Sunday, February 19, 2012

Religion and Politics in America 2012

"Verily, men gave themselves all their good and evil. Verily, they did not take it, they did not find it, nor did it come to them as a voice from heaven. Only man placed values in things to preserve himself--he alone created a meaning for things, a human meaning. Therefore, he calls himself 'man,' which means: the esteemer." 

F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Bk.1

Some liberal souls, I understand, have named Rick Santorum as an ideal 13th century president.  The particulars of this appellation are well known to those who have been following the interminable Republican debates, some of which have actually revealed the vacuousness of a few of the candidates, including Rick Perry, the governor of Texas whose gaffe of not remembering which governmental agency he wished to guillotine or how many death row inmates in his state have actually met a similar fate, albeit with a needle instead.  

Then there was Michelle Bachman whose IRS credentials, foster children, and bible-thumping husband presumably rendered her capable of running the world’s most powerful country.

After that we had Ron Paul, a libertarian, who plainly feels that the underclass should have their healthcare needs met by their local churches and charities, and that the US should disengage from the rest of the world.  In some respects he is correct in alluding to the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.  However, hegemons do not voluntarily surrender their place in the world and most moderates do not think we should isolate ourselves from a world increasingly globalized based upon a 19th century interpretation of a constitution arguably in need of serious revision.

And then that inimitable paradigm of hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich, a miserable human being, powered by his somewhat hard to ignore intellectual credentials and his use of the words “profoundly,” and “fundamentally,” as well as his colossal arrogance.  He seems to have learned, moreover, very little, from his ethics violations in Congress and his, to use his words, “profound” fall from grace. His conversion to Catholicism and his abandonment of his cancer-ridden wife for Calista, a helmet-headed blond with whom he prays often and who would, no doubt, be a loathsome first lady.  His billionaire supporter Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, single handedly has prevented Newt’s campaign from plunging over a cliff the size of Mount Rushmore, a place, fortunately, he will never inhabit, although Newt probably believes he should replace George Washington on the prominence. Mr. Adelson apparently has now hedged his bets and is rumored to be giving  money to Mitt Romney, a man who cannot seal the deal even with moderate Republicans, let alone evangelicals who think that Mormonism is a devilish and heretical cult.

Mr. Romney bases his qualifications for the presidency because he was a successful venture capitalist and therefore understands how to run a profitable government (as though the government were a for profit corporation.)  and that he is now a conservative who unsuccessfully denies his fostering a successful (egads! socialist)  health care plan for Massachusetts.  He is sinking fast, however.   We are not sure he will not survive, however, since the Republicans usually pick the next in line.

That brings us back to the possibility of a Santorum nomination, a thought  I suspect, not without some logical basis, that the American Union may be further infused with theocratic ideals, since Santorum has made pronouncements like President Obama is conducting a war against religion.  The White House would be clearly gleeful if that happened, since Mr. Santorum was given the unceremonious boot by blue collar Pennsylvania after his undistinguished time in the United States Senate. Mr. Santorum also denies global warming and believes that he can single handedly cure the economy, but really does not say how.  Dinosaurs really do walk the earth with people---Santorum being living proof discrediting the observations of Charles Darwin.

How the American public can swallow these arguments is stupefying.  Are we back in the 1920s? Why are we even discussing issues like abortion? Birth control? Contraception? Who prays more?  Which church is not inhabited by heretics?  Are we about to have another Scopes monkey trial?  No country in the western world has not left these issues far behind.   But of course, the threat these intellectually challenged candidates envision is that the United States will become more like Europe.   And Europe has uncivilized and heathen institutions like high speed rail, good roads, health care for all its citizens, and a more enlightened populace that does not tolerate such pandering infantilism in its political discourse.