Tribal ID: Why conservatives take it to the limit

Tribal ID

by digby

I often wince a little when I hear people say that conservatives are somehow duped into voting against their self-interest. I honestly don't think that's so. Conservatives just have a different definition of what their self-interest is. And they believe in that definition very deeply. So deeply, in fact, that it outweighs their desire to win.

Corey Robin explains it in this interesting interview:

I don’t have a theory of false consciousness; I don’t think anyone’s being distracted. I think the right really does deliver the goods of power and privilege to more than an elite class. And the way it does that is often through the private life of power, the slave plantation being, of course, the most obvious form, but the family and the workplace also being critically central. Burke understood this—that our identity is a historical inheritance, and one of the main aspects of that inheritance is this private relationship of power and domination. And that relationship is so close to us that to give it up would really be a form of self-destruction.

Right. They believe that giving up their private power would be far more destructive than giving up political power. Sure, right wing politicians are all liars and cheats and do anything they can to hold on to their public power. That's the gig. But to the true believers their central concern is losing the privilege that defines them. And it isn't really about money, although that's tangentially part of it. It's about hierarchy, status and dominion.