Conservatives and Evil

Whenever tragedy strikes anywhere in the country, or acts of violence are committed in its cities or neighborhoods, it has been the self-appointed duty of most conservatives— those fearless, die-hard, unabashed card-carrying members of either dominant political party— to be as forthright, candid and explicit as only they can possibly be under the circumstances, to unequivocally cast their peculiarly ideological fire and brimstone message on the rest of the population. It is not enough that other pundits have already taken it upon themselves to up the ante for the sake of better ratings and popularity, but we are also subject to constant fear mongering emanating from the brilliant psyche of the so called moral (or religious) majority who seek ostensibly to stand on a self-righteous higher ground spewing out vigorously their nonsensical rhetoric.

Of late, one of the many faithful disciples of the lunatic fringe is Ted Nugent, the rock musician famous for his ear splitting guitar riffs (he suffers from hearing loss, as a consequence no doubt), with record album sales and numerous concert appearances, seems to have developed over the years into a true believer, an advocate and spokesperson of the conservative cause. In a recent Washington Times article penned by him entitled, Be Prepared for evil, the wild-dogs-on-a-leash gun advocate admonishes prophetically that, “There is evil among us. Always has been, always will be;” soldiers on to cite the Tucson, Arizona killings and others where “…victims didn’t make the national news, but they are victims nonetheless;” and proceeds with simplistic but adamant zeal to call attention to the “depth of evil that resides in the soulless monsters who commit these senseless, violent and deadly crimes,” for which reason we owe it to ourselves to “be prepared and ready to respond to evil at a moment’s notice.” Never mind a criminal investigation, psychological tests or judicial and legal due process, the operative word here is vigilantism (a genuine ideology of those who hold such misanthropic views), thus we, as “caring people of good will” should take it upon ourselves to be judges and executioners and “be ready to conquer evil if our society and culture are to progress…” if only because of our “…need for a higher level of awareness and a warrior mindset…” [My emphasis]

Such mindless political vitriol and preoccupation for a citizen’s patrol is cause for worry and concern and no sane argument could redeem such a self-defeating idea. Nugent’s pseudo populistic approach becomes nothing more than a call to arms from a right wing fundamentalist with a reactionary and self-serving conceit in mind. One would have every reason to wonder what the murder rate would be if everyone makes the case for such militaristic tactics in a country ruled by an elite hell bent on oppressing and keeping the citizenry in check on behalf of the rule of law and obediently assisted by a complacent news media forever stoking the flames of fear and crime in the streets, rapists on the lose and other social malaise supposedly ruining the country. Granted, murder is committed for different reasons, albeit with the same catastrophic and tragic results, but should so much misguided efforts be channeled into attributing an evil wicked, sinful, diabolical aberration to humans instead of sifting through for the real social and psychological causes?

The truth is that most of us will never know with certainty what goes through some people’s mind at times, what truly motivates them, preoccupies them, much less predict what could drive them to commit horrible deeds against their fellow human beings. Unfortunately, not enough attention, care and resources are being allocated to better diagnose and treat people suffering from mental illness. What does appear to follow a certain sensible, sober and humanistic logic is the premise that empirical science and criminology should be practiced for the benefit and social well being of society in general by professionals and not by quacks and demagogues who are hardly able to come to terms with their own selfish existence let alone the “evil” plaguing their own little world.