March 24, 2005
"Life is so complicated!"
I believe that if one were to look at old school Republicans like Goldwater who believed in downsizing Federal Government and had a more Liberal approach toward civil liberties, privacy, and had a repsect for the Constitution they could certainly find some validity in these ideologies.
Bush, Frist, and other so called Neo-conservayives do not represenet these values. In my opinion they do not represent values period, nor do the radical Christian fundamentalist (the American Taliban) that put them in office. By the way is'nt the very word neo-conservative an oxy-moron?
I do disagree with the fact that they look at all Muslims the same. They seem to have a hard-on for Saudi Arabia. And correct me if I am wrong but was'nt it Haliburton one of the companies negotiating with the Taliban to put a pipeline through Afganastan?
Also, Bush does know the difference between Shites and SUNY. Shites are what Bush takes in his Crawford outhouse. SUNY is the State University of New York (By the way a bunch of liberals).
Not all Republicans are religious fanatics. Some are merely cowards afraid to anger their "base." Not that that's excusable.
I'm seeing a glimmer of hope. The religious right may have finally gone too far for most Americans. They're trying to use the Terri Schiavo case to further their "life" agenda, and most of the public sees right through this shameful opportunism. Not to mention the fact that Bush will probably not be able to ram social security "reform" down our throats. Perhaps the pendulum will start to swing the other way. Maybe before it goes leftward, it can make a quick swing back to the right and knock some sense into some neocon heads. I mean that metaphorically, of course.
I think both issues are valid. I agree that we first need to look at how the right is manipulating religious conservatives, but we also need to learn why fundamentalism has such a stranglehold on a good portion of our population. I don't know - fear certainly plays a part. Dumbing down the population hasn't helped either. I wince when I read that some people actually believe that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth together. Hell, if you can get people to accept that, you can get them to believe anything.
Perhaps the lack of hope has turned many toward faith. Lack of hope in the economy, lack of hope in the society since 9/11, lack of education and a lack of hope within the global cultures. This would explain not only radical Islam, but also the Radical Christian Right.
The neo-cons have used Religous Extremists to achieve their agendas, similar to America' enemy #1 Osama Bin Laden.
I've thought from the beginning of this whole thing that the Neo-Cons, and the Radical Extremists they hate so much, essentially have the exact same problem: Way too much god in politics. There is nothing wrong with being deeply religious, but to be so damn stubbornly convinced that you are the sword weilding right hand of your spiritual savior is a little scary. I am absolutely baffled by this mule headed ideology. The handful of criminals that crashed airplanes into skyscrapers did so because, in their mind, it was the work of their god. Conversly, G dub's religious right has found themselves on a "crusade" to rid the world of "evil-doers." Well, rid the world of evil doers and create some capitalist opportunities, but lets not get into semantics here...
I just get a little weary of the fact that this could concievably go on forever until one side wipes the other out.
"Mr. Bush calls 9/11 the day “when freedom came under attack.” This is sophomoric. Osama did not send fanatics to ram planes into the World Trade Center because he hates the Bill of Rights. He sent the terrorists here because he hates our presence and policies in the Middle East."
"...as Madison warned, “No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
-A friend from your less civilized Southern neighbor
Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up, but do you think the tide may be starting to turn? The Repubs are really going too far this time (for some of us, that was obvious a LONG time ago). The Schiavo case has spotlighted the absolute irrationality of the religious right, and Bush is having trouble pushing his social security "plan." I don't know if that 45% figure stll holds. Maybe it's dipped even lower? That would be delightful...
Perhaps fundamentalism isn't the entire problem; perhaps it is the extreme will to believe, as you say. Of course, if church and state are kept separate as they should be, none of this would matter. I know people who believe in angels (but not "Jesus horses" - LOL) and they wouldn't dream of voting for a "religious" nut like Bush.
Meanwhile, Dubya and the Repubs try to take cynical advantage of every opportunity. A lot of it works by manipulating the populace at a subconscious level. In other words, they try to remove political and social affairs from the rational analytical level onto the irrational level of symbols and archetypes. Schiavo's death, then, becomes the biblical “slaughter of the innocents,” rather than just the demise of the body of someone whose mind died many years ago, which logic tells us is what actually happened. No matter how firmly we may believe what logic tells us, our subconscious mind and emotions remain vulnerable to manipulation.
Could you write something on the culture industry in the U.S.? I always wonder how seperate that really is, you know the "culture industry of/in the U.S. or the culture industry that is the U.S.
Anyhow...I'm sure you've no shortage of topics but I'd love to know what you think of that, especially in terms of how it perpetuates fascism. peace!
Love your site (BLOG) and your ravings! As a U.S. citizen, I am ashamed of the behavior of by countryfolk. This formerly great country has diminished in influence to the point that many, if not most, of the rest of the world are frightened to death of us. Me too! As a moldmaker and former college teacher and engineer, I am scurrying for work. China is putting us out of business FAST! They are, I believe, our greatest threat. We need them to buy our treasury notes (~$1B/wk) to support our deficit spending addiction. They also play a part in our ongoing drive to "disarm" N. Korea. Bush & co. are ruining us. Don't you get aggravated when he refers to the U.S. as America? That includes YOU! Ticks me off!
I have one final issue with such a statement. When you write, "Saddam was supporting the terrorists that were killing our people!" May I suggest you read the 9/11 commission's report. Their findings contradict your opinion.
Or read Seymour Hersh's brilliant "Chain of Command."
I commend you, CT, for writing something non-attacking as it seems the norm for those with opposing viewpoints on most blogs but I think there is far too much information out there to counter the disinformation.
Al, thank you for a very well written (Despite not being a "professional academic") comment on my question. I enjoyed reading it. peace!
I guess we'll have to wait and see - and hope. I try not to read too much into the polls, but this feels different. The grandstanding over Terri Schiavo was disgusting, but it also scared many. Despite our shift to the right, most Americans don't want the government interfering in such a private matter.
I think you're spot on about the pervasiveness of American culture. I find this remark particularly interesting: "This was the tactic that was employed to reduce the counterculture to the New Age." Everything is for sale, alas - and there's a Gap on Haight Street today. Thomas Frank has some great stuff to say about the right's cop-opting the language of the former radical left.
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