Lefty Blogger: Greed And Ignorance Make ‘Political Conservatism Especially Ripe For Con Artistry’

Posted on Mon 01/04/2016 by

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Tom Johnson picture-58-1409692124By Tom Johnson ~

Ben Carson seems to be joining the likes of Michele Bachmann and Howard Dean on the list of presidential candidates who generated a lot of early buzz but became distant also-rans well before a nominee was chosen. According to Washington Monthly blogger David Atkins, Carson’s campaign also offers yet more proof that conservatives tend to be easy marks for scammers.

“The libertarian-conservative ethic of ‘get rich any way you can’ combined with a stubborn dismissal of objective fact makes political conservatism especially ripe for con artistry,” argued Atkins in a Saturday post. “It’s no accident that the tea party has been home to one grifter after another making a quick buck…Fox News itself is a long con perpetrated on fearful, older white Americans with the goal of making Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes rich while keeping Republican politicians in power.”

From Atkins’s post (bolding added):

Wolf-carson_0The way that Carson’s campaign has imploded is yet another window into the way the GOP has allowed itself to be run into the ground by charlatans of all kinds…

…By all accounts an eminently successful neurosurgeon, Carson parlayed his story of success into a grander overarching narrative that every person of color could overcome structural racism by sheer dint of hard work and determination, plus an abiding faith in God…

But Carson…grew to believe in his own hype…[He] decided that he was qualified to be President of the United States—and that his utter lack of policy ken or experience would be unimportant, irrelevant and undiscovered…

…He allowed close friends and confidants to dominate his campaign instead of people who actually knew what they were doing. In particular, he trusted key decisions to Armstrong Williams…who has rather transparently been using the Carson campaign as his own vehicle for professional advancement…

…The libertarian-conservative ethic of “get rich any way you can” combined with a stubborn dismissal of objective fact makes political conservatism especially ripe for con artistry. It is no accident that Richard Viguerie was able to conduct his mail fundraising scams on the backs of GOP voters. It’s no accident that the tea party has been home to one grifter after another making a quick buck. American conservatism is the home of quack televangelists and secular Ayn Rand-spouting hucksters alike. Fox News itself is a long con perpetrated on fearful, older white Americans with the goal of making Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes rich while keeping Republican politicians in power. Donald Trump is merely the latest in a long line of egomaniacal scammers willing to play the same group of people for fools.

It should shock no one, then, that GOP presidential campaigns themselves are being waged by con artists, and themselves fall victim to media-hungry carnival barkers. It’s part of the culture.

Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.

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