The country is never as bad as conservatives think it is
May 23, 2016 9:22 PM   Subscribe

"You probably haven’t heard of the Constitution Party. They have no seats in the House or the Senate, and probably never will. They don’t have any spokespeople telegenic enough for Fox News. They’ve only been around since 1991, and they’ve only been called the Constitution Party since 1999. (They were the Taxpayers’ Party before that.) Basically, it’s a party for conservatives who think Republicans are too secular." - GOD AND COUNTRY, Kaleb Horton spends 36 hours with the dying embers of The Consitution Party
posted by The Whelk (20 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
They've run candidates for statewide office in Oregon for years, and their platform has always been extreme, if a bit silly.

Also, McNaughton! I swear I once saw a portrait by him for sale that I had to pass a couple of times to make sure it was real. It depicted \the ghosts of Lincoln and Washington placing their hands on George W Bush's shoulders in benediction, so you know he's playing with a full deck. (Though I do like the Photoshopped version of his work that has a child signing an eldritch document...)

A little surprised this article didn't mention chemtrails once. Somehow I am sure there were pamphlets about them at the convention.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:47 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Chemtrails are more of a leftist granola hippie type of conspiracy, no?

Speaking of McNaughton, interesting to see that in the second painting linked to from the original article, he and his dad are sort of to the side of the evil presidents, just to the left of the Clintons and FDRs. Remembering that painting fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit mentioned, oh how the mighty have fallen.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:55 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The word is hiraeth.

Thanks for the word.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:13 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ooh, nice article. But a little depressing.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:16 AM on May 24, 2016


Yeah, it's a little depressing. It's depressing to see what sterile boxes people seal themselves in, the psychic coffins they inhabit.

But Horton did lighten things up a little with his general writing style which included such turns of phrase as, "he conducted himself with well-spoken doom" and "You can be yourself amid desolation."

And his summation, about getting out of dark, dismal rooms where doomsday is summoned and into the living world, was Thoreau put longer: "In Wildness is the preservation of the World."

Fascinating piece about a way of thinking that I hope is, indeed, dying out.
posted by bryon at 12:58 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


That's some fantastic writing-- wow! Thanks for sharing, Whelk.

As for myself, it was depressing to see how people can trap themselves: but I actually found it kind of inspiring and hopeful, in the end.

BTW, Bryon, the actual, longer quote from Thoreau is: “The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” But that's a pretty fantastic quote.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:21 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


> "Chemtrails are more of a leftist granola hippie type of conspiracy, no?"

Actually, no. There's very limited polling data, in part because the percent who believe in chemtrails is low even among the already-narrowed set of conspiracy-minded people, but what data exists shows that it leans slightly on the conservative side.

This is similar to vaccine denial and GMO, in that while they are often pegged (and sometimes strongly so) as a distinctly left-leaning item, data shows the right engages in the conspiracy to a greater degree, though sometimes the underlying reason for mistrust is vastly different. Conservatism as a way of thinking (as opposed to simply conservative policy) is, to some degree, naturally more prone to paranoia, hysteria, and conspiratorial-thinking, so while there absolutely are some ridiculous nutters on the left what we end up with is a situation in which even the supposed "left-leaning" crankery issues are regularly more likely to be believed on the right. Also, the left is less-likely to allow their nutters to get into positions of power and influence, though there are the occasional failures there too.
posted by mystyk at 4:50 AM on May 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


I liked Horton's use of the "perfectly anonymous" Hilton as a stand-in for soul-crushing, self-imposed confinement, with convention-goers standing in line for the "almost-fruit" buffet in a dimmed, windowless ballroom, "breathing recirculated Hilton air."

A conference at the Hilton is like death row. You're as good as dead. It takes effort to remember that you can step outside.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's long annoyed me that the Constitution Party always manages to get people on the ballot in Missouri, but the Green Party doesn't. (But then, our state Greens/Progressive Party/same-thing-but-not-really kind of collapsed on itself in the last decade.)
posted by Foosnark at 6:04 AM on May 24, 2016


Shades of HST...
posted by jim in austin at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2016


MetaFilter: It's depressing to see what sterile boxes people seal themselves in, the psychic coffins they inhabit.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:40 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


...while there absolutely are some ridiculous nutters on the left what we end up with is a situation in which even the supposed "left-leaning" crankery issues are regularly more likely to be believed on the right.

Which, in turn, gives various people excuses to claim that The Left is just as Bad.
posted by sneebler at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2016


Chemtrails a leftist granola Hippie type of conspiracy ?

More like one of the pillars of Coast to Coast with George Noory where the election desk is manned by Jerome ''Uber Birther'' Corsi and all climate change news is covered by Robert Felix of the Coming Ice Age fame. Coast to Coast might as well be called UFOX News, putting the nut in wingnut since 2001.
posted by y2karl at 8:24 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow, I didn't expect that MTV News would have such good writing. Great read, thanks for sharing.
posted by joedan at 8:26 AM on May 24, 2016


There was a nine-year-old girl who sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Wait, what? Have these ultra-religious types actually read those lyrics? Or did they concoct some sanitized version. Cuz that's no pro-God hymn.
posted by dnash at 8:32 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or did they concoct some sanitized version.

Yes. There's a bunch of "fixes" to it, some of which are much more subtle.
posted by Candleman at 9:12 AM on May 24, 2016


These people would have a stroke if they ever met one of the Founding Fathers in person.
posted by tommasz at 9:22 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


These people would have a stroke if they ever met one of the Founding Fathers in person.

Especially Franklin, the libertine Hellfire Club attendee.!
posted by dnash at 9:31 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? Have these ultra-religious types actually read those lyrics? Or did they concoct some sanitized version. Cuz that's no pro-God hymn.

See, also: Born in the USA, Fortunate Son.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:56 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm inclined to excuse the overwrought excesses of the prose in exchange for randomly brilliant bits like this:
With a ponytail and a leather vest, he looked like a guy from a documentary about the early days of video games who made the first home version of Galaga and didn’t get any royalties and now he lives in a trailer in the desert where he’s devising a new religion based on electricity.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:46 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


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