Saturday, November 10, 2012

The "Evolution" of Conservatives

I love the use of the word "evolved"--in some political contexts.

The Hill reports that Sean Hannity--who if asked in a line of conservative pundits if he believed in evolution would likely not raise his hand-- along with other conservative acolytes have "evolved" on the immigration issue.

What does this mean? Has Hannity, in Lamarckian fashion, still contrary, and therefore perhaps revealingly comfortably aligned to established Darwinian science--spontaneously seen a structural change in the nature of his cerebral processing, in a single generation--in a single moment?


"Evolved" here means that he saw his party so soundly thrashed that, rather than casting Hispanics as anti-American takers, to be tossed over the nearest wall, along with their dream-suppressed families, he now sees in them opportunity--and so they are instantly transformed from castaways into noble treasures, on the basis of a sound, firm, noble ideology known as opportunism.

"Evolution" here is a scienc-y, meant-to-be-blinding elision, a black box, a veil over the shifting cups with the marble beneath, a way to attempt to get you to accept a cravenly opportunistic, savagely self-shifting movement, a using, from  one place to its direct opposite, with a word that will stop you from thinking about the nature of the process that is driving it, just for one moment.

Because, if you do think about it, you will be forced to see that this is a decision that wholly contradicts the house-of-cards image that has been built up before you--of an ideological truth teller, a sound, honest patriot, only acting upon and expressing the best interests of the nation.

And if you pull that string, however slightly, lifting blinders of warm, unseeing feeling from your eyes, you will see a calculating salesman, attempting to make the leap to the new, contradictory position that will sell, attempting to lead you to embrace those who, only days before, he was casting as enemies of our nation, and attempting to prevent you from asking that question, so caustic upon such attempts at fakery: Why?

So now we recast those who we will treat as humans. We find a new villain--as it's always necessary to have someone to hate to keep the grip, to keep the contrasting engine of "noble truth" running.


If Darwin had used its definition as applied above, "The Origin of Species" would have been a great deal shorter.

Exploitation. Crude chicanery. Expediency. Grasping, bait-and-switch artifice, in the aim of personal survival, the development of an opposable ideology, springing forth with immediacy from a prehensile mind.