Facts are stupid things.-- Ronald Reagan
The best analogy I’ve come across regarding the neoconservative (now teabagger) movement is the one using the nesting habits of the cuckoo bird comparison. Cuckoos employ a rather interesting reproductive strategy involving what is known as “nest parasitism.” Briefly, the female cuckoo lays an egg in the nest of another species of bird (after first removing an egg from the host’s nest). Upon hatching, the baby cuckoo goes on to banish the remaining eggs and hatchlings of the host, at which point it becomes the sole focus of the host parent’s interest.
By now you’re probably asking why the host parents don’t banish the alien egg before the troubles begin, or at the very least abandon the parasitic baby cuckoo once it has grown to a size far larger than host parents themselves.
The problem, of course, is that birds lack the thinking skills necessary to recognize the parasite. They take note of the eggs, of the sight of a baby bird’s features and cries, and follow a “care for egg/hatchling in nest” instinctual pattern. It does not demand much of a masquerade on the part of the cuckoo to abuse the host’s instincts. All that is necessary is the initial neural imprinting by the parent host on the baby parasite’s signals.
One cannot help but be struck by the remarkable parallels between the nesting line of attack of the cuckoo and the infiltration of the conservative movement beginning in the 1970s by neo-conservatives (“neocons”) which has now been itself been taken over by the teabaggers.
Just as the parasitical cuckoo bird ingratiates itself into the nest of an unsuspecting host, eventually driving out the rightful offspring, so did the neocons/ teabaggers come to dominate, to the point of exclusion, what passes today for “conservatism” and “the right.”
Intelligent men and women assure me that there are reasonable conservatives capable of logic, so this will be the only point I will cede on their behalf. I’m told by good sources that there once were conservatives -- a political philosophy which literally encompasses the notion of conservation. Those conservatives wanted to conserve important things -- like the public infrastructure, the rule of law, public education, and even our environment. During the last 30 years, though, like so many cuckoo birds, the GOP has systematically dumped these classic conservatives from office, replacing them with right-wing, laissez-faire parasites. The teabaggers, which are a perversion of the already perverse neoconservative movement, which in turn blossomed during the Reagan years, is a warped mutation of true conservative ideals. Furthermore, neo-conservatism grew out of racist and classist ideology. Modern conservatism is characterized by a resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality; and some of the common psychological factors linked to it include fear and aggression, dogmatism, and an intolerance of ambiguity.
First, I have to begin with the Biggest Lie -- the myth of Ronald Reagan. I have had it up to here
... with the constant idolization of what was in fact an incompetent (and very likely cognitively impaired) president. In the pantheon of the neocon iconography, Reagan is only slightly lower than the White (Red State) Jesus.
Even Reagan disciples such as David Stockman have long since admitted that no one was home at the Reagan White House, that then-Vice President George Bush the Elder was out of the loop, and who today in the right mind could deny that the “Trickle Down” approach to tax reform was a disaster? Today, the Randroids, starting with Greenspan, admit those policies were ineffective and destructive. Even Reagan shill Peggy Noonan admitted in “What I Saw at the Revolution,” that he didn’t “really hear very much,” and that his appearance of constant good humor was connected to his deafness. He missed much of what was not said directly to him, but he assumed it was good.
In other words, he was not all there -- nobody was home.
Now, I don’t say this to poke fun at a very serious disease, Alzheimer’s. I know people struggle with this disease and I am aware of the suffering it entails. However, we had a president who was quite literally not all there and his adherents constantly attempt to paint him as something great when in actuality, he set in motion many of the dynamics that have contributed to the collapse we’re now experiencing. It didn’t start with Bush the Younger, it started with Reagan.
Hopefully, historians will prove less easily convinced, I dunno...
I do know the cuckoos have taken over the nest.