I know it dark, but you have to understand that conservatives see themselves in the past in an inspirational way. If you are really old, you’ll remember The Case of Bridey Murphy. This was a famous case of past lives regression. Bridey Murphy was unusual in that she was a housewife who lived and died and that was about it. Think of the other cases you’ve heard of where the person regressed was a prince or princess, noble, rich, powerful, etc. Most conservative Americans think of themselves as cowboys, but some imagine themselves successful entrepreneurs, military figures, leaders, and so forth. The truth is, if we had past lives, chances are we’d be a peasant in the 13th century who led a short, miserable life leaving behind only some squalling brats in a hut. Remember, It was just 1% who made up the ruling classes (I can’t quite remember where I got that figure from. Hmmm….) The 99% lived very difficult lives.
True, it is not out of the realm of possibility that I could have been a farmer living with some prosperity a hundred and fifty years ago, but searching records reveals a life far different from the cowboy mentality, the Davy Crocket image so many conservatives have of themselves. Some average Americans were very religious, some fought for the freedom of slaves, some worked hard to build a community, others found their calling in teaching. It just wasn’t all Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday. In fact, I just read up on Doc Holliday and Big Nosed Kate when I checked the spelling of his name. While there were some gunfights, it is not as though these people spent every day in shoot outs. In fact, Kate described Doc as sitting on the edge of the bed crying after the Gunfight at the OK Corral, saying, “It was awful, just awful”.
The reality of life in “the good old days” just isn’t what the conservatives like to make it.