Such contradictions can make conservative thought look incoherent — a bunch of “irritable mental gestures that seek to resemble ideas.” But that appearance is deceiving. While the right’s rhetoric is riddled with mutually exclusive positions on state power, its underlying worldview seems (relatively) consistent. The conservative movement’s commitment to gun rights — and reluctance to judge police officers who summarily execute African-American men for carrying firearms — is only contradictory if one assumes that conservatives see such rights as universal. By contrast, if one posits that a deep-seated principle of the American right is inequality before the law — and, more generally, that the propriety of any state-imposed restriction on individual liberty depends on the identity of the individual in question — then all of the contradictions fall away. … [Read more...] about Trump Wants Big Government to Decide What Poor People Get to Eat
Puritan influence on american government
(CNN)Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday warned that it's not a question of if, but when the novel coronavirus will spread in the United States, some places have already issued emergency declarations, and more could be coming from cities, counties and states. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: Here’s why local governments are declaring emergencies, and what that means for you
It can’t be that the government should only intervene to help blameless victims of forces beyond their control. A woman stricken with leukemia is no more responsible for her malady than homeowners in Dickinson, Texas, are for theirs — in fact, she is arguably less so (assuming she did not chose to live in an area with a well-known susceptibility to outbreaks of cancer). Similarly, a child born to impoverished parents can’t be blamed for her hunger any more than thousands of Harvey victims can be blamed for their sudden homelessness. … [Read more...] about Hurricane Harvey and the Stunted Moral Imagination of American Conservatism
A person who is 5-foot-4, the average height for U.S. women, is considered obese at a weight of 174 pounds and severely obese above 232 pounds. A person who is 5-foot-9, about the average height for men, is deemed obese at 203 pounds and severely obese at 270. … [Read more...] about About 40% of US adults are obese, government survey finds
But it is a certainty that if our gun-ownership rate was comparable to that of our peers in the developed world, we could remain every bit as messed up as we are today, and still witness far fewer atrocities like the one Cruz perpetrated. Human beings are, ultimately, just highly intelligent apes. We’re all subject to fleeting impulses and patterns of thought that are unwise and uncontrollable. Surround enough of us with tools that can turn temporary moods into irrevocable violence, and you’re going to get a lot of irrevocable violence. In most cases, that violence will take the form of suicide; in a few, it will take the form of mass murder. … [Read more...] about Guns Make Republicans Feel Safe. So Americans Can’t Be.