By Travis Hardin
MATCH EACH STATEMENT with its label or description at the end of the article:
1. A newspaper article during an election year reported about the agenda of two groups calling themselves religious conservatives. They were against women having a choice in abortion, equal rights for women, and pregnancy counselling for teens. They were for spanking children, permitting parents to deny their children immunizations, and for sequestered doctrinaire education for children.
2. The Los Angeles Times published a cartoon in which a man, labelled "Moral Majority" is in a psychiatrists office for a word association exercise. The psychiatrist says, "...planned parenthood ...teen pregnancy ...birth control information ...abortion..." After each, the client says, "...sex...sex...sex...." The psychiatrist says, "I must say, sir, you seem to have a disturbing fixation." The client responds, "Me?! You're the one with the filthy mouth."
3. Instead of trying to resolve in a private way their intense internal conflicts between their strong sexual feelings and their belief that sex is evil, some people politicize, publicize, intellectualize, and project onto society the struggles within themselves. They wish to punish others for recognizing, accepting, or enjoying their sexual natures.
4. Belief in the literal truth and inherency of the Bible, the pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ, and salvation by faith alone.
5. Steve Allen in his 1965 book, Letter to a Conservative, said of people who, opposing change, marshalled arguments against then new plastic baby bottles and safety pins for diapers (later used overwhelmingly), that they were examples of people who "...simply reacted immediately in a_____and _____way to the innovations because they were innovations, and then rationalized a position emotionally arrived at."
6. Observes Steve Allen in the same source, "In trying to understand why the most noticeable characteristic of right-wing literature is its aggressiveness, we are enlightened by the knowledge that aggression always comes from either_____or_____. ...It is no accident that every political organization commonly referred to as a "hate group" is affiliated with the right."
7. This year's nasty guy, Pat Buchanan, "decries 'America's gargantuan welfare state'...opposed 1991 civil rights bill...decries decline of America's 'moral standards' and catering to special interests, among which he lumps most minority racial and religious groups. 'When we say we will put America first, we mean also that our Judeo-Christian values are going to be preserved, and our Western heritage is going to be handed down to future generations and not dumped on some landfill called multi-culturalism.'"
8. Buchanan "has vigorously defended John Demjanjuk (convicted in Israel of war crimes) against accusations he was the notorious Nazi prison guard Ivan the Terrible...WiIliam F. Buckley writing in New Republic, says 'there can be no doubt' Buchanan is anti-Semitic."
9. Buchanan "opposes legal abortion; supports the death penalty."
10. President Bush last October 2nd vetoed a bill for unemployed to be given additional financial relief.
11. People in mental hospitals, on welfare, unemployed, or homeless are just taking advantage of the system. All they need is to go out and get to work.
The reader may wish to ponder which of the attitudes in this exercise are associated with main-line conservatism, which are reactionary, and which are grotesque parodies that happen to resemble or to be riding on the coat tails of conservatism.
1. Sexual neurosis, male supremacy, misogyny, hatred of children.
2. Sexual neurosis.
3. Sexual neurosis.
4. Fundamentalism, mysticism, authoritarianism.
5. Fearful and hostile.
6. Frustration or fear.
7. White supremacy, tribalism, reptilian behavior.
8. Ruthlessness, violence, aggression, tribalism.
9. Misogyny; vengeance.
10. A philosophy, popular among the fortunate, built around selfishness, in which the fortunate are seen to deserve their fortune, and the unfortunate deserve to be unfortunate. Part of the divine plan, you know.
11. Inability to empathize or introspect Unawareness of emotional causations and effects, the oneness of mind and body, and mental health. Denial.
Buchanan material used by permission of Knight-Ridder Tribune News. Copyright 1992.