Are you a conservative? Then you're a d***, and there's something wrong with your brain. At least that's what "24" actress and comedienne Janeane Garofalo believes.
According to the former Air America radio host, a conservative starts out an “a**hole,” and the politics come later. She asserted, “The reason a person is a conservative republican (sic) is because something is wrong with them...It really is neuroscience.”
In this February 12 interview with the environmentalist celebrity blog Ecorazzi, Garofalo also claimed the “irrational” emotion center of the brain, the limbic system, is what creates conservatives (text reformatted, profanity edited, all bold mine):
The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an a**hole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a d*** to cleave onto their ideology...
Sarah Palin didn't escape Garofalo's ire either. She said Palin is "small-minded and mean-spirited" and “is what the Republican Party has become: obstructionist, contrarians, small-minded, all of these things (sic).”
Garofalo raved that "[t]here's definitely something wrong" with Palin, and she's successful with some Americans "because she represents that lesser segment of the country. It's about people's lesser nature...”
Ecorazzi then dangled some bait:
E: I think it’s safe to say [Palin's] done some pretty nutty things.
JG: It’s not even nutty. It really is neuroscience. I truly believe that it has something to do with their limbic brain. I really believe that some people’s limbic brain dominates more than others. Our limbic brain controls all our emotions and it causes us to be irrational. Our limbic brain goes into action when we’re ecstatic, frightened, when we’re having sex. I really believe that if a neuroscientist examined the brain of somebody who identified as a conservative, they would find it’s wired differently.
Maybe a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who is fond of angry, vitriolic outbursts should take a look at the limbic system in her own brain for the excessive emotion and fright that she attributes to the right.
Garofalo also attacked Republican beliefs from Ronald Reagan forward, railing, "Their policies have destroyed us and most of the world--that's a fact not an opinion." She was baffled that “conservative republicans” (sic) (her sneer quotes) are allowed to participate in politics, asking “why do they still get a say?”
That certainly isn't very inclusive. She also seemed a little confused about the difference between fact and opinion.
When discussing politics and neuroscience, perhaps Garofalo was referring to several questionable studies that tried to link political beliefs to the brain or childhood, or perhaps she was just projecting her own personal demons onto conservatives.
One thing is for sure—she didn't get the message from the left that we are all supposed to put politics aside and come together for the good of the country. How “obstructionist,” "contrarian” and “small-minded.
*photo credit: AP/New York Times
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