The broad brush (moral relativism) syndrom

Rightwing Nuthouse illustrates the difficulty in describing The Different Reality Inhabited by the Conservative Base. It is a trope trying to balance the civil discord on the idea that reality is a matter of perception rather than existence.

Perhaps the first clue is the use of groups (e.g. “conservative base”) and motives and feelings rather than individuals and specific behavior. That is a contrast to the foils offered (Beck and Limbaugh) both of whom focus on specific individuals and specific behaviors. Another clue is the diminishing terms used in expressing opinion such as

If one returns to the “original intent” of the Constitution – a document written when the US was a coastal nation of 7 million people – in order to create a “small” government, the result would be devastation.

Then the conclusion yields to the logical fallacy of a reduction to the absurd where the base becomes the fringe; the median the outlier.

But it if also means espousing the paranoid fantasies and bitter partisanship advanced by the hard right, it will spell eventual disaster for the party and make conservatism itself irrelevant in the national conversation.

Peggy Noonan was quoted

But we know the price now. This is the historical context. The White House often seems disappointed that the big center, the voters in the middle of the spectrum, aren’t all that excited about following them on their bold new journey. But it’s a world America has been to. It isn’t new to us. And we don’t have too many illusions about it.

as a means to show credibility, define the base, and offer sympathy. The expression of this sympathy is hubris. It avoids completely the nature of the ideological divide as does trying to place it as an alternative reality.

If such a diatribe as this is to be honest, it first has to be clear about the definitions of ‘conservative base’ in light of political parties in its use of the terms. There is significant conflation being used to obscure party affiliation, ideology, position in the political spectrum, and self labeling. In a similar way, reality and ideology are being mixed together. Reality is what it is and ideology is how you see things. A first step in intellectual integrity is being able to distinguish between them.

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