Monday, October 15, 2012

Conservative Hypocrisy and Social Science

Social sciences are something most conservatives don't like. Well, mostly they ignore them and all of the conclusions reached, probably because the scientific evidence is inconvenient to their worldview. Fair enough. We all do that to some extent. Though conservatives tend to go a bit further when actually discussing the social sciences, arguing either they should be defunded and discontinued, they're just bastions of liberal brainwashing, or they don't count as actual science because they can't be used to build missiles and the only point of science is to find better ways to kill people.

Put simply, most conservatives, and especially conservative politicians, are not big fans of the social sciences.

But what kills me about the conservative hatred of the social sciences is the rank hypocrisy of it. It reaches a level of "virulently anti-gay politician caught with meth-dealing gay prostitute" hypocrisy that conservatives don't have an exclusive claim to, but sure seem to have perfected.

You see, the conservative hatred of social sciences is actually quite akin to the conservative hatred of evolution -- they say they hate it, but they use it all the time when it actually applies to them. For example, I'm assuming most all of them are up-to-date on their vaccinations. But if you've ever been vaccinated, you believe in evolution (at least as it applies to your health). Because diseases change and mutate (dare I say, evolve?) and so too do the vaccinations and various drugs used to combat them. So if you truly didn't believe in evolution, you'd have to reject most of modern medical science.

But, you know, if you were to do that, it might actually effect you personally, so you just hypocritically ignore that.

Well, their attitude toward the social sciences is the exact same. If you've got the time, go read this awesome deadspin piece on how Frank Lutz, the top Republican innovator of social science, is helping the NHL owners attempt to control the story surrounding their lockout of players. Or read this piece about how Romney is using the ol' "dog whistle" racist terms conservative strategists long ago discovered had the power to let you make racist statements with enough plausible deniability built into them that you can claim you're not racist when people call you out about it.

The piece on Lutz is really the most informative, as it's such a great example of how conservatives claim to hate the social sciences, but will gladly spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on social scientific research if it will benefit them personally. In fact, the greatest irony of this is that conservative spin-masters like Lutz (muthafucka coined the term "death panels" so you know he's good) are not only using the social sciences, but innovating them in countless (albeit highly problematic) ways. Lutz and his counterparts more-or-less invented the concept of focus-group testing specific words and phrases to radically reshape public opinion, especially when conservatives need to sell the public on something they don't want.

And that's really the dictionary definition of hypocrisy -- saying something is horrible and backward and should be done away with, while privately using it yourself, because you know it works.

tl;dr: Conservatives are really hypocritical about this thing I care about and that's annoying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nothing in conservative ideology stands in opposition to evolution and gay rights. Surprising that a "scientist" (giggle giggle) doesn't know the difference between political conservatives and right-wing religious zealots.