Thursday, September 10, 2009

“...the modern American right... adopted irrationality as a tactic ... and faith for reason..."

"I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber barron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations."
C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, ch. 3.



A lifetime spent as a Republican and a conservative has provided me with a little insight into the nature of the debate on health care and a myriad of other issues. I was a supporter of Nixon, Reagan, the Bush's. The only democrat I voted for before Obama was Carter, who is a decent man and much misunderstood. I have never quite been able to put my finger on the main point that made me move away from my Conservative Republican position. Quite possibly it was listening to too much Sean Hannity, he just oozes hypocrisy, and facts just don't seem relevant to his diatribe.
A recent book “Idiot America” by Charles P. Pierce seems to have nailed it for me. “...the modern American right that consciously adopted irrationality as a tactic.” “It is, of course, television that has enabled Idiot America to run riot with modern politics and all forms of public discourse...exchanging (rather than mistaking) fact for fiction, and faith for reason, and believing itself shrewd to have made a good bargain with itself.” It is this unfortunate and dishonest anti intellectualizing of the issues and the debate that is crucial to the rights appeal to the base. Instead of elevating the discussion they have lowered the bar to the lowest common denominator.
My fall reading list will be “Idiot America by Charles P. Peirce and “Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal. This is must reading by any person who wants to understand the political situation in this country. They need to be read by both Conservative and Liberal Americans who care about the future of this country and the issues that are at stake. There is room in America for both Liberal and Conservative ideas but not of the type of Conservatism that is currently being extolled by the evangelical controlled Right and it's media hacks. Of course if someone has bought into the evangelical anti intellectual ideology and Third Wave movement such as Sarah Palin and the like, then no discussion is even possible, otherwise this is worth the time for those with the intelligence to see the difference between fact and fiction.

**********

RECOMMENDED BOOK; IDIOT AMERICA by Charles P. Pierce
"...places the blame squarely on American conservatives. “If this book seems to concentrate on the doings of the modern American right,” he says, “that’s because it was the modern American right that consciously adopted irrationality as a tactic, and it succeeded very well.” Pierce does little to hide his left-leaning biases, which sometimes get to be a little much and too holier-than-thou. Perhaps it’s understandable, though, considering how palpable his frustration and anger are.

“It is, of course, television that has enabled Idiot America to run riot with modern politics and all forms of public discourse,” Pierce says, although he points a damning finger at talk radio as “the driving force in changing American debate into American argument.”

Pierce lambastes Idiot America for making a devil’s bargain, “exchanging (rather than mistaking) fact for fiction, and faith for reason, and believing itself shrewd to have made a good bargain with itself.” www.scholarsand rogues.com more..



SPECIAL BLOG WATCH
Republican response to Obama's speech to school children.

No comments:

Post a Comment