As Republicans, with their brains’ thick, distended amygdalae rush to wall the country off from Ebola-ridden Liberians, ISIS infiltrators, Guatemalan children surrendering at the border seeking refuge from murderous circumstances, and suspicious brown-skinned future Democrats of every nationality, it’s important to remember how terrified they are of Americans too.
It’s also important to remember that when Republicans have accidents in their pants they are not to blame. When the conservative is crouched behind his kitchen table hoarding his 17 NRA recommended Winchesters, ready to fire at anyone knocking at the door and portending disturbance of all that’s holy within, it is the goddamned amygdala acting up again.
As studies that hit the headlines a couple of years ago reported, the University College London’s Cognitive Neuroscience folks discovered that conservatives have “a more pronounced amygdala – a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion. It is an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. Those aligned to the left had thicker anterior cingulates – which is an area associated with anticipation and decision-making.”
Psychology Today put it this way: “The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is active during states of fear and anxiety. Liberals had more gray matter at least in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that helps people cope with complexity.”
I’m not recommending brain surgery, yet, but it is important to take not only precautionary measures, but proactive ones when faced with policies inspired by agitated amygdalae screwing the country up beyond all recognition.
For instance, Fortress Republican Brain remains on high alert against democracy, troubled that already minorities, gays, the 47%, unions, college students and immigrants somehow have sneaked their way inside the perimeter, fort-breachers of the worst kind, especially if you let them loose in a voting booth.
While my first inclination derives from knowledge absorbed during various scientifically keen zombie films, 28 Days Later comes to mind, and indicates that the Republican with the fattened amygdala, like the poor, infected Zombie, must be clubbed to death for the good of all, there are other alternatives. One is utilizing every legal and political weapon to overturn voter suppression laws. Another is registering to vote. And yet another is actually voting, even in, and especially in non-presidential year elections. One might correctly infer that subpar voting by Democrats in midterm election cycles, is indication liberals lack sufficient fear. My advice, liberals, would be scare yourself, and do it for your country.
It isn’t surprising then, that Fortress Republican Brain can’t resist the allure of feudalist economics. Something in the whopper amygdala insists that when most of the national wealth and income remain firmly in the hands of the few, locked within the fortress, out of the hands of the Ebola-tainted 47%, who, as Mitt Romney has instructed, “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” those he could “never convince… should take personal responsibility and care for their lives” (firefighters, school teachers, retail workers, an ugly lot) what a wonderful world it would be.
Indeed, a bloated amygdala will helplessly, instinctively hasten in the direction of Ayn Rand, Spaghetti Goddess of all that is stupidly and inefficiently unequal, like a salmon hopping up a river. That big, strong amygdala isn’t very smart though. Myopic self-interest may produce short-term benefit, but in a nation dependent upon consumer-generated capitalism, in a large, interconnected nation, and interconnected world, short-sighted parsimony will slay itself in the long term. A hefty amygdala is a self-inflicted wound machine.
Needless to say, a thickened amygdala is going to require a gun, and lots of them, in fact. The National Rifle Association may as well change its name now to the Amazonian Amygdalae Association. Stand Your Ground laws are a landmark of Fortress Republican Brain precaution, preventive murder of everyone who potentially scares you, which apparently is everyone, just in case.
Any optimism that interlopers such as scientific fact, or economic fact or historical fact can breach the Fortress Republican Brain, misunderstimates the vigilance of the Brain terribly. Nothing can persuade the Brain that the health care exclusivity it advocates endangers not only its own health, but its own prosperity. The suggestion that eradicating dreaded disease in Africa, and the monetary investment required to do so is in the self-interest of the Fortress Republican Brain causes the Fortress Republican Brain to explode.
Furthermore, nothing irritates the tubby amygdala, and puts the Fortress Republican Brain on high alert like the expertise of climate scientists. Fortress Republican Brain is the Rikki-Tikki-Tavi that destroys the climate change reality cobra, long before it has a chance to get inside the fort and bite.
Fortress Republican Brain has perhaps, no stronger armor against the nasty virus of reality than Fox News. And of course, Rush Limbaugh, whose bulbous head I can now understand with genuine sympathy, is simply one giant, overgrown amygdala.
The Tea Party legions in congress, and Republicans elsewhere, with amygdalae the size of bowling balls, and reptilian morals, will do all in their power to keep America always safe from Americans. We’re going to need a huge catapult and a very large battering ram.