Doom and Existential Dread

About the stages of the Republican Party’s terminal illness (doom); and about why conservatives disapprove of same-sex relationships more than any number of other supposed Biblical sins (existential dread); and my explanation for the latter.

Salon, Rich Logis, 11 Dec 2022: A prayer before dying: On the Republican Party’s terminal illness, subtitled “I was a Republican for years. I can testify that GOP leaders know their party is doomed, and there’s no escape”

The writer declares the Republican party dead, its illnesses in its politically traumatizing mythologies.

The Republican Political Traumatization Mythologies Meter is as follows; there’s some overlap from one phase to another, but differences may be overt, rather than implied. The higher a Republican politician is on the meter, the more politically traumatizing he/she is:

  • 1-2: Garden-variety partisanship; standard-fare fear-mongering;
  • 3-4: Utilization of trigger words and phrases, such as, but not limited to: “culture,” “values” and “parental rights”; these are often incorporated into rhetoric about sex, LGBTQ and “states’ rights”;
  • 5-6: Overt yearning for when America was “great,” i.e. the 1950s or early ’60s, when the ruling class was Caucasian, heterosexual (at least outwardly), male and Christian; undermining the value of education and science, especially from the Ivy League-educated;
  • 7-8: Whites are being replaced by brown and Black foreigners; law enforcement is weaponized against Republicans; Big Tech “censors” Republicans; teachers are making our kids gay; Democrats are coming for our guns; citing of Barack Obama by name;
  • 9-10: Elections are rigged, unless won by Republicans; political violence is legitimate political discourse, warranted when Republicans lose; use of guns, as the preferred holy war weapon, to intimidate; Christian theocracy and nationalism; and the will of God.


The irrefutable fact is: the Republican Party appealed (habitually, I talk of the party in the past tense) to those who think moving backward is moving forward. Whether that means looking to an imaginary version of 1776, the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy, the 1950s as America’s apogee of greatness or relitigating the 2020 election, the entire GOP product is backward-facing.

The writer confirms my take on what “MAGA” actually means, in steps 5-6, which entails its hostility to education and science.

To echo Adam-Troy Castro, quoted a couple posts ago, there have always been people like this, and that they occasionally rise to power is a perhaps unavoidable consequence of the interaction between human nature and any kind of political system. Is it possible humanity will never avoid those who are intent on tearing down what others have built before them?


Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr., 11 Dec 2022: Opinion | A question to conservative Christians on gay marriage: Why draw the line here?

An eternal question for conservatives (and bigots) is why they are so focused on homosexuality, while neglecting so many other “sins” identified in the Bible (especially in Leviticus). They never have an answer. But I will speculate.

Dionne refers to the resistance to the “Respect for Marriage Act” by those who object to recognizing same-sex marriages. Christians demand exemptions from laws that the rest of civil society has agreed to respect, because religion. But why on this one point?

Why do conservative Christians want this exemption in the first place?

That question is neither naive nor rhetorical. Many traditionalist Christians view homosexual relationships as sinful. I think they are wrong, but I acknowledge that this is a long-held view. Yet many of the same Christians also view adultery as a sin. Jesus was tough on divorce. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder,” he says in Matthew’s Gospel.

But unless I am missing something, we do not see court cases from website designers or florists or bakers about refusing to do business with people in their second or third marriages. We do not see the same ferocious response to adultery as we do to same-sex relationships. Heck, conservative Christians in large numbers were happy to put aside their moral qualms and vote twice for a serial adulterer. Why the selective forgiveness? Why the call to boycott only this one perceived sin?

Dionne doesn’t have a good answer; he cites “cultural predispositions,” the importance of family values, and so on. Yet he admits, “But we straight people have done a heck of a job of wrecking the family all by ourselves and, in any event, supporting same-sex marriage is to stand for, not against, stable, loving, lifetime relationships.”

(Not to mention the many same-sex couples who are motivated to raise families, via adoption or surrogacy. As I’ve said here before: there is no relationship between one’s sexual preference and one’s desire to raise children. This has frustrated many homosexuals.)

*My* provisional explanation for why conservatives disapprove of homosexuality far more than they do divorce or adultery is that they have a visceral reaction against the presumed preclusion of homosexuals to reproduce. That’s why parents are terrified their children might be gay: no grandchildren! An existential dread that one’s family line will not survive. If there’s one thing that drives human behavior more than anything, on a subconscious level about virtually *everything*, it’s the drive to reproduce, and ironically this is part of the inescapable process of evolution and natural selection that conservatives don’t “believe” in. After all, if you divorce or commit adultery, you have or can find another spouse and still have children. That’s why those things aren’t so bad, in the unexamined intuitive (i.e. animal-driven) moral sensibilities of conservatives.

Ironically, as modern technology, and social programs, allow same-sex couples to raise children, this fear should be going away. Of course it’s not; conservatives disapprove of homosexuals raising children at all. Why? Because homosexuality might be catching? No evidence shows that happens. But conservatives don’t do evidence. They do unexamined moral sensibilities driven by evolution.

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