Monday, July 27, 2015

Five stupid things...

Steve Shives does a regular series of these, but I don't usually post them. Sometimes, though,... well, do you see why my confidence in America has been taking a beating lately?

I thought we reached rock bottom during the George W. Bush administration, but Republicans, at least, have plummeted past that level without even slowing down.

Here's a little more about #4, which I'll admit that I'm posting mostly for the great title: Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You Fucking Idiots.

Sorry, but that's just the mood I'm in right now. How in the hell did we get here? How did my country end up like this?

When, oh, when will we finally kick the GOP into the trash-heap of history.


Mary Smith said...

I'll tell you in one word how we got here...RELIGIOUS FANATICISM.....ok two words

WCG said...

Mary, I grew up in a very conservative state, a solidly Republican state. I didn't know anyone who wasn't a Christian - as far as I knew, at least - all through high school.

And yes, that was back during the Cold War and the hysteria about 'godless Commies.' Right-wing politicians put "In God We Trust" on our money and "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance.

But religion seemed harmless back then. Christians were the default, but no one seemed to take it too seriously. At college, the handful of right-wing religious nuts - "the God Squad," we called them - were just a joke.

So how did we become a country of religious fanatics? As a two-word explanation, "religious fanaticism" works as well as anything (I'd probably say "faith-based thinking," myself), but I'm not sure it really explains anything.

Indeed, as an explanation, "Southern strategy" might work better, because it was racism which gave the right-wing the political power to change our country. And it was actually racism which combined our religious fanatics into one political party.

The 'Moral Majority' and other right-wing Christian movements got their start trying to keep government-supported segregated schools. (Abortion came along later, a popular issue for public consumption, but the real concern, the initial concern, was race-based.)

By deliberately wooing white racists, the Republican Party was able to take the entire South from the Democrats and attract many Northern racists, too. Lee Atwater described how they put economic issues in racial terms and thus succeeded in attracting the so-called Reagan Democrats - working-class whites who voted against their own best interests because of racist arguments.

That Southern strategy put all of America's racists into one political party, but it also put America's religious fanatics into the same party. (Religious fanaticism and racism tend to go together, at least here in America.) Those people gave the Republican Party the political power to cut taxes on the rich and otherwise turn our country to the right.

But they also became the GOP base. Republican leaders thought to use them, but the inmates took control of the asylum. Really, I think that's how we got here - religious fanaticism, racism, and cynical, selfish attempts to gain political power no matter what the cost to our country, all mixed together.

It's a very toxic mix, isn't it? It's turned the entire Republican Party faith-based. Reality means nothing to them, because they've got their dogma and that's that. Ironically, this comes at a time when our only enemies are also religious fanatics. What a combination!

Thanks for the comment, Mary!

Mary Smith said...

And isn't bottom line power and control...something twisted politics and religion do very well because most people do not do "critical thinking" and are so gullible. They don't have to's all done for them. I agree absolutely about racism and religious conservatism. I live in the South and see it everyday. Same with the gay community, Jews, Catholics, non believers and any other foreign group. They have some sort of need to feel superior and show their arrogance towards others. The right wing politicians and church leaders know how to take advantage of this to their benefit.

WCG said...

Yes, absolutely. People who are willing to use racism for political advantage have already demonstrated that anything goes.

I suppose it's easy to justify, because even the leaders are faith-based. They don't just think they're right, they know they're right. And advancing their own wealth and political power is clearly for the greater good, isn't it? :)