Old conservatives wanted facts, they wanted science, they demanded to see the math. But that was then, this is now and today, when the facts and the science and the math are laid out at their feet, conservatives look away. They recoil from facts, they recoil from science just as the mythical vampire recoils from the noonday sun.
Modern conservatives now prefer to find their "truth" in belief. Something is proven true because they believe it to be true. Contradictory facts or science, even logic itself, are rejected out of hand as offending the cardinal belief structure. Nothing can be allowed to offend cardinal belief, not even reality.
Steve Harper believes bitumen barges plying the British Columbia coast are a good thing. That's his cardinal belief around which all else must conform. How do you get a square peg into a round hole? Easy, you just whittle away all the corners. Harper has whittled away fisheries regulations and monitoring. Out of sight, out of mind. He's shutting down most of our Coast Guard stations. He's
A good deal of the frustration and anger that Steve Harper evokes in so many Canadians is at least partly explained by our lack of understanding of how his mind works. We expect him to be reasonable, informed and deliberative but, like so many theocrats, Steve's reasoning more closely resembles that of an unruly 8-year old. He is impatient, impulsive and driven by gut instinct; traits that leave him with a narrow perspective that is closed to others' ideas. Steve is the consumate modern conservative, preferring to rule rather than govern, to shove rather than lead, to ignore consensus. Our country is in the hands of an ill-tempered child.