle of the night during a Shadow Docket session of the Supreme Court, the conservative-majority judiciary granted emergency requests by Christian and Jewish groups challenging COVID-19 crowd restrictions imposed by New York state. The twin 5-4 decisions in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations were two of 10 decisions in the past year backing religious groups chafing under pandemic-related measures that forced them to close their doors or otherwise limit usual activities. All 10 requests were granted via this Shadow Docket. Critics have pointed out the lack of transparency when it comes to these emergency applications, especially when it comes to the fact that many of these are decided late at night. Reuters did a complete analysis of this Shadow Docket process over the last year and found some (sadly) consistent results. The analysis found that the court repeatedly favored not just religious groups, but also ex-President Donald Trump's administration, while denying almost 100 applications by other private individuals or groups. Given the high number of cases that the court voted in favor of the conservative opinion, you would think that a higher percentage of registered Republicans would have a higher opinion of the court. But since these Shadow Dockets are just that, most uninformed conservatives will probably never know about them.
This all leads to the question of how? How are they so clearly able to say one thing while directly contradicting themselves in almost every other way? This is where the genius of mental defense mechanisms comes in.
When you are talking about an adult over the age of 25, about 85% of their personal and moral philosophies are baked into the pie. We still continually grow, learn, and develop as a species, but as we get older, we cling to what we’ve held closely for our entire lives. No matter what belief system or political party you are a member of, this happens to everyone. If you’ve been raised in a super religious environment from birth on, then by your mid-to-late-20s, those ideals essentially comprise your core. Therefore, when it comes to being presented with any kind of fact or data that isn’t congruent with their morality, the emotional center of the mind activates and changes that person’s perception to where they themselves feel as being under attack. In essence, there is no separation between the id (the primitive and instinctual part of the mind) and the super-ego (which operates as a moral conscience). They have become an amalgamation after a certain point. No longer separate or distinct from each other. Depending on the severity of this melding, if a separation occurs, it can have deadly consequences.
When working in a customer service call center, I had a friend named “Dave” (not his real name to protect his identity) that I would often have lunch with and get into philosophical discussions for fun. Sometimes we would discuss personal autonomy, if building a utopian society without social and economic class separations is possible, and other such topics. After a few months of this, I asked how he knew so much. I knew he had an Associates's Degree, but the depth of knowledge he had on many topics illustrated that he did a lot of reading and learning on his own time.
He shared a story with me which shook me to my core. He had been raised as a Christian. His parents took him to church from day one, and his entire life—family and otherwise—centered around this faith. He told me how he would read the Bible over and over because he wanted to. He told me how as a teenager, he would talk to his Pastor for hours about the meaning of life. Once he became an adult, he served a two-year mission in France. His life had been dedicated to his faith. Then in his mid-20s, something happened, he lost his faith and found that he had been living a lie. He would never tell me the specific event that happened which caused it all to crumble (it was still a touchy subject), but he made the outcome perfectly clear. He told me how the revelation he had completely decimated him internally. He felt that everything he was ever told to him by loved ones could no longer be trusted. He felt that every “good” act he did for someone else was more about serving the endorphin rush in knowing he was one step closer to Jesus in the afterlife than it was about helping someone out. It was when he lost his wife via divorce (she was still incredibly devout and refused to listen to Dave) that he attempted suicide. He made it clear that though he lost almost everything because of his depression (his wife, his son was no only seen during visitation, his home, etc.), the most difficult reality to come to terms with was the fact that he lost himself. He said he never wanted to be in that position again, so he spent years learning anything and everything he could in order to know the truth and never have a repeat blindsiding.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned the GOP growth being stunted at age five; combining everything above paints the picture as to what I meant. Take what I mentioned before regarding the blatant disdain the conservative talking heads have for prudence when it comes to their support of law enforcement on their own (modifying) terms. Combine that with the impenetrable fortress that comes about from a lifetime of defense mechanism construction. You end up with a five-year-old.
Imagine a child of that age who believes in Santa Claus and then some older kid comes up and tells the young child the truth. For the younger child, Santa is VERY REAL. In most cases when this situation occurs, the child will be emotionally shattered, cry and run home to be consoled by a parent. Imagine that same feeling of your entire world being upended as the five-year-old finding out the truth, but amplify it by a thousand times and instead of presents, it’s your eternal soul. These are the exact reasons I give whenever I have a liberal friend of mine ask why Republicans “can’t listen to reason.”
I don’t want to try to justify the horrifically gross misdirection tactics used by the GOP. I’m not going to say that they “get a pass” because they don’t know any better. Ignorance is a choice, and the Republican leadership knows full-well what they are doing. But being the person I am, I do want to look at this last, human element to it. I cannot begin to fathom how incredibly damaging it would be to have the rug pulled out from under you as an adult. Your entire life would be thought of as a lie. That anything your parents and trusted elders told you could not be believed, ever. That is how we get the mental gymnastics the GOP is known for perfecting; it’s all defense. I’m not sure what can be done to rectify this. I hate leaving on such a negative note, but we have to realize that there is a third of this country that cannot grasp whatever facts or information is given to them out of self-preservation. Until we can figure out a way to effectively refute the lies, all while keeping someone’s entire being intact, this is how the Republicans are going to play the game for the foreseeable … let’s just be honest: forever.
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