RAW EGG NATIONALIST: Conservatives Don't Need Rules -- They Just Need to Know Who the Enemy Is

Do you ever wonder why it is that liberals can accumulate power seemingly without limit, while conservatives are content to snipe from the sidelines about how “libs are the real hypocrites?” Why, despite getting the trappings of power, conservatives just can’t pull the (metaphorical) trigger on their liberal opponents? A new preprint study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin may help to provide the answer.

In four separate experiments, researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia showed nearly 5,000 adults in the US and UK a series of hypothetical scenarios designed to gauge their empathy for political allies and enemies. And to their shock, it turned out that conservative could actually be pretty nice. Too nice.

“Conservatives consistently showed more empathy to liberals than liberals showed to conservatives,” the researchers write. “This pattern – neither symmetrical nor asymmetrical in the expected direction – remains surprising.” But the results were unequivocal: Liberals made harsher moral judgments about “outgroup members” and also saw conservatives as “more harmful than conservatives saw liberals.”

The researchers, being liberals themselves, were surprised. But we’re not. We know the Left likes to think of themselves as benevolent creatures animated by joy, light, and love for one’s fellow man. We know that conservatives, in their view, are nothing but the designated baddies in the eternal Marvel movie they think politics is. We know this, and yet for the researchers, apparently, the actual truth about conservatives raised the uncomfortable question they never like to ponder: “Are we the baddies?” However, at bottom, the real problem is that they fear us because they don’t understand us. Whereas to us, they’re not only understandable, but predictable. Obvious. Tedious.

However, unlike so many other boring Boomercons, I don’t think we should be proud of this. Every time a psychological study like this comes out, there’s altogether too much self-congratulation to go around. You know the studies, from people like Jordan Peterson or his colleagues, that show that conservatives are higher in conscientiousness while liberals are higher (allegedly) in openness? Those studies always get the juices flowing for both sides.

“See?!” The normiecons always protest at studies like that. “We’re hard workers! We follow the rules! We just want to grill!”

“See?!” The libs retort. “We’re more open-minded! We actually enjoy new experiences, unlike those bigoted religious stuffed shirt conservatives!”


Here’s the reality: Liberal “openness” is the direct cause of the intolerance observed by the Queensland researchers. Being open to new experiences, without caring what those experiences are, is basically the mentality of a degenerate party animal, and there’s no one a party animal hates more than the person who makes them put down the bong, drink some water, and go to sleep because they have work in the morning, even if that person might be literally keeping their life afloat. Because the party animal doesn’t see it that way. The party animal thinks the person trying to sober them up is part of the problem, man. It’s because of people like them that we can’t go on partying forever; that we have to make money, and have responsibilities, and be useful. If no one was a buzzkill, then no one would expect that! The buzzkills are keeping us all down, man.

Laugh all you want, but this kind of thinking is why so many liberals care about nothing so much as creating a world where it’s impossible to be a conservative, full stop. In essence, for all their metaphysical and practical confusion, liberals intuitively get what the German jurist Carl Schmitt called “the friend-enemy distinction”: “The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy,” Schmitt wrote. Liberals understand this – they know that the only thing that matters in politics is rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. And no, that’s not a criticism. That’s how politics should work.

This is why the Left does things like throw Douglass Mackey, aka “Ricky Vaughn”, into jail for a decade for “election interference” because of memes. Because those memes were aimed at helping Trump win, which makes Mackey the enemy. This is also why Alex Jones and Roger Stone and Steve Bannon and now Trump’s entire legal team from 2020 have been targeted for destruction. They are key enemies of the regime, and so they must be punished. That is how any worldview that wants to win thinks, no matter how “open” to new things it is.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are often willfully blind to this simple political reality. Even President Trump has messed it up – look at his first term, where the White House was stacked with #NeverTrump staffers, if you doubt that. He’s not entirely to blame for that; what people like about him was that he was a true outsider, and far from a normal American president. The same inexperience with the norms of power that made him unable to spot snakes in the grass also gave him the ability to stride right across the border into North Korea and shake Rocket Man’s hand with confidence, because he’s Trump, the man who knows how to close a big deal and look good doing it.

Nevertheless, Trump’s outsider status blinded him to who his friends and enemies were, resulting in a series of catastrophic appointments whose effects defined his presidency as much as anything else. You know some of their names: Mike Pence, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner, Antony Fauci, Bill Barr? By the time Trump finally figured out what was really going on, his first term was over, and he was being labeled a “threat to democracy” and a failed dictator, including by people he had appointed. Ironically, one major reason why those people may have felt that way is precisely that Trump wasn’t a slave to the kind of norm-conscious, rule-following, conscientious thinking that made conservatives losers in the first place. He understood that the game was rigged, that following the rules was pointless, that being open to new ways of thinking and acting about politics was essential.

Which is why, unlike the dutiful losers who dominated conservatism before him, Trump learned quickly. Look at his mugshot now. Nobody could look at that and say, “That’s a man who doesn’t know who his enemies are.” Seven years of the most intense political persecution and betrayal, both in and out of office, will do that to a man, particularly one for whom telling friends from enemies is more important than effeminized norms of politeness. Trump is such a man. That’s why he has repeatedly promised that he will “destroy the deep state” if he becomes president again,  and those in the know are already labeling “Trump 2.0” a “retribution presidency”. The prospect of a wiser, angrier Trump spending four years punishing the grifters, carpetbaggers and traitors who have sold America down the river – and him – is already delighting his supporters.

I suspect Trump will enjoy the more personal aspects of this reckoning. In an interview with Charlie Rose some years ago, Trump famously – ominously, perhaps – suggested that “someday I’d like to maybe lose everything for a period of time to see who’s loyal and who’s not loyal.” “You just can’t predict it,” he added. In reality, Trump hasn’t needed to lose everything to find out, only to come close – and he may still lose everything.

Trump’s enemies know that he has changed. They know the danger he represents is now far greater than it was in 2016. And that can only mean they’ll fight even harder to prevent him from winning. And to that new experience, obviously, the supposedly "open" liberals have definitely closed their minds. 

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