Sunday, November 26, 2017

Can Science Turn Conservatives Into Liberals?

Ever since my days at McGill, I've been interested in studying the brains of Cons, to try to determine what makes them so dumb and so bestial.

And for years I've known that what sets those brains apart from those of normal people is the size of the amygdala, or fear gland.  

Peering inside the brain with MRI scans, researchers at University College London found that self-described conservative students had a larger amygdala than liberals. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is active during states of fear and anxiety.

Which in a stressful moment can turn them into fearful creatures, or quivering cowards.

As we sadly, know only too well.

But while the condition is a terrible one, I never thought it could be cured.

I thought their fear glands would just grow and grow until it turned them into monsters, like the fungus that turns ants into zombies. 

Carpenter ants of the Brazilian rain forest have it rough. When one of these insects gets infected by a certain fungus, it turns into a so-called “zombie ant” and is no longer in control of its actions.

After all I've studied our Con zombies for years...

Take the case of Vic Toews for example, who even after he left government only got worse. 

Manitoba Judge Vic Toews has dropped his court challenge of a federal ethics commissioner's ruling that found he violated the Conflict of Interest Act when he received money from two Manitoba First Nations.

But while I've also known that Con zombies should never be made judges...

Especially if they are religious fanatics.

What I didn't know is that apparently Cons CAN be cured, and believe it or not, turned into LIBERALS!!! 

Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life: In one University of California study, the more fear a 4-year-old showed in a laboratory situation, the more conservative his or her political attitudes were found to be 20 years later.

And many other laboratory studies have found that when adult liberals experienced physical threat, their political and social attitudes became more conservative (temporarily, of course). But no one had ever turned conservatives into liberals.

Until we did.

And it seems the key to curing them, and turning them into liberals, is to make them feel absolutely safe.

Which is harder than it sounds, but it does provide a path forward. It does explain why politicians act like they do:

This is why it makes sense that liberal politicians intuitively portray danger as manageable — recall FDR’s famous Great Depression era reassurance of “nothing to fear but fear itself,” echoed decades later in Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address — and why President Trump and other Republican politicians are instead likely to emphasize the dangers of terrorism and immigration, relying on fear as a motivator to gain votes.

It does explain how voters can be so easily manipulated.

All of us believe that our social and political attitudes are based on good reasons and reflect our important values. But we also need to recognize how much they can be influenced subconsciously by our most basic, powerful motivations for safety and survival. Politicians on both sides of the aisle know this already and attempt to manipulate our votes and party allegiances by appealing to these potent feelings of fear and of safety.

And why people like Donald Trump or Andrew Scheer pose such a threat to civilization.

Because there is a deadly serious message in all of this. Ignore that desire for safety and survival, however absurd it may appear, and risk ending up living in a fascist society.

Especially in a country with a large aging population like this one.

Immigration fears created Brexit and brought down Britain. The same primitive fears helped propel Donald Trump to power.

And you don't have to be a weatherman to see where our Schmeagol would take us...

Because we've been there before...

But at least now, if all fails, we know what to do.

Give the Cons a lobotomy, a hot water bottle, and a teddy bear.

And send their leaders to a safe place, where they rightfully belong...

And of course, if we want to feel safe.

Never ever let them go...


  1. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Cons are ignorant

    1. Hi're right of course, but let's not be too harsh on them. When you have fear glands as large as they have, there's just not enough room for the other grey matter....

  2. Anonymous12:29 PM

    The inherent catch-22 is that they fear science itself. If a study like this was ever conducted at McGill, Scheer would be riling up his mob to shut them down too (and Peterson would be leading the charge). Plus, that's Justin's alma mater too, where he got his English degree before going on to U of BC to train as a (gasp) schoolteacher. He's the Illuminati! Drain the swamp! Lock him up!

    Just look at how Trump turned 62 million people against Harvard because Obama went there. I doubt he ever heard of Wellesley, but Bannon sure did -- and successfully got that school branded as not only a haven for the hated "coastal elites," but part of the coven of dreaded feminism.

    Now the conspiracy theorizing is so outlandish that you may as well start treating cons as paranoid and delusional schizophrenics who've lost touch with reality (if they ever had it to begin with). A significant number of these nutcases sincerely believe that NASA has opened up the nonexistent Comet Pizza child-trafficking operation on a secret base on Mars. Perhaps there'll be a cure for conservatism when science discovers a cure for major mental illness. And I say this as a sufferer of one or more such conditions myself whose jaw drops when I hear the incoherent (incovfeferent?) lunacy that comes from their mouths -- and tweets.

    It's a very interesting study Simon, but I think the standard con brain-in-a-jar in a neuroscience laboratory probably looks like the one of "Abby Normal" during a classic scene in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. It's probably moldy and decayed and has flies on it too.

    1. Hi anon....when I first saw a brain in a jar I did think of the movie Young Frankenstein, and was almost as disgusting as my first parasitology class. But seriously, what I think this latest study demonstrates is that while the enlarged amygdala theory may be still valid, it is not conclusive, so the Cons can be saved from themselves!! As you can see I had a bit too much fun writing this post, but there is a really important lesson for progressives somewhere in all of that. And that is that in these dangerous times, we cannot allow the Cons to out muscle us on security and immigration issues. We can be compassionate but firm, and if we take the fear card away from the Cons they will be left with nothing...

  3. Anonymous12:33 PM

    What I find amazing is how little it takes to turn a Con into a liberal. If the Trudeau Liberals are smart they will learn from that. We are in danger of being flooded with Haitian and Salvadoran migrants presently in the U.S. If the Liberals take a hard line they will win the next election in a landslide.

    1. Hi anon...I agree with you, and that's the same point I was trying to make above. The Cons and the Con media were able to create a small backlash when a few thousand Haitians began pouring across the border. But if 250,000 Salvadorans start doing the same thing the racists will have a field day and the backlash could be enormous...

    2. The other strategy could be to appeal to our latent Anti-Americanism and point out a)these poor people are fleeing American injustice [1] and b) that integrating someone fleeing the USA means little more than helping them identify a Tim Horton's at 50m and explaining what a tuque is.

      I'd play the "last safe refuge" card for all its worth and try to shame the Cons---well they have no shame but it might work with every other Canadian.

      1. Heck, if needed invoke memories of the Underground Railway and the Vietnam War draft dodgers. People fleeing the USA for safety in Canada. About as Jingoistic as one can get but so?

  4. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I find it hilarious that the Cons who like to think that they are tougher than the "snowflake" liberals are in fact the scaredy cats with the enlarged fear glands. It does explain so much about them.

    1. Hi anon...yes it is ironic isn't it? And it does explain so much about them. The paranoia, the blind hysterical hatred, the Scheer evil. However, the good news is that we can use that weakness to neutralize many Cons, and bring them over to our side...

  5. You forgot Peter Kent and his discovery of reefer madness

    1. Hi Steve....I thought that latest reefer madness from the Cons deserves its own post. But you're right it's yet another attempt to use fear as a weapon. And it's particularly disgusting since marijuana hasn't to my knowledge killed anyone, while the Con's failure to deal with the opioid epidemic has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Canadians...

  6. Anonymous3:52 PM

    I like the lobotomy idea Simon though legally it might be an issue. They have meds for just about everything now so why not a pill to shrink the gland, or another favorite of mine, multiple bursts of high radiation?
    Just imagine, by shrinking the gland, it would relieve pressure all around it and enable the other half of the Con brains to function once again.
    Imagine, their compassion, equality and cooperation glands would be free to guide their decisions in life and turn them into decent human beings.
    Just imagine.

    1. Anonymous5:22 PM

      Start lacing the water supply with microdoses of LSD. It "resets" the ego. Prince Charles has a cousin who's conducting research at Oxford into the beneficial properties of psychedelic medicine for various mental illnesses -- including anxiety disorders, which can basically be described as a clinical level of fear. Conservatives are high anxiety, and they in turn cause it among the very same people who make them anxious.

      Put this stuff in the maple syrup, and Canada would literally turn into the Care Bear Country it's often stereotyped as being. A Nelvana Nirvana. Call it Strange Brew 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    2. Hi JD...damn, if you think lobotomizing the Cons might be a step too far, I'm going to have to write to Santa and ask him NOT to bring me a shiny new chainsaw ;) But on the positive side, I like the idea of high radiation a lot. ZZZZZAP.
      Seriously though, it would be great if we could make the Cons less fearful,. We'd live in a better country and The Rebel would go bankrupt...

    3. Hi anon...I like the idea of lacing the water supply with LSD, but only if we can limit it to the Con provinces of Sakatchewan and Alberta, and use Jason Kenney as a guinea pig.
      I took LSD once when I was in high school and had such a bad trip I thought I was going to die. But since I don't drink and had been cajoled by my friends into drinking at least two beers, it might have been the combination. I'm just hoping that when marijuana becomes legal, enough Cons will try it and mellow out. It''s about time...

  7. Can you imagine how big Harper's almond shaped amygdala gland was when he hid in the closet?

    1. Hi Willy...well luckily he had the space to accommodate the expanded gland. I mean they didn't call him helmet head for nothing...;)

  8. e. a. f.4:33 PM

    I've read part of the study. this post is a hoot. loved it. now if we could just do something with that gland and reverse the "damage"

    1. Hi e.a.f....hey thanks a lot. I'm glad you like the post. I needed that, since one of my doctor friends criticized me in a most uncouth manner, for turning a post about a serious study into a joke. I of course was forced to plead guilty, but did ask him if he had any better ideas about how to survive November in Canada. And alas he had none...🙄

  9. Anonymous5:45 PM

    The Harper Cons called Layton "Taliban Jack." Was completely disgusting. Of course, not even close to the kind of hate-filled Goebbels-like propaganda being spewed from this ridiculous blog. (If you ever had anything intelligent to say, it got lost in all the lizard-brained foolishness!)

    1. Hi anon...well, I'm shocked. I have never been accused of being more disgusting than the Harper Cons. I don't know whether to be outraged or flattered. But could I ask you a favour? If you can't shrink you fear gland, could you at least try to grow a sense of humour, Life is bleak enough in Canada at this time of the year without you comparing me to Goebbels. I don't even speak German, and your Fuhrer Von Scheer would be most displeased...

  10. Ever since my days at McGill, I've been interested in studying the brains of Cons

    Oh no! One of Dr. Cameron's students!

    Sorry, couldn't resist,

  11. hi jrkrideau...I actually worked for a short while in the place Cameron did. In a big building that once belonged to a shipping magnate.
    But the experiments had ended many years before, the LSD was all gone, which for me and my wicked friends was probably just as well... ;)