The Conservative Brain

Liberal EliteGood news – I managed to join the ‘liberal elite’ overnight, even as I slept. Mind you, so did 16 million other people who happened to vote to remain in the EU. How’s that for social mobility?

That’s what I am according to Theresa May’s worldview, as reported in the Daily Mail yesterday. Apparently, I find patriotism distasteful, think concerns about immigration parochial and views on crime illiberal.

As The Spectator mole puts it:

It turns out there’s not some tiny cabal of well-connected, property-guzzling, cash-hoarding people running the country and ruining it for the rest of us, after all. There is no wealthy minority. Apparently the 48 per cent of the electorate who voted Remain now count as the “elite”. Champagne all round! 

I listened to May’s speech and this trashing of the Remainers is starting to really irritate me. My views haven’t changed and I would like a say on what ‘Brexit means Brexit’ actually mean. But according to the Mail, this is me being ‘liberal elite’ and riding roughshod over ‘the will of the Britsh people’ when the will of a very sizeable chunk of the population is no such thing.

As I listened to her speech, I couldn’t help but think of what I’ve been reading in The Republican Brain that looks at the psychology of the political right and left. I’m about halfway through and have just hit a section on Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative intellectual who played a major role in the rise of the New Right in America.

She successfully mobilised grassroots supporters to mistrust and condemn the ‘liberal elite’, whether they be politicians, academics, scientists or the media. As a result, a sizeable part of the American population see liberal conspiracies everywhere, deny scientific truths, believe blatant untruths and prefer Fox News to the ‘liberal-biased media’.

She did that by appealing to the emotional needs of people who are naturally inclined towards conservatism, those who fear change, are suspicious of those who are not like them and who want to preserve a way of life that probably never existed in the first place. (Sounds a lot like NIgel Farage doesn’t it?)

I truly hope that we’re not headed in the same direction, if we’re not there already.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 6th October 2016

    May savages liberal elite? Hell, that mouse-woman couldn’t savage a Kid’s Meal at McDonalds. She is apparently now the leader of The Workers Party – so left wing she makes Chris Waddle look like a centre forward.

    Reply
  • Steve 7th October 2016

    I haven’t heard May’s speech but it sounds like she’s definitely taking pages from the American Republican playbook. Republican politicians have been demonizing “the elite” for years — which basically means anyone who can read. (And calling Schlafly an intellectual seems awfully charitable!) It’s been said before — the impulses behind Brexit seem very similar to the populist fervor driving Republican politics in the USA and other populist/right movements in Europe. It’s all very scary.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 7th October 2016

      I think it’s fair to call Schlafly an intellectual, even if she used her intellect in a rather warped way. She was certainly well-educated which makes it all the harder to understand the views she had.

      Reply

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