Intellectual Conservative tut tuts over bad language

20 Sep 2012 10:32 pm
Posted by: Donna

Shorter Intellectual Conservative: Every time you drop an F bomb a welfare queen is born!

I’ve written on this blog about how right wingers like to preen about how virtuous they are because they don’t swear (at least not in front of the servants). Proving my point, “Intellectual Conservative” blogger Rachel Alexander devotes several paragraphs of her latest post to pearl clutching over profanity and her belief that all this unrestrained cussing going on contributes to our “culture of rudeness” which has spiraled out of control. This is also clearly a “nuh uh, you libs are the rude ones!” response to Mitt’s 47% fiasco.

This self-centered generation has developed an attitude that they are “entitled” to be rude, entitled to cut each other down. Instead of greeting others with a smile, brightening their day, it has become commonplace to be negative and grouchy towards others, including their co-workers. Publications like the Phoenix New Times, an alternative news weekly, reveal how degenerate the culture has become. Its articles and the comments left after them are not only rude but replete with foul language.

Plus, kids these days are sassing the grown-ups and people in general are no longer automatically deferential to authority figures. Plus, atheists rudely being atheist. Alexander looks to history for ideas on how we might put the brakes on this express train to Perdition.

William Wilberforce, a leader in the 18th century effort to abolish slavery, was so appalled by “the torrent of profaneness that every day makes more rapid advances” that he started a movement to introduce civility. Wilberforce had the Archbishop of Canterbury request that King George III issue TheProclamation for the Discouragement of Vice. It called for the prosecution of those who engage in “excessive drinking, blasphemy, profane swearing and cursing, lewdness, profanation of the Lord’s Day, and other dissolute, immoral, or disorderly practices.” He founded the Society for Suppression of Vice. He was effective, and by the end of his life, morals, manners and a sense of social responsibility had spread throughout Britain.

Movement conservatives today seem to be operating under the same definition of civility that Wilberforce was in his vice suppression effort. Mostly form over substance. Alexander’s image of a civil culture requires similar vice suppression squads. You know, kind of like the modesty police in certain Middle East countries now. It’s worth noting that Alexander is approving of a campaign for public virtue that happened under the reign of King George III, from which the American colonies had recently won their freedom. Also noteworthy is that Anglican clergyman Sydney Smith “suggested bitterly that it ought to be called the Society for the Suppression of Vice among persons with less than £500 a year”. It’s no surprise then, that Alexander likes it so much.

This is why all these calls for “civility” are doomed to fail. They inevitably redound to the efforts of reactionary authoritarians. Civility, politeness, decorum, whatever you want to call it, means behavioral norms that are arbitrarily established and enforced by the most privileged and powerful members of society. The less privileged and powerful you are, the lower the likelihood you ever get a platform to speak, but when you do there is a higher likelihood that you will somehow violate the arbitrary civility standards. You will very likely come off as angry, because people are trying to impose policies that will harm you or your loved ones. Which of course means the elites don’t have to listen to you, even if you were speaking the truth and your anger is justified, because you were so uncivil. Conversely, if you are a person with power and privilege, or someone who works for them, you are given numerous forums from which to spout whatever you want. And if that happens to be errant nonsense like Birtherism or climate change denial or that 47% of Americans are welfare mooches, or as Alexander claims in her screed, that 100 million people are on welfare in this country, you will feel entitled to demand the utmost courtesy and deference. The very worst breach of civility, in your mind, is other people making you uncomfortable either by calling out your lies, ridiculing you and your ideas, or (heaven forbid!) using colorful language to do so.

Oh, and this actually happened last night:

IC tweet


  1. Comment by Todd from north of the Gila on September 20, 2012 11:57 pm

    If anyone should get off the “deference to authority” bus, it should be Alexander. He role as Andy Thomas’ yes woman cost her a job and a law license, and apparently she still hasn’t learned her lesson.

  2. Comment by AZVoter on September 21, 2012 9:10 am

    I didn’t want to create a login to comment on Ms. Alexander’s post, so I will do so here.

    1) “The U.S. has become a materialistic culture full of self-interest and lacking in respect for humanity.”

    Isn’t this a result of the Republican ideal of individulism, the “I’ve got mine, screw you” mentality?

    I would say this harkens back to the mid-80’s and the beginning of the glorification of the individual athlete (Michael Jordan) over the concepts of teamwork and coordination.

    2) There are not 100 million people on welfare. There are about 50 million receiving some sort of government support, in the form of food stamps, unemployment and tax credits for low income families. Only about 4 million are on some sort of welfare.

    And I would hardly equate that to rudeness in the workplace. More likely it’s a result of failed Republican policies during Bush’s presidency (you know, 2 wars & Medicare part D on the country’s credit card, not to mention massive tax breaks for the 1%) as well as the weakening of regulations and thievery of Wall St.

    Yes, blame the worker for his attitude instead of the recession. It’s all our fault? What a load of BS.

    3) I actually have to agree with the TV part. I remember cringing while my kids watched Rugrats, especially Angelica. Now THAT’s an entitled brat.

    That said, I never tolerated the same from my own children.

    4) “Barack Obama, the president of the United States, would not even help his own half-brother when his son needed medical care.”

    Nice way to generalize about an entire population based on one instance involving the President and his brother. And since I don’t think Ms. Alexander knows the full story, she should keep her opinions to herself.

    5) “Obviously the concept of respect is not a tenet of Atheism”

    Funny, the rudest, most self-centered people I’ve met are those who claim to be “Christian”. Maybe it’s their pious attitude that pisses people off?

    6) I didn’t need a Bible to learn respect for my elders. My parents made sure I was raised with manners and respect, something I am passing along to my own children.

    The Bible doesn’t have the exclusive on morals.

    7) Ruthless businessmen are the norm, not the exception. Ever read Snakes in Suits? Mitt Romney is a perfect example.

    8) “The least successful businesses are companies where employees have bad attitudes or try to keep others down in order to promote their own careers.”

    Or where the employers treat their employees like the dirt beneath their shoes.

    You have to give respect in order to receive it. Respect is earned. One is not entitled to respect simply because of their position in society.

    It is a two-way street, Ms. Alexander.

    9) Really? People take drugs because others are rude to them???

    More like dealing with an underwater mortgage, mounting bills, stagnating wages, no sick or vacation time, no health insurance contribute to substance abuse.

    And after all of this blaming the lowly American worker for the ills of our country, you suggest suppressing Free Speech?

    You actually suggest that those above us should be allowed to dictate to us lowly masses how to act? Screw you, Ms. Alexander.

    And how exactly does Obama force people to accept his views using “the rhetoric of civility”?

    Your entire post, Ms. Alexander, is a load of steaming BULLSHIT.

  3. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 21, 2012 10:39 am

    I know I’m not the sharpest cat in the drawer but she’s THAT Rachel Alexander??!

    Being moralized by one of the Andrew Thomas Troika?

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 21, 2012 10:57 am

    Darn! Try AGAIN

  5. Comment by Bill on September 21, 2012 5:11 pm

    The exchange shows RA’s ignorance. There is no such thing as “welfare” for “able-bodied adults.” There is Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. There is SS disability for the disabled. There is TANF for families with children (i.e, food stamps). If you are an able-bodied adult without children, the government has exactly “zip” for you. So RA should be very happy.

  6. Comment by Suzanne on September 21, 2012 5:54 pm

    Poor Rachel, fair thee well in Seattle. Washington is a blue state with a high percentage of income tax payers.
    This article shows a map developed by the Tax Foundation highlighting the fact that non-income tax filers come predominantly from red states.

  7. Comment by mike slater on September 21, 2012 7:14 pm

    Bill, I disagree. I have a niece on SS disability that’s not disabled in any way. She gets $1600 a month from the government , and has been for most of her adult life, because she can’t hold a job for the simple reason that she can’t get along with anyone.

    Do you consider that a reason to get disability benefits?

    Donna, I’m a conservative and you’re a liberal so we won’t agree on anything but I do admire the fact that you allow comments on your blogs, unlike other liberals like Mike McClellan, Jana Bommersbach and Paula Pennypacker.

  8. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 21, 2012 8:13 pm

    See what happens when you blog so much? You broke the time machine.
    Deeeeeeva tiiiiiiiiime.

    Nice linky Suzanne. I found an interesting one too.

    In 1997, Congress enacted a new $500 per-child tax credit and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income workers. The 2003 tax cuts increased the value of the child credit to $1,000. These two tax credits – especially the child credit – have had a powerful effect on reducing, and many cases eliminating, the income tax liability for millions of Americans.
    Of the 42.5 million tax returns that pay no income taxes, 52.9 percent received some form of a refundable credit – either the EITC or the child tax credit

    Sooo, Romney uses every legal means (take his word!) to cut his own taxes, yet when poor people with children do the same they are moochers? (look at the year of the deduction increase)

    Oooooh I get it! See, by eliminating birth control by any means, Republicans want to increase the number of little tax deductions. Therefore they are really cutting peoples taxes!


  9. Comment by Elizbeth on September 21, 2012 8:29 pm

    Funny, the rudest, most self-centered people I’ve met are those who claim to be “Christian”. Maybe it’s their pious attitude that pisses people off?

    No idea if it will block quote or not but I just had an odd exchange with a so called Christian on Jeff Dial’s page where he called Dial fat, the governor leathery and made reference to parts I never even want to think about all while claiming to want to bring the rest of the world to the Lord Jesus Christ the Savior.

    I know he was a troll but it is funny I read this after that.

  10. Comment by Suzanne on September 23, 2012 8:45 am

    Brilliant indeed. “See, by eliminating birth control by any means, Republicans want to increase the number of little tax deductions.”
    It was during the Bush years too that the majority of illegals were bussed across the border to build the houses that now sit empty. The immigrants too have turned into moochers.

    I say we should eliminate ALL of the Bush tax cuts – let them all expire.

  11. Comment by Liberal Democrat Friend of Bruce Ash on September 23, 2012 2:03 pm

    You know, Mike, you can tell the disability office that you think someone is defrauding them.

    Or you know, you could try to find out what is actually wrong with your niece, and live some of your good conservative values and offer some family non-government help.

  12. Comment by mike slater on September 23, 2012 2:38 pm

    Lin Dem, the only thing wrong with my niece is she has an anger management problem. Why should the taxpayer pay to have her stay home and not work for a living?

  13. Comment by Donna on September 23, 2012 5:03 pm

    Yeah, she should get a job. Because everyone wants to work with people who have anger management problems.

  14. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 24, 2012 11:19 am

    Shorter troll:

    “We scapegoat my niece because we don’t really want to know what causes all her anger.”

  15. Comment by Liberal Democrat Friend of Bruce Ash on September 25, 2012 8:02 pm

    I’m not surprised at all that you don’t care about a family member’s apparently debilitating mental health condition.

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