06 March 2008

Musing on the religious right

There are three constituencies in the US which do not represent the American public, yet have more power than they should: the Israel Lobby, the RKBA crowd, and the religious right. Despite the talk of democracy, and the Constitution, these three groups are the most open in running the American political scene. I could add the Oil Companies in here as well, but they aren't as vocal or counterproductive to US interests as these three special interest groups.

I said in an earlier blog that I thought Mike Huckabee would be the Republican nominee, which has proven to be wrong. My reasoning was that the religious right appears to be a significant factor in US politics. The real reason may be much simpler in that most citizens of the US are pretty apathetic with the exception of these three groups. The Average American is pretty much fat, dumb, and happy with loads of debt and kept in isolation by too much television which is pretty much crap. To quote Bruce Springsteen, whose music I hate, but has bang on politics: "500 channels and nothing's on". Loads of ESPN rubbish. Bread and circuses for the plebians.

Somehow, the religious right's message is fading away, but I am not sure about their influence. These groups are pretty good at subverting the Constitution. Article VI says that no religious test should be applied, but woe upon Mitt Romney for belonging to a "Cult" (see Mitt Romney post). I'd hate to think about a Jew, or, worse, an ATHEIST running for office.

Fortunately, the Republicans are just that and not democratic, or the squeaky wheel crowd might be fielding Mike Huckabee as a presidential candidate. I'm not sure Huckabee is out of it yet, as he could be in line for being veep. That would be the true test of whether the religious right has any power.

But, it's people like my sister in law, who was born Jewish, yet supports the republicans out of fear of things like "socialised medicine". She is less afraid of the religious crowd and voting with her purse. That is the only reason the religious right has appeared to have so much sway. "Conservatives" believe that it could never happen here, forgetting the lesson of Adolph Hitler, who was democratically elected by people who were more afraid of Communism than Hitler's anti-semitism.

The religious right and RKBA crowd work on the politics of fear. Fear that gays will erode the institution of marriage, destroying the family. On the other hand, what are they doing about the high rate of divorce? Isn't that eroding family values? There is this myth of a golden era of the church, the family, hardy individuals, and other things which make the US feel good about itself. Never mind Ben Franklin had a bastard son and Thomas Jefferson diddled his slave.

The problem is that the fear mongers are the ones we should be afraid of, as they are taking us farther and farther from a safe world. FDR said that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". The world has become a scarier and scarier place under the right wing. We have lost the Communist bogyman who was keeping things safe in Eastern Europe under Bush Senior and lost a Bogyman who kept Iraq under control. Would 9-11 have happened if the Communists were still there to keep a reign on the Islamic world, and we hadn't given aid to the Mujahadeen who later became Al-Queda?

The problem is that the Genii is out of the bottle due to Americans not thinking and letting the special interests control us. Better yet, maybe our leaders will realise that these groups are not representative of the Ameican people and stop pandering to them.

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