Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The rejection of reason is at the heart of modern American conservatism. Although polling indicates that the public is eager for more egalitarian leadership, Washington has continued on its decades-long, seemingly intractable backslide into a morass of anti-intellectualism, fear- and emotion-driven governance, and social and economic policies that value institutions over real humans. The coalition of corporate interests, religious fundamentalists, and anti-government populists that we loosely call “The Right” has seized the American political system — and the cost to ordinary citizens has been great.

A lucid, sharp, and unabashedly secular salvo in the culture wars, David Niose’s Fighting Back the Right lays out the terrain for a battle that is anything but academic. God is on our money, in every politician’s signature signoff phrase, and in our pledge of allegiance — where, significantly, He precedes “liberty and justice for all.”

In the following passage, Niose takes aim at the strain of Christian fundamentalism that has taken its place at the forefront of our culture, and instilled a destructive ignorance at the highest levels of government.

You can purchase the book here.

Today, it’s natural to assume that every president since Washington has concluded every major speech with “God bless America.” If that’s all you’ve ever heard, why would you think otherwise? Even liberal politicians, who supposedly are less prone to wearing religion on their sleeves, proclaim “God bless America” all the time, so there would be no reason to suspect that it’s a relatively recent innovation.

In fact, however, these kinds of common misunderstandings help explain the tragic state of public policy today. Although the brief history of “God bless America” may seem trivial, it is just one example of the widespread misperceptions Americans have about their country, its history, and its core principles, and the sum total of these misperceptions has had calamitous consequences. What we now unquestioningly accept as “the American way” — politically, economically, and socially — is often a relatively new invention, far less deeply ingrained than we realize, yet these flawed assumptions greatly impact contemporary society.

Indeed, for those frustrated by the less admirable aspects of American culture — the plethora of social problems, for example, from high incarceration rates to rampant anti-intellectualism — it helps to realize that our current trajectory was not inevitable, that the seeds of democracy planted by the framers were not necessarily destined to create the conditions that now define the culture. As we shall see, there were many directions that the nation could have taken after the founding era and many junctures thereafter. The current state of affairs was not a preordained destination but the result of developments — institutions, technologies, systems, and paradigms — that were unimaginable to the framers, just as today’s realities would be unrecognizable to them.

As the ink dried on the Constitution in 1787, for example, it would have been unfathomable to the drafters that in 2008 a candidate such as Sarah Palin would have been a leading contender for the vice presidency of the nation they had created. In some ways this reflects positive social and political developments (not only have women won the right to vote, but they now can stand as viable candidates for high office), but in other ways the developments are less admirable. The framers, after all, were intellectuals who would be dismayed to learn that over two centuries later — after generations of stunning scientific discoveries and advancements in human knowledge — the nation almost elected a person, man or woman, who embraced fundamentalist religion and was sympathetic to biblical literalism, a candidate who was ignorant of basic facts of geography, history, and science.

Buy From
There can be no dispute that American economic and military powers have grown mighty since the nation’s humble beginnings, but it is just as indisputable that this success has not always translated into positive social and economic outcomes for the general population, and that many of the realities facing average citizens and families — the disappearing middle class, the exportation of jobs overseas, rates of violent crime and other social ills that are among the worst in the developed world, the spiraling costs of health care and higher education — reflect a serious political dysfunction. Indeed, these negatives are especially puzzling in light of the image of economic and military greatness that the nation promotes for itself on the global stage, and they indicate that certain institutions — governmental and corporate — are more often the real beneficiaries of the nation’s might, whereas ordinary citizens are not.

These kitchen-table realities result from the failure of rational, progressive Americans to effectively advocate for human-centered, fact-based public policy. Reminders of this failure are constantly present in the political arena, where the nation’s elected lawmakers regularly provide us with embarrassing fodder. Consider comments such as those of Representative Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, who told an audience in 2012 that the big bang and the theory of evolution are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” This is just one example, but it’s especially pertinent since it came not from an obscure backwoods state legislator, and not even just an ordinary U.S. congressman, but a member of the House Science and Technology Committee! Broun, sitting on a key panel responsible for shaping national science policy, claims the earth is “about nine thousand years old” and “was created in six days as we know them.” God bless America, indeed.

Antireason has become too strong a force in the United States — to the detriment of rational, progressive policy — in part because even progressives have been too quick to define “the American way” using incorrect conservative assumptions about history, the economy, patriotism, and religion. For example, as Americans unquestioningly accept that God blesses their nation, they also accept the simplistic statement, often repeated by liberals as well as conservatives, that America is (and always has been) a very religious country. As we’ll see, this is not only wrong but inherently hostile to the progressive agenda (even though, of course, many progressives are religious). By exaggerating the real role of religion, historically and currently, in the lives of most Americans, such a definition lends legitimacy to religious fundamentalists and their agenda, thereby ushering the nation down a path that is anti-intellectual, fear-based, and hostile to the interests of ordinary people. Moreover, it downplays or ignores the important role that reason, science, and religious skepticism have played in the American saga.

Such misperceptions have redefined the nation, shaping present reality to conform to a mythical narrative. They go far beyond questions of religion, affecting beliefs and attitudes toward corporations, the role of government, war and peace, and a myriad of other issues. These misperceptions have too often allowed the politics of fear and anti-intellectualism to succeed, thereby serving interests that conflict with those of average working people. By understanding these misperceptions, rational progressives can strategize more effectively to give fact-based, human-centered policy a better chance of success.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, purchase the full book here.

Excerpt from Fighting Back the Right by David Niose. Copyright © 2014 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

Want more updates on great books? Sign up for our daily email newsletter here!

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • charleo1

    I would submit, it is increasingly impossible for Progressive Americans to be allowed to have those kitchen table, human centered, or fact based issues, ever see the light of day. Irrespective of how effectively they are advocated. The show is full of each Party advocating strongly, and fighting fiercely, over such issues as, universal healthcare, women’s Rights, abortion, prayer in school/evolution, affirmative action, and so forth. Garnering the support, and passion of their respective constituencies. Then, when it comes to these fundamental issues, of corporate power, growing economic inequality, more bailouts of Wall Street, more money pumped into the political processes. Or more lopsided trade deals, which have been a disaster for the Middle Class. and a bonanza for the monied elite. Both Parties quietly agree to agree. While the corporate owned press, lauds the rare bipartisanship, as the thawing of the political gridlock the American public has been demanding.

    • joe schmo

      Whatever happened to the word tolerance on both sides? Does that word sound at all familiar to you? It’s the way America used to be.

      Yes, the middle class is disappearing and the new monied elite tend to be liberals who sit on their asses, never employ anyone and make plenty of money off of the welfare of others.

      Both parties are one and the same they loudly agree to disagree….and that corporate based media does not only include one side of the political aisle. In essence our new social form of media is succinctly and successfully destroying us.

      As has been the case now for over a decade our media, our representatives and our President are no longer listening to us. Once we all wake up, realize that and come together we are certainly never going to recover from this chaos.

      • Frank KIng

        When you right wing hacks admit to you responsibility and accountability for the mess you created at home and abroad starting with the attack in NY on 9/11. bungling the mission into Afghanistan, starting a phony, mismanaged venture into Iraq and undermining a once viable economy then what you say and do may have some credibility. I have read some of your inane comments relating to progressives and the President. Right wing conservatism has been evolving into Fascism since the dolt, Reagan, and that is the major concern. If ignorance is bliss, you must be in a constant state of euphoria.

        • angelsinca

          So Frank King has it all figured out. Your canned rant, aimed directly at republican politicians, ends up sending flack into the innocent crowds of conservatives that are your neighbors, your family, your co-workers. This constant ranting by liberals remains a strong motivator for us to keep voting for whatever it is you are against, just to spite your intentionally harmful allegations. Remember the mid terms?

          • Independent1

            You really don’t like hearing the truth, do you??

            And those mid terms – you mean the election which showed that even over 50% of Republicans are disgusted with our government – mainly the GOP??

            The only thing the GOP really won were elections in predictably RED STATES – they didn’t win one senate seat in a Blue State; and the GOP lost EVERY SINGLE BALLOT ISSUE!!

            And they won those senate seats with only 17% of the registered voters and 13% of all Americans of voting age!!! Wow!! Some win???

            The mid terms were just as much bad news for the GOP as they were for the Dems!!! Better read this and get used to people like me telling IT LIKE IT IS – THE GOP IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE AMERICAN MAFIA!!!!!!!

            GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP’s Midterm Victory

            Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.

            Some other observations:

            a) Republican Senate candidates lost every single race in the Blue Wall.

            b) There were some GOP victories in Governor’s races, but in each case there were no coat tails. None of these candidates ran on social issues, Obama, or opposition to the ACA. Look at Rauner who took out Quinn in Illinois, but Democrats in Illinois retained their supermajority in the State Assembly having not lost a single seat.

            c) Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote).

            d) Good news for the Democrats: They have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.

            e) Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. Eventually Democrats will top whining and will help people get the documentation they need to meet confusing new requirements and obstructions. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races, but the message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.

            f) Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.

            g) Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP.

            h) Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats with at least 18 of them very competitive based on geography and demographics. Democrats will be one seat looks competitive.

            i) McConnell’s conciliatory statements were encouraging, but he cannot persuade Republican Senators and Congressmen to cooperate on anything constructive.

            j) This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. Ladd say that the GOP could address a this with heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues, he claims, should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

            k) Instead, he predicts, what the GOP will spend its time on is: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.

            He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”

            In case you’d like to see the map with the “blue wall”:


          • Matforce

            The GOP has BROKEN our government though the use of toxic gridlock, disingenuous rhetoric, and record smashing use of the filibuster. Then they ran AGAINST a BROKEN government they BROKE and won! BRILLIANT!!!

          • joe schmo

            ….and Obama is God, right?

          • Matforce

            The right wing whipping-boy, Obama (and his administration) was doomed when he went on record with those hurtful words to describe our financial sector and BIG OIL puppet masters as “fat cats” (he actually used those words, how dare he!) and postured as though he would take them on. Their attack dogs in the House and Senate, along with the chorus of disingenuous rhetoric spewing forth from every right leaning media outlet to incite fear, anger and hatred (the worst in human nature), made minced meat of him. I have never witnessed this shameful level of vitriol and disrespect directed at The President of the United States.
            I voted GOP for 36 years until 2011 (I vote for McCain). What alerted me to the disingenuousness in their false claims against this President was a headline on the official GOP website: “Obamacare Flatlines: Clobbes Middle Class with 3.8% Home Sales Tax” which turned out to be a capital gains type tax on CLEAR PROFIT from a home sale of over $150,000 for a single and $250,000. What “middle class” home sale clears $250,000 in profit unless you bought your home in 1910? And then it would only assess he 3.8% on the amount earned over the $250,000 threshold! The other was the nonsense about the “death panels…” Then I began looking into more and more of the disingenuous claims… Disgusting!

          • idamag

            The schmuck cretin never engages in argument. He just comes in name calling. We can’t blame him too much. He was raised by fascist parents who escaped the Communists when Russia wasn’t too happy with the nazies for what they did in Russia. The nazies lined up entire Russian villages and murdered them.

          • Independent1

            No! Obama is not God and no one has claimed that the Dems are perfect. But the Dems look a far sight better than those in the GOP which are nothing more than the incarnation of SATAN!!

          • angelsinca

            Blah, blah, blah. You won’t gain any new votes with the hateful rants. You’ll have to import them. Oops. What is to be gained and improved with the negative opinion, the cherry picked data or the hate-riddled accusations you make regularly; it doesn’t appeal to anyone but more hateful, similar-minded miscreants that only seem capable of tearing apart rather than building and improving. Redefine THE MAJORITY any way you want, it spoke at the mid terms. For a refreshing change, try to listen.

          • joe schmo

            Yah, they are importing them alright. Right straight from Mexico…..

          • Independent1

            So you think I’m not justified in continuing to call these GOP lowlifes out???

            Well let me see!!

            In a recent news article the GOP is still looking for ways to play games with our budget so they can “repeal Obamacare” despite the fact that they’re clearly aware that it has already saved more than 60,000 lives!!

            And GOP states across the nation are continuing to refuse to expand Medicaid despite the fact that more than 10,000 people in those states have already died prematurely because of the GOPs unconscionable refusal to provide thousands in the states they govern with the healthcare they need!!

            And millions of Americans across the country are continuing to struggle on unemployment – many of them struggling within bankruptcy because the GOP refuses to even address 2 jobs bills that Obama submitted which the CBO said would have created 2-3 million jobs.

            And in a recent news story, the mother of an Iraq veteran who has PTSD and depression and may well commit suicide (22 service people create suicide every day) has said she was tempted to commit a felony (kill someone), because although the House unanimously passed legislation that would expand benefits to our veterans with PTSD and other mental disorders, an idiot GOP senator named Colburn is single-handedly holding up passage of the legislation because in his infinite wisdom he doesn’t think it will actually help anything despite countless experts saying it will.

            And these recent atrocities by the GOP only add ontop of the thousands of Americans who lost their lives over the past 10 plus years because of outright lies and distortions of the truth by REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS, even including outright dereliction of duty which resulted in 3,000 Americans losing their lives on 9/11, more than 4,000 who lost their lives in an unnecessary/unwarranted war in Iraq; thousands more who lost their lives in Afghanistan which should have never had to happen, and even hundreds who lost their lives in 13 overseas attacks on our consulates and embassies which Bush and Cheney didn’t even think about.

            And this is really not all – if I took the time there are more atrocities that his absolutely despicable political party has perpetrated on the American people and the world. Not even to mention the TREASON the GOP has been committing for years BY DELIBERATLELY WORKING TO SABOTAGE THE AMERICAN ECONOMY TO FOR NOTHING MORE THAN FAILING IN ITS OBJECTIVE TO MAKE OBAMA A ONE TERM PRESIDENT!!!



          • joe schmo

            Still a free country. We are still justified in calling you out, right?

            You know Vermont right? One of the most liberal states in the union. They plan to get rid of Obamacare. So it’s not solely a Conservative issue.

            People have died prematurely……because of …..could it be the beginning of the death panels. Just look at the Veteran ‘F’ up.

            Unemployment….gee how do you figure…the liberals created this mess. 3 part-time jobs anyone. No benefits and no chance of getting ahead. Hiring illegals and cheap labor instead of citizens. Let’s see now, who created this mess. At least you are aware of it.

            Oh, and things are hunky doory in purgatory at the moment aren’t they? Your side, along with those despicable RINOs have all but destroyed our democracy.

            BLAME THE HORROR SHOW ON YOURSELVES WOULD YA. We no longer need Marxists and Muslims in this country. The whole lot of you need to find a deserted island. Maybe then you can leave the rest of us in peace and fight amongst each other.

          • Independent1

            17,000 Americans were projected to die prematurely this year because the GOP refused to provide millions with the healthcare that many residents of red states already needed (those who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness) and for the many other whichs would have had terminal illnesses diagnosed in time to be cured.

          • idamag

            I have met one family in one of those states that refused to expand Medicaid. They are low income and should not have to pay for insurance, but they found themselves having to buy insurance and it hurt. They admitted they voted for Scott Walker for governor so I told them I don’t want to hear about their woes.

          • Independent1

            It’s still surprising to me how people will knowingly vote against their own best interests.

          • joe schmo

            You can’t take the truth.

            Dude! just what message didn’t you get. If you weren’t so sure you were going to win the last election why didn’t your brethren all get out and vote?

          • joe schmo

            This is absolutely true:)

        • joe schmo

          You are about as ignorant as it gets. Who started this mess? Who’s protesting? Who’s killing the Cops who are supposed to protect us? Who’s bias? Who’s destroying America? I’ll give you a clue. It sure is NOT the conservative constituents.

          Fascism? You have no clue what that term means. You also don’t realize how Marxist you have become. If you need proof, I will be more than happy to provide you with that information:), comrad…..

      • Independent1

        You are living in LA LA land; You really need to come back to reality.

        Both parties ARE NOT THE SAME!! Admittedly, neither one of them is perfect – but the Democratic party today HAS NO WHERE NEAR THE UNMITIGATED IMBECILES and OUTRIGHT CROOKS that are in the GOP!!!

        Identify for me, ONE THING, JUST ONE THING, the GOP has done for America over the past 50 years, that was not designed to separate TAXPAYERS from their HARD EARNED MONEY and SHOVEL IT INTO THE POCKET OF THE ALREADY WEALTHY!!


        Yes, there are INDIVIDUAL DEMOCRATS who have proven to be corrupt – BUT IT IS NOT THE ENTIRE PARTY LIKE THE GOP!!!

        And when are you going to WAKE UP, to the fact that if there are ANY LAZY PEOPLE SITTING ON THEIR ASSES, that IT’S CONSERVATIVES????



        • angelsinca

          Just shut up already. You can accomplish MORE by just supporting YOUR candidates without the continual ranting about the opposition.

      • sleepvark

        schmolina old girl, you talk of tolerance as if tolerating ignorance, incompetence, bigotry, racism and every other type of despicable behavior, very much like what you have been advocating, would be the right thing to do.
        Not in this lifetime, bozo, or bozina, whichever is applicable. To tolerate such crap is to allow it to breed and thrive. So a lot of us here voice our objections, and thus our lack of tolerance for the works of fools and charlatans. Like you for instance.
        It’s the right thing to do.

        • joe schmo

          Barf, you liberals only speak of tolerance when it serves you. You no longer are tolerant. As a result, conservatives are following suite. How long can you be pounced on until you start to speak up and that is exactly what has occurred. We have been forced to put up with your claptrap while your ilk has pushed us further and further into a corner and, as a result, we to are at the speaking back at ‘ya’ stage.

          • sleepvark

            joeline, you’ve been talking nothing but filth from the beginning. So you’ll just have to excuse us when we acknowledge that there is no way for anyone to see how you talking back going to be any sort of change.
            I’m no longer tolerant? Come on sweetheart, I’ve never been tolerant of you and your ignorance, bigotry, racism and perversion.
            You are right about one thing. I do love pouncing on you. On the other hand, no one is forcing you to come here and ooze your vileness.
            And you are following suite now, are you? Sweet, suite, whatever, sounds the same to the ignorant. Get yourself a third grade education and double your grammar and spelling databank.

      • charleo1

        Many are waking up Joe. And you need to as well. My point is, those that have, they aren’t talking about such partisan, and ultimately meaningless claptrap as, big gov. The Right’s definition of, big gov. has nothing to with it size, but who it’s helping, and who’s mailbox the bill for that assistance, show’s up. It’s not about Communism, the Constitution, religion, or what Barack Obama is, or isn’t. At the end of the day, it’s all about the guy who pays the fiddler, getting to call the tune. And they’re all dancing to that tune. That’s the fundamental from which all else flows. And it rules the political process, top to bottom. It creates a situation where neither the Left, or Right are, listening very carefully, or very often to anyone, not calling the tune. They both talk to us, a lot more than they listen. And they do so to convince us what ought to be the most important. Those things that tug at our heartstrings, raises our passions, or our fear levels, and plays to our biases. And many are truly important, and 364 days of every year are spent by these politicians in mock battles. And all the Political wrangling, fiery speeches, threatening warnings, and ultimatums on these issues, are all part of the show. On issues that aren’t, in the grand scheme of things, actually effecting the ones who are paying the fiddler, and calling the tune. And directing that grand ball, to which you and I, can’t afford even a nosebleed spectator seat. My point is, on those issues, the issues that make a difference in who the fiddler is playing for. Are, and without fanfare. Usually late, on a Friday night, find, “rare,” agreement. Agreement, which both the presses of the Left, and presses on the Right, couch in the most glowing of terms. As a victory their side mostly won. But something that is definitely going to be, and I love this little disclaimer, “A step in the right direction.” That’s so, when they come back, they can say, the only problem was it gave too much to the Dems, or the GOP. Setting the stage for the next political steel cage match. That will end with agreement around these few core issues, that drive everything else.

        • 788eddie

          Charlio1, I applaud your thoughts!

          This is exceptionally well written!

          • charleo1

            appreciated! Thanks.

        • midway54

          Cherleo1: This is indeed one of the best of your always fascinatingly thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent contributions I have read.

          • charleo1

            Thanks my friend!

        • Matforce

          Hope you don’t mind if I C&P this post. It is just so astute and intuitive! BRAVO!!!

        • Matforce

          Hope you don’t mind if I C&P this post. It is just so astute and intuitive!

          They say, “The devil is in the details.” But your insightful, cutting through the subterfuge to the essence of what everyone with an ounce of discernment knows is going on, is spot on! (Everyone, that is, except those who refuse to “dig” for the truth. I am speaking of those who remain blissfully ignorant and duped by the right wing rhetoric, or those on the take, benefitting from the extortion, who have a vested interest in its continuance…)

          Your use of metaphors and lyric language depict scenic parables that cut to the core of the shifting sands of the demise (the deep shyt we’re in) so clearly that it is quite clear, you have a firm understanding of the subject!!! BRAVO!!!

          • charleo1

            Thanks Matforce. The impetus inspiring the comment was the recent, so called, “must pass,” omnibus spending bill that for one thing, repealed the part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform, that disallowed the use of Federally insured funds, (FDIC) on about, 5% of the most risky derivative investments. Putting the taxpayers in the position of backing up losses dollar for dollar. While the banks if they win, claim the big profits. Such a toxic idea, that the politician that sponsored the Citicorp written add on, remains anonymous. There is just so much yuk in this. But the kick in head was, it took Democratic votes in both chambers of Congress, and the President’s blessing, to make it law. So where’s the outrage?
            It could be reserved for the other add on in the bill,
            that essentially finished off what was left of McCain-
            Feingold, after the Supreme Court got thru with it.
            Here’s the deal on campaign finance. In the 2012
            Presidential contest, it was reported, there were only 668 people that donated the maximum allowable amounts to individual campaigns, and National Party Committees. ($32,000) Not PACS, or Super PACS, which are deemed speech, and exempt. Where 100s of millions flooded into the process. Not enough they decided. So, increased the regular allowable contribution, by a factor of 10! And I thought, with all the things Congress can’t do. Immigration reform, infrastructure, rebalancing the tax code, etc… What groundswell of public uproar, induced Congress to address this vital concern? The lack of proper funding of political campaigns?

          • Matforce

            You are so correct about the Wall Street deregulation, and campaign finance riders; couldn’t agree more!

            I’ll tell you where the outrage is. It’s dancing among the sugar plums in our sleeping electorate’s heads! But once they awaken from their slumbers, and realize what is truly going on, there will be an enormous push-back, the likes of which have not been seen since the Civil War, or American Revolution. Hope it won’t be too late!

            This nation was NEVER created to become a Plutocracy or an Oligarchy, but that is what’s happening.

            Why there aren’t more Representatives sounding the alarm, is a very perplexing mystery to me. I like Elizabeth Warren because she is…

          • charleo1

            You, and I think alike my friend. Found as article,
            that pertains.

  • Independent1

    What I think the author of this book is missing, is that it’s not ‘true Christians’ who are refusing to accept reason, but rather a growing group of ‘fake Christians’ (even some mainstream religions) whose beliefs have been further and further distorted over time. Distorted intentionally by a political party in its efforts to achieve its misguided, more often than not, nefarious goals (e.g., creating America’s enormous income inequality). It’s not by accident that the GOP has increasingly interjected religion into the political landscape; it’s been intentional; because the GOP has long since realized that without somehow hijacking some religious groups, it’s chances of maintaining its political power with its misguided ideologies, is nil.

    So especially over the last 20 plus years, the GOP has increasingly worked to misguide many religious groups, into believing that it’s even fake politicians – people whose main focus in life is primarily wealth attainment – are actually supportive of these supposed Christian groups misguided interpretations of the Bible. By constantly harping and playing up agendas that these supposed Christian groups focus on, to keep them supportive of the party – misguided Bible interpretations manifested in outspoken beliefs such as – refusing to believe in evolution; gay bashing; being anti abortion, etc. When more often than not, based on what most of these fake politicians say, it’s clear that their primary intent is nothing more than finding ways to increase their own fame and notoriety, by making outlandish public statements, and constantly pushing support for legislation that ships more taxpayer dollars into the pockets of corporations and the already wealthy.

    • charleo1

      Great point in defending the vast majority of Christians. Who much more closely identify with philanthropic philosophies. Be they taken up by private entities, or embraced as a plank of a political platform. In fact, the idea that government providing a safety net for the poor, or working to insure access to education, training, child care to low income parents, and so on, are examples of the government, “Trying to replace God,” comes off as absurd to most people of any faith. And leaves them a bit baffled at the unorthodox, and very loosely aligned organizations of Evangelical, Christendom. And lately, more than a little concerned, as the movement, fueled by the advent of Televangelism, while aligning itself ever more closely with the extreme political Right. Where most tenets of Christianity surrounding the issues of treatment of the poor, and disenfranchised are an anathema to groups like the T-Party. They worry, and with good reason, the societal blowback against such groups, is being reflected on them, and the Christian religion as a whole. I think we have seen Pope Francis addressing this very problem, in some widely read, and welcomed statements on the subject as of late. So drawing that clear distinction, between the heresy of a militant political, faux Christian movement, and the Church itself, is a very important distinction to make. That being said, the great agitator, and the peg upon which the Religious Right hangs much of their moral superiority, is abortion. And while true, most Christians, including the Catholics view the act as serious sin. Most still prefer to work to make the procedure rare, and ultimately unnecessary, thru education, and social support. Than to criminalizing it. And recognize the separation of Church and State, is a vital protection of their religious freedoms. That here again, the Evangelicals have made a Faustian bargain with their political allies. To secure the release of public funds to their various religious based schools, and institutions. To which they demand no less, once this is accomplished, to their unbelievable wealth, and ideological influence on the youth of our Nation. The reestablishment of that separation, when it comes to all matters of curriculum, or standard. And it is for this they sell their support. And ultimately their faith.

    • Matforce

      Well said! When it finally dawns on the decent Christian folk in the middle class that they have been deceive through the use of social issues that cost the right wing little to espouse, in order to claim their vote, a vote that has cast their demise, there will be an angry back lash… You can only conceal the truth so long…

    • 788eddie

      I believe you are correct with your allegations regarding the behavior of some Christians. I also believe that many young people also see this, and that this is a prominent reason for the overall decline in the numbers of practicing Christians.

  • Matforce

    To fathom the depths of the cunning disingenuousness of the inverse reality of the right wing think tanks, here is a link that summarizes the propaganda manifesto entitled, “The Integration of Theory and Practice,” from Free Congress Foundation written by Eric Heubeck and Free Congess Founation founder Paul Weyrich.

    It is no wonder why today’s right wing political rhetoric is so divisive and deceptive. This manifesto was published in 2001.


    “This essay is based on the belief that the truth of an idea is not the primary reason for its acceptance. Far more important is the energy and dedication of the idea’s promoters—in other words, the individuals composing a social or political movement…”

    “There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture…”

    “Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions…”

    “We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment’s rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today’s American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.”

    “We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime. We will take advantage of every available opportunity to spread the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with the existing state of affairs. … contribute to a vague sense of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with existing society. … We need to break down before we can build up. We must first clear away the flotsam of a decayed culture.”

    “We need more people with fire in the belly, and we need a message that attracts those kinds of people…We must reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil. And we must be prepared to explain why this is so. We must provide the evidence needed to prove this using images and simple terms…”

    • charleo1

      I don’t say, “wow,” very often. But that is truly amazing. A complete encapsulation of everything we see coming out of the Right Wing. Where do they find such soulless creature to carry this all out? Thanks for taking the time to share their own secret play by play. I mean I suspected something. But WOW!

      • S.J. Jolly

        Hard right billionaires been engaged in a 40-year (and counting) multi-hundred-million-dollar campaign to pull the American political system rightward. They’ve had considerable success.

  • Richard Holmes

    This mentally twisted author condemns conservatives, Christians and all others that don’t support the progressive agenda, and places corporations, governments and money as the true necessity for mans intellectual needs.

    • Independent1

      “and places corporations, governments and money as the true necessity for mans intellectual needs.”

      Those words describe exactly what today’s CONSERVATIVES are all about; and what progressives are against. Your mind is very convoluted.

      Progressives in no way give sway to corporations – it’s CONSERATIVES that shovel billions of dollars every year into the coffers of corporations and their leaders. Had Mitt Romney won the 2012 election, today, America would be nothing more than the world’s first CORPORATE-RUN nation.

      And in case you’re not aware, the federal government today, has 330,000 less people working for it than when Reagan left office in 1989, and if you take all governments combined, there are more than 700,000 fewer people working for the federal, state, town and other local governments across America than when Bush 2 left office in 2009.

      And if you’re talking about MONEY, that’s the entire focus of the GOP. It’s not progressives whose first question was “who’s going to pay for this” when Hurricane Sandy destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and progressives in Congress were trying to provide the victims of the storm with help. And it isn’t progressives who every chance they get wants to cut taxes so they then have to cut benefits to those who really need a helping hand.

      You better wake up. And as I told another poster on this blog – the term Conservative Christian is an oxymoron, you cannot be a true conservative and also be a Christian – just like you can’t love God and Mammon at the same time.

  • Stuart

    Nothing new about religious fundamentalism. Jefferson and Madison were fighting this battle 200 years ago. See the “Liars for Jesus” web site. And probably any History Department at just about any university. Also need to keep an eye on Christian militarism.

    Need to keep in mind, too, that not only is there a religious right but also a religious left, which is where the real Christians are. The pope may be the left’s newest visible recruit. Hard to believe that, in the 1960s, there was such a thing as “liberation theology.”

    It’s been somewhat fashionable, though, to call Christian fundamentalists the “Christian Taliban,” including me. But I must admit it’s hard for me to envision even a Christian militarist sinking to the level the Pakistani Taliban did last week.

    • charleo1

      You’re right. The Religious Right, be it Falwell’s Moral Majority, Pat Robertson’s nuttery, Blaming Katrina on New Orlean’s tolerance of Gays. Or the bigotry of Bob Jones University’s policy against interracial dating. Or, just all the unseemly political campaigning from their tax exempt pulpits. Are still small potatoes, when compared with slaughtering school children, in the name of religion. And we should consider that when using such unfair, and ugly hyperbole. It blows the legitimate case against their own particular brand of intolerant, “light,” which is I believe a fair description of their attitudes, and behavior, out of the water. I think what we’re going for here, goes something like this. Live, and let live. If you don’t like my daughter, who happens to be Gay, getting married, and enjoying the full compliment of Civil Rights, just like everyone else, that’s your Right, here in this Country. But when you use the power, and money you gain from your religion, and the brand of politics you promote, to try and influence the State to deny those Rights to her. Well, then you just crossed a line, and made an enemy. And I don’t care what else you may purport to believe. Or, whatever cause say you care about, or what all greater good you claim to be working for. You can count me out! And of course in this respect, ditto the Taliban.

  • EaglesGlen

    Religious Fundamental Belief says the more illegal aliens the higher taxes and greater the social decline including by illegals who violate their own religion with their daily sins against their God.

    • charleo1

      Christians didn’t used to believe in illegal people at all. I seem to recall a definite belief in the concept, that we were all God’s Children. That He loved each of us in an unconditional way, such as only He was capable. But it was His desire, that we try very hard in His service to emulate that. I remember those Christians, and that fundamental belief. What do you suppose happen to that? Do you suppose God changed His mind? Or did just some men? In fact, I don’t believe you’re a decent spokesman for any Christian I know. In fact, I’d stay completely away from the subject of religion if I were you.

    • Independent1

      You need to keep in mind one fundamental rule of Christianity – the term Conservative Christian is an oxymoron: NO CONSERVATIVE CAN BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN!!!!!!!!

      • idamag

        If Jesus came to them, and they probably would not know him, and he told them to give up their church or their political party, they would give up their church.

        • S.J. Jolly

          If Jesus came to them (speaking English, of course), many of them would call him a commie.