There are a number of truly dumb arguments that people all over the political spectrum make to justify their opinions. Some liberals shun the science of GMOs and vaccines. Some conservatives shun the science of, well, everything else. But I wanted to take a look at three of the most annoyingly simplistic and downright dumbest arguments I’ve personally witnessed being made by conservatives against just about every single progressive, or even just plain logical proposal made by anyone who is not a conservative.
“We were fine for ___ years without it!”
Undoubtedly, my personal favorite Shitty Conservative Argument. You’ve probably heard it when conservatives grouse about taxes. “We didn’t have an income tax in this country for blee-blorp-years,” they’ll shout at you. The implication of course is that things conservatives don’t like — taxes, anti-discrimination laws, gun control laws — okay pretty much any law that isn’t allowing for their religious beliefs to take precedence over someone’s sexual and gender autonomy — are unnecessary and therefore bad.
It’s one of the games they play to appear rational and sane, and not wholly and bitterly disconnected from the world around them because they simply don’t like progress. It’s completely idiotic to say something like, “We were fine for years without” anything, because it completely discounts the very valid reasons for a new law or new social paradigm. It assumes that everything in its status quo is the best and most natural state of the universe.
We were fine for over a hundred years in this country without anti-slavery laws. We were just dandy in this country for nearly 150 years without women being able to vote. See how easy it is to get such a warped point of view on things when you view any and all change as bad?
They’re going to tell you that Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting us and are terrible programs. But ask yourselves this — if that were so, why would Social Security still be solvent almost 80 years later? Why would Medicare be the only system of medical care in this country that puts market influences like supply and demand into real play and gives the consumer the most actual control over the pricing of health care?
We were not “just fine” for years without most legislation and regulation. Maybe some people were, but the majority of us were not. The opposite is actually true. We were fine for decades with Glass-Steagall and the New Deal era’s financial regulations. Then they were systematically gutted over a period of about 15 years and we wound-up with a self-regulated industry that nearly collapsed our entire planet’s economy.
Laws are written for a reason. The next time someone tells you that you don’t want something that common sense tells you that you do, maybe don’t vote for those people.
“It’s a slippery slope from ___ to ___!”
Ask any conservative Christian voter about gay marriage and it will not be long until they tell you that if we let the gays marry, it’ll only be a matter of days before we’re letting adults marry children, dogs, plants and automobiles.
Of course, you can point to a state like Massachusetts that had gay marriage on its books for over ten years before the Supreme Court made it the law of the land, that still considered sex between an adult and a minor a crime, but the people believing that craziness aren’t interested in reality. They’re interested in, well, pretty much not letting anything change that scares them.
They are too blinded by their own religious biases to read their own scriptures to see just how much marriage has “evolved” since the Bible was written. Hell, they’re too up their own fundamentalist asses to even realize how much marriage has changed as an institution of wealth and power consolidation in society in the last 150 years.
There is no slippery slope. We are freely thinking human beings with the ability to see a mistake was made and to stop making that mistake. It’s never too late to reverse decisions that weren’t well-enough thought out. Well, that’s not entirely true of course, but in the abstract, when we’re not talking about nuclear holocausts and climate change disaster scenarios wiping us all off the face of the Earth, there is no such a thing as an arbitrary point of no return.
Laws can be and are repealed, and it’s a lie to say they can’t be.
“If it’s not in the Constitution, it can’t be done!”
To be fair, I have heard plenty of people on the left side of the aisle worshiping the Constitution as an infallible piece of holy scripture, too. We’re taught to revere the white, elitist land owners who started a revolution over burdensome taxation over the cause of liberty but were too cowardly and unevolved to dole out the liberty to people of color and women. So it’d make sense that a lot of Americans would feel that the Constitution was the end-all, be-all of our American way of life.
Except, even those white, elite land owners knew that once they were dead they were dead and had no say in how the country would run. Every single thing on this planet is adaptable, because every single thing on this planet has been adapted from something else thanks to evolution. Maybe one of the smartest things those rich, white elitists did all those years ago was to create a system of governance that could easily be allowed to evolve. Instead of resisting change and fighting societal evolution, we can indeed reshape our government and our lives as we see fit.
It’s happened before.
Slavery and the lack of women’s suffrage are the clearest and plainest examples of something not being in the Constitution — true liberty and justice for all — that had to be added after the fact. The 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th amendments are perhaps the greatest testaments to just how important it is to remember that we can and have changed the moral of our fabric for the better throughout our history, and we’ve done so by changing the Constitution.
It is true that the founders placed the bar pretty high for a constitutional amendment to get through, and this was before the country spanned the entire continent and was home to over 330 million human beings. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t or can’t try to fix what we see is broken about us. That’s the entire damned point of being alive and conscious, isn’t it?