Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No Matter how much...

things change they always remain the same.

Hey Americans!

I've been reading about Tom Paine, and from Tom Paine lately. It's been a breath of fresh air. I realized though, that the above proverb is true. The conflict between the Federalists(today's Necons), and the Republicans(today's liberals and progressives) was just as heated then as it is now. So the nature of political discourse has not changed. We see the evidence of that in a ruling here in Washington state when a judge recently stated that during elections, politicians don't "need" to tell the truth. That's up to the citizen to determine. Free speech and all that. Well, I guess that gives the watchdog groups employment and ensures an acrimonious political environment for years to come. Not to mention the level of distrust growing even worse.

It did strike me though while reading about Paine that the two groups he angered the most were the political Federalists, and after he published The Age of Reason were the fundamentalist Christians. Though it also angered others in the Church society, it mostly affected the more conservative literalists of the day. Both of these groups, the fundamentalists and Federalists, have something in common: they like centralized government. I believe the same is true today.

I have posted before about fascism. One of it's central tenets is centralized government. Back then the Federalists were resembling of the Loyalists, and were made up of aristocracy that liked the monarchial system and it's benefits. This was in direct opposition to the democratic system that developed in America that sought to level the playing field for every American in both economic and political terms. It is quite evident in the Bush administration that centralization is occurring, which I posted in that earlier blog. So I won't rehash the details here. It is however that very centralization that marries the Religious fundamentalists to these political centralists. The religious right have lately been called the Religious Reich, the Amerikan Taliban, the Religious Wrong, and fundies. I have also heard funny-mentalist charis-maniacs. I will not use these terms for now.

From the perspective of the the Christian groups, they would prefer to see a theocracy. Albeit it remains to be seen just how that would be administered, it has been floated by the likes of author and pastor Rick Scarborough in Enough is Enough, that a "chosen" pastor of sorts would serve as the national leader. A Moses figure basically. And how that choosing would happen is open to question as well. In the reality that a theocracy won't happen soon, having the government staffed by men of God is their second choice. Hence the willingness of the Christian fundamentalist groups to jump behind a candidate simply because he professes he was born again and despite his glaring characteristics that make him unqualified to be president. Especially when some of those characteristics run counter to the official doctrine of the Christian right. It seems though from remarks from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson that doctrine, and the ethics it is supposed to inform, is forsakable for the greater purpose of standing behind a so-called man of prayer.

The fundamentalists were no different in Paines time than they are now. They lied about Paine like they lie now about facts concerning Terri Schiavo, the court system, and about whether or not they used the word assassinate. Never mind the video clip. They also lie about history, which actually may be the new twist. I have discovered in Scarborough's book I mentioned above certain quotes that are attributed to the founding fathers as we call them. Scarborough credits these quotes, not to the original author, but to another Christian history book! So I looked that one up and followed the trail to a self-appointed historian named David Barton. As it turns out, a lot of current Christian authors get their quotes from Mr. Barton regardless of the fact that Mr. Barton admitted that many of the quotes he attributed to the founding writers were quotes he made up to satisfy his theological leanings. I'm not so certain that back in the late 18th and early 19th century they were doing that. Today however, the practice of lying to support that this country was a Christian nation is common place by the fundamentalists simply because they want to believe it. This political path, as it turns out, is the path of least resistance.

What has changed to some degree is the reporting of the day. Back in Paine's time, papers were deliberately partisan. Certain individuals of certain political suasions would take it upon themselves to produce a paper to propagate their view. The federalists and Republicans both had them. What was lacking was the journalistic standards that have evolved whereby the newspapers became the supposed purveyors of unpartisan truth. Today we have seen how this standard is being engulfed by corporate profit, so much so that magazines like Time loose veteran reporters to internet news sites.

Another change seems to have occurred. In Paines time the people were given a voice. That is what made the Revolution happen, and the Constitutional Republic was born. The Federalists, and today's Neoconservative cult, despite their use of the word democracy and freedom, want a rulership by the elite in some form. I am greatly encouraged though by the words of the Declaration of Independence:

"...All experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. "

We Americans will put with this kind of administration rather than knee jerk it into the ashcan. The elections in 2006 will show that Americans have had enough of the lies, and enough of the corruption at the cost of American lives here and abroad. It has already begun in Colorado. This reality is why Senator Frist stepped away from Bush on the stem cell issue. It is also why the administration then stated they will fund it somewhat. It is why Chuck Hagel of Nebraska stated that Iraq looked like Viet Nam. It is why Rick Santorum stated he questioned the administration policies on Iraq from the beginning, even though he could produce no evidence of that. These men may not recognize this quality of Americans, or "mankind" as the Declaration says, but they recognize the reaction of that quality, which is ridding themselves of an abusive government. So to protect their political futures, and perceiving that the current administration is a sinking ship, they have chosen to step away from the party line. Then we will see over time just how much this administration did to try to permanently damage our Constitutional Republic. The news will finally get their integrity back, even as the corporate conglomerates try to pass legislation to control and own the internet. And bloggers will become the partisan harpies of old, as perhaps it should be. Republicans will return to being Republicans once they have purged themselves of the Neocon cult.(Make no mistake, it is a cult) Democrats will eventually be over run by the Progressives, and will finally gain some identity. Neither part will look the same, and that is good. Nothing stays the same, so why should political philosophies?

What will remain the same, despite all the changes going on around them, is the great American spirit. Despite the political battles, and alterations in philosophies, overall we will remain the freedom loving people that this nations birth was based on. At out core, we love the Republic which our flag symbolizes, and we truly want liberty and justice for all. I think to that end we would all pledge allegiance, and work toward what makes this nation one and indivisible.


Blogger Bruce Larson*Moore said...

The more things remain the same the more violent will be the change.

18/9/05 13:24  

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