The Five Stages of Grief were conceived by one Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who along with her contributions to the field of psychology also knitted the first Keebler elf flag. Her stages originally applied to the human psyche as we work through the dying process—a process I have mastered during Southside Tavern comedy nights. On the Republican side of the political equation, these stages (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression) will continue to play out as the Republican dream dies a painful death. The problem? As long as the Breitbarts, Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world perpetuate the GOP’s ignorance, the final stage, Acceptance, will never be realized. That’s the way the conservative cookie crumbles.
[Fudge stars and stripes joke removed by the editor]
Today’s conservative ideology is an emotional reaction spawned from a strong resistance to any and all change. Don’t let their political super majority fool you, “conservative thought” is going the way of the dodo bird, only problem, so is mankind. It’s not that our right leaning friends are truly unreachable, but they’re fixed belief system will likely last longer than our species. This is not so much a commendable stubborn streak as a reprehensible errpoch. Schmuck Dynasty? We can’t keep arguing items that should have been resolved long ago, *cough* like, for instance, my bar tab at the aforementioned Southside Tavern.
There’s a clear match between these stages of grief and how our conservative friends handle, or, more accurately, refuse to handle each of today’s issues.
Denial: Premiums are fine. I enjoy forking over huge portions of my salary for companies insistent on not covering anything. Of the top ten industrialized countries U.S. healthcare recently scored the most expensive, while scoring the poorest on outcomes. We’re still number one, well, at smelling like number two (see: history of U.S. healthcare premiums).
Anger: Repeal and Replace! The disastrous Obamacare must go! It’s broken. It’s gone. Repercussions for not voting are worse than you know! There will be consequences for not voting for this bill!
Bargaining: Let the free market work. Repeal now, replace later. Let’s keep all the good parts of Obamacare with no way to pay for them. You do want to keep your job, Senator, right? There will be time to fix the bill later. Let Obamacare fail, I’m not going to own it.
Depression: Well, maybe we can keep it and just change the name to something Republicanish. Damn you, McCain!
Letting the “nightmare of Obamacare” end will actually just expand said nightmare to 22 to 32 million more people, depending on which CBO report.
Acceptance would of course come in the form of single-payer, but they will never go gently into that good coverage.
This hit the Discord long ago, but the right is sticking to the Kübler-Ross script like an Elmer’s omelet in a burnt kettle.
Denial: Deny as long as possible (Today there is only one group left on Earth still denying climate change. Only one hint…).
Anger: Al Gore lies! Blame natural earthly cycles and downplay man’s influence (Where are the Nuremburg-like climate trials for these rogue Climate-gate scientists?!).
Bargaining: India and China wouldn’t have changed anyway. (They were right, international consensus is impossible, because of them. Cue Alanis Morrisette song.)
Depression: Melt into a small pool of goo.
Republicans are currently somewhere between number 1 and 2, the climate taint as it were.
—Me 2014 (parenthesis bits added)
Of course, India and China are on board since that yonder post, but Donald Trump still dumped the Paris Accords. Even many Republicans will acknowledge climate change is occurring today, well, behind closed minds. But there’s never any acknowledgment of any original error. This is part of my Zen Wrongness theory, aka, as long as there’s a tidbit of info that support their shitty conclusion the rightwing media will hyper-focus on it, thus avoiding any course change or any self-reflection like the plague. The AnnCoulterer Strain?
Their bargaining stage, as it relates to climate, will get more desperate:
We had to focus on jobs! How could we address climate when real Americans were unemployed? And finally: There is no evidence that even if we’d tried to reduce emissions that it would have worked.
Wow, a great epitaph for mankind. Why try to avoid extinction when I could stand to lose a buck? Of course that premise is even wrong as green energies could have been a job and money making juggernaut, but we may never know. Kidding, see what adult countries are creating in their free time. There’s something wrought-in the state of Denmark?
The Russia Scandal
Denial: I never met with any Russian officials at any time during the lead up to the election. No one in my staff ever met with any Russians. It’s preposterous!
Anger: This is fake news! You’re fired! This is a witch hunt! Anyone would have taken that meeting!
Bargaining: Why not go after Hillary and the leakers! How about Susan Rice’s unmasking? Anyone? Mueller? Mueller? Everyone agrees the President has the complete power to pardon. A fake pardon, right? … Doh! Benghazi!!!!!!!!!!!
Depression: Can I just go back to starring in the Apprentice? The food here is terrible anyway
Rampant Blind Populism
Let’s use Brexit for this. This is a reality brought to you by our Trumpian counterparts across the pond. Remember, this move for the UK to break from the EU was overwhelmingly championed by U.S. conservatives, and it mimics their inherent shortsightedness.
This hasn’t really played out yet, but it soon will:
Denial: Brexiting will restore sovereignty! It won’t be hard to extricate from this incredibly intertwined trade agreement. Take back control! It will be win-win!
Anger: What do you mean it might cost £60B? Wait, our credit was downgraded?
Bargaining: Well, we want all the good parts of the EU deal, we just don’t want Brussels telling us what to do. Look, if we have another vote or some type of hybrid, not totally out, model. Just the tip?
The day after the election these same brain trusts were scouring the internet with searches like: ‘What is Brexit?’, ‘What’s the EU?’, and ‘What’s just the tip?’
Depression: Bloody hell, our economy lost how much on this shit?! It’s negatively impacting the global markets how much? Brussels will still control our Labor Laws? Intercourse the penguin!
U.S. Republicans seem wholly incapable of reaching acceptance on any issue. They wait until something is ancient history, so they can say, “That’s ancient history.” Let’s spare the details on the invasion of Iraq, but it follows these same stages, minus any closure. Everyone should be able to agree Bush’s war had profound implications for the region, the credibility of the U.S., and eventually even the stability of the EU. Despite this fact any mention of the subject is immediately dismissed with one of two lies:
- Obama created ISIS through a series of poor decisions, or:
- The Surge worked and Obama squandered the aftermath.
These stages follow Republican denial of Trump himself as even my own Republican senator Jeff Flake has come to realize, here. But will they ever cop to the fact that anything would have been better than a 2nd Bush term? Or will they ever admit, even post the Trumpocalypse, that voting for the least experienced person to ever run for office instead of the most experienced was a mistake? Of course not, they’ll have something to say like: