Amanda Marcotte, she of the constantly getting linked to on my blog, has written one of the best sentences of 2010, and just in time for the New Year.
It’s absolutely fascinating the way a lot of culture war politics are constructed around this model where conservatives see themselves as children who have to be prodded into doing things adults do just as a matter of course because it’s the right thing to do—everything from paying your taxes to eating green stuff—but then think they’re wearing big boy pants because they can actually make real trouble for their imaginary mommies. (source)
There’s not really anything to add to that. It would probably take me several paragraphs to sum up the conservative mindset as effectively as that one sentence does.
Although on a somewhat random note, which I’ll address because it comes from the same post:
Sarah Palin is on a rampage to shore up the idea that Real Americans eat nothing but crap, and proceed to show liberals whose boss by sitting on their asses, angled correctly so that the fat can line their arteries most effectively. But as KJ at XX Factor notes, Palin regards her own body as a temple that she actually takes real care of, particularly by being an ever-so-un-American exercise nut.
The conservative ambivalence about exercise in particular seems pretty straightforward to me. I’ve read enough male conservative pundits launching into wet dreams of their perfect conservative wives, and those descriptions invariably include regular trips to the gym. And the purpose of this exercise, predictably enough, is that it’s her wifely duty to look sexy for her husband.
Basically, if you’re a woman, there’s two ways to be a Real American. If you don’t give conservative men boners, you’re a Real American for rejecting all that liberal health food and organic produce and arugula. If you do give conservative men boners, you’re a Real American because… well, because you give conservative men boners. Conservative men need women they can respect for being kindred lardasses, but they also need conservative women that they’re willing to prong. Obviously the two groups don’t overlap much.