Let’s Rebrand Ultra-Conservatives as Reactionaries

One thing I try to stress to my students is that they shouldn’t assume that technological sophistication is the equivalent spiritual, intellectual, or social sophistication. Certainly, Tibet isn’t known for its state-of-the-art infrastructure, luxury condos, or sound systems, but few First World citizens would argue that US Televangelist Joel Osteen is a higher being than the Dalai Lama or that Jacques Derrida’s intellect was superior to Aristotle’s or that Dr. Phil understands human nature better than Geoffrey Chaucer.

For example, here’s one former member of the University of South Carolina’s Law Review, a former executive director of the South Carolina’s Republican Party, and current 21st Century US citizen’s solution to the now all but forgotten Ebola crisis:

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Need I add that, of course, Mr. Kincannon is pro-life.

Imagine someone in the 1950’s suggesting euthanasia as a way to eradicate polio. I suspect if you conducted a poll of sustenance farmers throughout Asia, the vast majority would consider Mr. Kincannon’s solution to the Ebola epidemic barbaric, even though a large number of them might very well be illiterate.

This same Kincannon fellow in another tweet offers this rather un-PC assessment of the original inhabitants of the American continent:

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Of course, the metaphor is backwards: my ancestors, the colonists, were the infestation. Native Americans were here first. We sort of, to be crude about it, car-jacked the continent.

Unfortunately, the media brand rabble-rousers like Kincannon as conservatives, but they have about as much in common with Edmund Burke as Andrew Dice Clay does with Oscar Wilde. They are reactionaries, hipshooters, intemperate, the opposite of conservatives.

Of course, the irony is that often far right adversaries like Benjamin Netanyahu and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei often have a lot in common — monotheism, tribal intransigence and the fervent wish that the US/Irani negotiations fail.