Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul has a tax plan he’d like to sell you on. The plan, which would put in place a 14.5 percent flat tax, was crafted with the input of some of the wrongest people in the conservative economic policy world, and it would redistribute wealth up the economic ladder while tossing a bone or two to the people at the bottom. But Rand is proud of it nonetheless, mainly because he thinks it’s less slavery-like than your average tax scheme.

Paying taxes makes you a slave, says a grown man running for the most powerful office in the world

The Party of Lincoln Is Now the Party of Jackson, and Vice Versa

Jackson is, clearly, the father of the modern Republican Party. As the modern historian Daniel Howe has noted, Jackson’s aggressive policy of Indian-fighting shaped the political landscape of the era. A humanitarian protest movement sprung up to oppose Jackson’s savage aggression, which heavily overlapped with the slowly deepening divide over slavery. In the House, four fifths of slave-state representatives voted for the Indian Removal Act, while only a third of representatives from free states did.

Jackson was a populist, but he directed his populism not at the local elites (of which he was one) but at the federal government. He favored the gold standard, and his opposition to a National Bank served the interests of the local banks that competed against it. He believed the Constitution prevented the government from taking an active role in managing economic affairs. He was instinctively aggressive, poorly educated, anti-intellectual, and suspicious of bureaucrats. (Jackson replaced more qualified federal staffers with partisan hacks.) He resisted any challenge to racial hierarchies. The opposition to Jackson stood for the reverse — a more interventionist federal government, more lenient treatment of racial minorities, a less aggressive foreign policy.

The qualities of the right-wing opposition during the Obama era has made the historic reversal all the more clear. Republicans have revived what they call “Constitutional conservatism,” which reprises the Jacksonian belief that the Constitution prevents economic intervention by the government. Tea-party activists in particular have sounded deeply Jacksonian themes in their populist attacks on TARP, and then Obama’s programs, as giveaways to powerful insiders. As a writer for the right-wing Breitbart News argued several months ago, “Jackson’s views on federalism and economics should be more carefully studied today.”

The right has long charged liberalism with fostering alienation, dependency, isolation and addiction among the poor — and leading minorities to reject traditional values and to see themselves as victims and whites as culprits. Now consider Dylann Roof: a jobless, stoned, opiate-abusing high school dropout who rejects such traditional values as law, order, hard work, sobriety and tolerance to vent his rage and blames his problems on a racially denominated  ‘other.’ The right blames all social pathologies on the left but would howl were anyone to imply that it helped spawn Dylann Roof — or that its anti-intellectualism led any young man to forgo college or that its economic policies left anyone without the chance for a decent job at decent pay. How does a young man so ensnared rationalize his fate? Roof got many of his theories from the website of the Concerned Citizens Council—“We oppose all efforts to mix the races”—headed by the lovely and vivacious Earl P. Holt III (“Black people are the laziest, stupidest, most criminally inclined race in the history of the world”). He was a donor to at least five current or former GOP presidential candidates. But the problem isn’t confined to the dark demimonde of far right hate groups.
Do Scared People Vote Republican?
Do scared people vote Republican? Psychologist Jason Dias tackles that and other questions that may reveal what your politics say about the real you.

Encounters with ambiguity — particularly with death-salience — drive one towards nationalist and xenophobic attitudes.

That is the key finding of the experiments behind the weighty tome called “The handbook of experimental existential psychology,” which for years has been attempting to provide empirical support for the works of the late philosopher Ernest Becker (Denial of Death), which suppose that fear — and fear of dying — is what underlies hate politics.

By now, there are thousands of experiments replicating those core findings: When we are threatened, we do tend to increasingly favor our ingroups and hate outgroups.

Such attitudes line up nicely with conservative ideals. After all, nothing denies ambiguity like recourse to authority, whether that authority is divine right (the religious conservative component of the Republican party), the law (that wing of Republicans that hates gay marriage), white supremacy (the so-called “Southern Strategy” component), or the law-and-order corner (tough on crime/criminals, death-penalty advocating, war-on-drugs quarter).

So, let’s get right to it now. In 2011, a study published in Current Biology titled “Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults” found a larger amygdala in conservative college students than in non-conservative ones. The amygdala is where fear originates in the brain. Now a big amygdala only matters here if size relates to function.