October 29, 2010

Obama Is Intelligent, Well-Educated, Caring - "Save Us From Him!" Say Republicans and Tea Partyers

Republicanism as Religion by Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast, September 12, 2011

'Centrism':  The Cult That is Destroying America by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, Opinion Pages, July 26, 2011

"Think about what’s happening right now (regarding the matter of the debt ceiling). We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

"So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

"The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

"What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism...."

What Are They Really Up To?

What?! The New York Times Attacks President Obama For Being Smart, Thoughtful - A Commentary

Here's the Times article:  In Writings of Obama, A Philosophy Is Unearthed

American Political Conservatives, Tea Partyers, Republicans - Madness!  Okay.  Okay.  I accept that there are some sane, reasonable people in each of these groups.  But it is extremely clear by their words and actions that the vast majority have a view of America that has not changed much from the white, Christian, heterosexual dominated ethos that they and their parents basked and flourished in during and subsequent to the World War II afterglow of the late 1940s and 1950s.  A society where people of color were seldom in the news unless they were associated with a problem, and never appeared as actors in television programs or commercial advertisements until the late 1960s.  (Sorry.  The show business success of Sammy Davis, Jr. is not enough to negate this generality.)

For most of our history brown, red and yellow people have too often been portrayed as the enemy in the minds, literature and movies of the cultural core of white, Christian, heterosexual America.  Though they will deny it in the most vehement terms, I am convinced by their words and actions over the past half-century that not all but a majority of white, politically conservative, Christian, heterosexual Americans, who are currently members of or support the Republican Party and Tea Party, also cling tightly and bitterly to an ethos of white privilege.  As such, they are opposed to free-thinking liberalism, progressive reason- and science-based thinking, and government action on behalf of all Americans, especially those who are impoverished or un-empowered.  They see it as a zero sum game where the winner retains their privilege, not a compromise movement toward a social progress of greater inclusion.

Global economic and political conditions and we as a people, especially our values and beliefs, have changed since the 1950s.  For the better.  Our collective values and beliefs are more diverse, richer in content, more tolerant, more open, and therefore more capable of taking our nation to a level of development where more and more of us, compared to any other society in history, can have a chance at achieving prosperity and happiness.  Racism is no longer a dominant theme in the greater American ethos, except among those who disguise their racism as political ideology.  Black, red, yellow and multi-racial Americans live among us more as equals than ever before and contribute mightily to all that is good in America.  They no longer must live as they did a half century ago, tentatively in the shadows of an overpowering relatively wealthy, Christian, white America.

Black, brown and yellow people, and people of a full range of other hues and ethnicities, now have a place in our great country, people who are no longer relegated to the fear, insecurity, low self-esteem and low self-worth found at the back of the bus, the rear entrance of restaurants, at segregated drinking fountains, or as the target of slurs and fists.  Whiteness, Christianity and the relative wealth and privilege they confer no longer define a central core of what it means to be American as it did in the past.  Conservatives, Republicans, Christians, and Tea Partiers cannot put the genie of a diverse, equal and just America back in the bottle and return our society and national culture to the 1950s.

Americans who are not white, not relatively prosperous, not Christian, not heterosexual can no longer be relegated to live on the social, political and economic crumbs that fall off the white, conservative, Christian table, or be kept in society's shadows eking out a second class existence.

Please don't cite the facts that many Blacks and other peoples of color are Christians, or that Michael Steele, a black man, is Republican Party Chairman or that there are many wealthy people of color as refutations of my point.  Compare the number of relatively prosperous, politically conservative white people to the number of people of color in the Republican party and the Tea Party.  The reason that people of color numbers are not proportionate to their numbers in the society at large is because they neither believe in nor support the post-World War II white privilege ethos and vision of America's future that is a fundamental tenet of the Republican Party and the Tea Party.  They know very well where conservatives, Republicans and Tea Partyers are coming from and where they want to take America.  Those that do join exercise their freedom to do so in order to further their individual ambitions despite knowing full well that their group will never be on an equal social footing with white, monied Republicans, inside or outside that political party.  As  for Christianity, 11:00AM on Sunday remains the most segregated hour in America (MLK, Jr.).  It remains so for many reasons, one of the most important being a fundamentally different set of values and beliefs among people of color compared to those of many conservative, Republican, white Americans about what our society really is and remains in terms of justice and equality, and what it should and could become.

How has a core of our population comprised mainly of white, Christian Americans come to hate educated, free-thinking, caring people who feel compassion for the poor and unempowered among us, who have no recourse but to turn to government for relief from laissez faire, loosely regulated free-market economic policies and conservative status quo politics that have and continue to impoverish them and reduce their power?

Here's a good place to start understanding how this unreasonable worldview has come about in America and what can be done to address this current and greatest threat to our country and perhaps the world:

Why So Many Americans Hate Liberals, Science and Reason - Two Book Reviews

Here's what some of the rest of the people in the world think of our problem:

The Horror, The Horror...and the Pity


DavidReneeRachelLuke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great post, so true it's scary.
reminds me of Maureens article The Fall of the Patriachal society. I am going to have to read it again, along with the other two links. I have read them all but it's late and I am tired.
I probably will have a cynical sarcastic statement after I read them all again. It is just that kind of topic. Unfortunatly still talking about racism and opression in 21st century America. Long live the King...

Anonymous said...

Jim - I think you got it right. Why else is the republican's main objective in the next 2 years to ensure that Obama's presidency is one-term?

But maybe it all doesn't matter. I've just begun reading "Endgame: The Problem of Civilization" (google this) which wants to make the case that our civilization can't be reformed into something sustainable - it would have to be brought down. I hate that idea, the idea that working within the system can't fix it, hope to refute his case, but.... - Peter

James E Lassiter said...

I did not remove the first post above, by DRRL. It was removed by its author. JEL

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