.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Radical political activists:
   Strangling a grand ol' party and the country

In a recent article at InTheseTimes, the venerable lefty, Bill Moyers, writes a scalding critique about a party that has been hijacked by elitist radical activists and is gripping the party and country in a stranglehold of fear-mongering.

I just wish he'd open his eyes and critique his own party. I used to have a great deal of respect for the man.

The thrust of the article is to marginalize the Republican party through the ol' divide and conquer. You see,

"The radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties-the country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is-and they are driving American politics, using God as a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on."
And the charge is being led by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and General William Boykin. It is a pity that Moyers couldn't name any real Republican heavyweight religious radicals. Now, the Democratic Party has people like Howard Dean right up there at the helm leading the charge.

You know, I would have no problem carrying the flag of the Republican party without the religious right. But they have no more a stranglehold over the party than they do of the country as a whole. Unlike the Democratic activists who control that party (don't even get me started on DailyKos' attacks on the Democratic Leadership Council).

But back to my point, Bill Moyers says,

"Having lost faith in all else, zealots (the 9/11 terrorists) have nothing left but a holy cause to please a warrior God. They win if we become holy warriors, too; if we kill the innocent as they do; strike first at those who had not struck us; allow our leaders to use the fear of terrorism to make us afraid of the truth; cease to think and reason together, allowing others to tell what’s in God’s mind. Yes, we are vulnerable to terrorists, but only a shaken faith in ourselves can do us in."
Yea, verily.

Yet the not-so-implicit assumption being made throughout the entire piece, and not being challenged, is that America has become a nation led by holy warriors, that we have become a nation fearful of the truth.

Au contraire, mon ami.

The truth is somebody punched us in the nose and have since made it verily clear they will continue to do so.

Putting up your dukes is not the behavior of a fearful man; turning tail and running to the nearest sand pit and burying your head in denial, is.


Anonymous MBMc said...

A fine post, good sir.

And for the record, it is a fine thing for a nation's leaders to fear God.

Such breeds the exceedingly rare combination of humility in power, not the opposite.

9/28/2005 1:41 PM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...

MBMc posted the following quote on his site Port McClellan on August 12, which I myself reposted on this site a week later.

It is good enough to repost yet again.

George Washington on Morality and Democracy

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?"

-- Farewell Address, 1796

9/28/2005 2:11 PM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...

The debate, for lack of a better word, at InTheseTimes as degenerated to conspiracy theories and liberal guilt trips. However, this response of mine to one of the innumerable ludicrious postings by the conspiracy wingnuts deservers to be repeated.

The issue is whether the US has the moral authority to go after terrorists, given American history with Hiroshima, etc.

Is it hypocrisy to go after a group of terrorists and their infrastructure and their sponsors after they murder 3000 people in cold blood?

Is it hypocrisy, in a time of war, to use a weapon, against an intransigent enemy, that kills 100,000 people but saves the lives of a million soldiers?

Is it hypocrisy to criticize the current commander-in-chief for the deaths of 1800 soldiers, but to criticize a previous C-in-C for saving 1,000,000?

Is it hypocrisy to call an act of war, such as the dropping of the A-bomb, an act of terrorism, but to assert that an act of war on our own civilian population is a legitimate expression of an aggrieved and oppressed people?

Is it hypocrisy to assert that Iran has legitimate defense interests in procuring nuclear weapons, but to call the only act of actually using them illegitimate? If the use of nuclear weapons is not legitimate, then how can Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons be anything but hypocrisy?

Posted by Jay Cline on September 29, 2005 at 11:57 AM

9/29/2005 12:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home