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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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March 26, 2015


Who are you trying to kid? There is not the slightest chance you could successfully feed that market without giving that egghead of yours away. Which leaves you only the intellectual ultra social conservatives as a market and I don't think that guy left a forwarding address.

If Ted Cruz, Harvard graduate and debate champion, can believably transform himself into an Appalachian yokel, I'm sure that Mr. Carpenter can do the same. Plus, he won't have to give any speeches.

That poses both a scientific and philosophical question. Can one learn to be a sociopath? The very first apropos Shakespearean quotation and the zombies would detect a beating heart. Brains!
I've never been able to pass for long on right wing sites despite never doing more than asking obliquely inconvenient questions. They sense intellect.

It's a good question, Peter. Some historians think that Caligula learned to be a sociopath from his Uncle Tiberius. Others think he was born that way. It's the same old "nature vs. nurture" debate, isn't it?

Yep. Maybe we should try an experiment and put PM on a diet of raw meat. My recent trip to Missouri was instructive though. My understanding is that he was raised there and if that didn't do it I'm not sure what would. He seems naturally resistant.

Without traumatic brain injury none of us could likely sink to the depths of the social conservatives' depravity. I'm still impressed by the audiences at the last set of Republican candidate debates booing a gay man risking his life to, probably in his mind, defend the country or the wild applause at the idea the uninsured should be left to die.

"Social conservatives" nowadays basically means the Christian Right. There's no way they would consider Goldwater one of their own. Goldwater said:

"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.....The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.....I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?... I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'"

A SoCon in the modern sense, like Huckabee or Santorum, has never been nominated. If he were, he'd probably lose worse than Goldwater did, but the modern SoCons haven't had the evidence thrown in their faces by reality yet.

Excellent points. Evangelical Christian conservatives have also changed radically in the past 50 years. The following is copied from a piece at:

In 1968, Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:

“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

Just to clarify some history ... Goldwater, against his ideological preferences, introduced "social morality" as a campaign issue in '64 and exploited the social conservative vote as part of the Bill Buckley/Frank Meyer fusion, or synthesis, of social conservatism, economic libertarianism and anticommunism. It's true he came to regret it in the 70s & 80s, and in fact he became quite vocal in his disgust with the Christian and "New" Right. But he was very much a part of launching the movement, which made his disgust even more acute. He felt guilty.

Thanks for participating directly in the discussion and adding something only a true student of US political history could, P.M.

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