What’s Up w/ That?

American politics is divided  along “liberal” and “conservative” lines although these labels can be simplistic. In the past few months I’ve used this blog to vent against many conservative and Christian positions, so I feel obliged to agree with this crowd on one point here (in addition to the 2nd Amendment). It’s a recent issue, and lately in the news.

It think many conservatives are right about the state of psychiatry, about the pill-industrial complex, and the over-diagnosis of depression and a range of other “diseases” like ADHD.

Depression is almost always situational – and not simply as individuals but even as societies. Humans were simply not designed to waste hours a day in cars, work in cubicles, eat garbage food, and return to a relatively isolated and alienated existence (compared to the life of extended families and communities only a few hundred years ago).

While I don’t consider myself classically “liberal,” I disagree with conservatives on most of their core issues (from a non-liberal perspective): economics, war, crime, immigration, religion, etc…

Today I was preparing a lesson about landmark US Supreme Court cases regarding prisons. The conservative justices always seems to fight for the wrong cause: letting California remain at a 200% occupation rate for prisons; insisting that states can hand out life sentences for non-violent crimes to people who were minors when convicted; restricting the ability of prisoner’s to re-open cases; and generally siding against inmates in any and all cases regarding abuse of power.

There appears to be a kind of sadism at work. What else explains these dissents? The mommies of these conservative justices did not hug them enough in childhood, and now they want to project the pain. Their positions reveal a central tenet of conservatism: the protection of authoritarian power (and even of its abuse).

True, liberalism has fed into the massive bloating of the state, but it tends to be lighter on marginalized people at the very bottom of the hierarchy: like prisoners and the undocumented.


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