Conservatives Disrespecting Authority
Jonathan Chait's New York Magazine piece, “When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?” is necessary reading for anyone concerned with the 2012 election--particularly those on the left. I tend to agree with Chait. Obama has disappointed me a few times but he's by far the best president I've had in my lifetime. More power to him. Four more years to him--hopefully, with a Tea Party-less Congress. Hell, if folks on the left spent as much time working to get rid of these bastards as they do bitching about the imperfection of Obama, we might be getting somewhere.
So bravo to Chait. Even so, there's a line in his piece that made me squint my eyes in disagreement.
Conservatives, compared with liberals, have higher levels of respect for and obedience to authority and prefer order over chaos and continuity over change.
Generally and historically true. Yet they've spent the last three years besmirching, demonizing and undermining the ultimate authority figure in the country--the president of the United States--in a way that has never been done before. Democrats may have considered George W. Bush illegitimate because he only became president through a very shaky ruling by a very conservative U.S. Supreme Court; but Republicans and Tea Partiers argue that Pres. Obama's very presence in this country is illegitimate. They say he's not a U.S. citizen, he's not Christian, he's a socialist, he's Hitler. It's ugly stuff.
More importantly, beyond Obama, conservatives have shown massive disrespect for traditional authority figures for a long, long time:
- Judges (“activist”)
- Lawyers (“frivolous”)
- Teachers (“incompetent”)
- Cops (how can they be against armor-piercing bullets?)
It astounds me sometimes. The law-and-order folks that the left disrespected in the 1960s--pillars of the community--now get pilloried daily by Republicans and the usual loudmouths on FOX-News.
Chait's thoughts on conservatives, in this regard, need some correction.