Gay Patriot Header Image

National Review Institute Summit:
John Hood Discusses Power of Republicans at State Level

One of the panels today at the National Review Institute’s Summit was “Solutions from the States.” The topics ranged from the transfer of income from high-tax to low-tax states, the impact of pop culture on conservatism and how to change it, and the broad wins at the state level that the Republican Party has had over the past several election cycles.

To that last point, John Hood – President of the John Locke Foundation – spent a few moments with me talking about how the strength of the state-based Republican Party can be translated to national prominence.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

A Social Disease?

I work in a very liberal environment, and over the past few years, I have come to wonder at the fact that the vast majority of the folks I have kept in touch with from high school, college, and graduate school are overwhelming left-leaning.  Until recently, I even found logging on to Facebook depressing, simply because the vast majority of my Facebook “friends” are Obama voters.

Although I can understand how and why I ended up with such a large collection of liberal friends, acquaintances and colleagues–from about the age of 16 through my late twenties I fancied myself a “moderate,” and I have spent most of  my adult life in or on the margins of the academic world–I can’t help but feel dismayed that so many of the folks I know have clung to the leftism of their youth with the zeal of the true believer.

Blogger Assistant Village Idiot has written many excellent posts over the years on the nature of what he considers “tribal” thinking when it comes to political, social and cultural identity.  He wrote a great one two weeks ago where he reflected on the nature of contemporary liberalism as primarily a social phenomenon:

I have declared many times that liberalism is more of a social than an intellectual set of beliefs.  Certainly, liberalism is enforced socially rather than intellectually (though the claim of intellectual superiority remains, and is in fact part of the pressure).

He goes on to cite examples from the current TV show Portlandia which illustrate the techniques of liberal social “enforcement” at work through the application of “self-righteousness,” the use of “public shaming,” and the threat of being “cut off from the group.”   Read the whole thing, and be sure to watch some of the clips, too, if you’re not familiar with the show already.

Most readers of GayPatriot are more than familiar with the shock, disbelief and horror (along with much more mean-spirited and vitriolic reactions) voiced by “liberals” when we express conservative views or even when we question standard liberal talking points and “conventional wisdom.”   Likewise, I’m sure most of us have had the experience of referring the seemingly more open-minded among them to an article, website, book or movie which they never even look into.  One reason for their reactions is that, because of the social conditioning perpetuated by aggressive liberals and the propagandizing of the educational establishment, most contemporary liberals aren’t prepared to engage intellectually with ideas outside of a narrow range of approved opinions, and so they quickly turn to insults, name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and other forms of invective. (more…)

“Mean World” Syndrome

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 2:27 pm - January 26, 2013.
Filed under: Pop Culture,Random Thoughts,Social Issues

I’ve forgotten where I stumbled across this term, Mean World Syndrome, although it was yesterday!

“Mean world syndrome” is a term coined by George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is…”You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behaviour,” [Gerbner] said. “It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.”…

…Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are claimed to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they may be able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence…

What do y’all think of this idea?

I have only a few scattered fragments of thought about it, so far. First, I’m suspicious of anything that smacks of Behaviorism. But I also notice that this idea isn’t the standard fare, that our violent media culture somehow programs us to do violent crime. It makes a different point: that our violent media culture (and I would count TV News shows, in that) has given us all a darker vision of the world, making most people a little more frightened and suspicious. True/untrue/?

National Review Institute Summit

I’m at the NRI Summit in DC this weekend. It’s great catching up with blogger friends. And I’m finally meeting some of the folks I love to read everyday from the National Review.

It’s hard for me to listen and blog, so while Gov. Scott Walker and US Sen Ted Cruz speak a lunch, I’m just going to listen.

I’m giving real time updates on GayPatriot on Twitter.

More later. Maybe photos.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)