Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Where is Barry Goldwater When we Need Him?
Many American Neoconservatives claim to have become politically active, after the trouncing of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election. Deemed to be too far right, he lost to Lyndon Johnson, by one of the largest landslides in history.
Ironically, by today's standards, Goldwater would have been a moderate. He supported Gay Rights, and hated the Moral Majority. His call out for a butt kicking, was in response to Jerry Falwell suggesting that Sandra Day O'Connor was not committed enough to ending abortion.
He also once said that "I wouldn't trust Nixon from here to that phone. " and denounced Reagan's "parade of millionaires". As to the lavish balls that the Reagans held in the White House, he thought them too ostentatious when so many Americans were suffering.
Goldwater was a Libertarian who wanted to dismantle the Welfare State, but he was not completely heartless. Mind you, he also claimed that in war there no such thing as a civilian, so his humanity was not without its limits.
Recently, we have learned that 15.1 percent of Americans now live in poverty; the highest number in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has been tracking it.
Yet the Republicans are up in arms because President Obama wants to eliminate $467 billion in tax breaks for wealthier Americans and corporations, and they won't hear of it.
Wall Street is again nervous, but as we know, when Wall Street gambles and loses, taxpayers are expected to bail them out. But when the American people, those same taxpayers, are suffering, that's just too bad. They're on their own.
The corporate funded Tea Party waves their flag, and accusations of being "un-American", are never directed at those hording all the wealth, only at those waiting for the promised "trickle down".
Those lazy sinners.
The Republican presidential candidate race is coming down to two men: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Though a devout Mormon, Romney is a moderate. He's for civil rights, Gay Rights, and even supports abortion for victims of rape and incest.
He should be pleasing to both the caring Evangelicals and right leaning Democrats. And he would probably make a pretty good president, though I would prefer that Americans turn down the volume on their right-wing noise machine, and give Obama more of a chance.
But Americans are suffering, and they will always blame that suffering on those in power, forgetting the horrible mess that the man inherited from George Bush.
However, it would appear that the Republicans believe that Rick Perry has a better chance at winning the White House, based partly on the fact that he can fill auditoriums in public prayer. He's the man to bring God back to government, come hell or high water.
Another contender, Michelle Bachmann, claims that the recent hurricanes are God's wrath for the First Amendment, that separated Church and State. Perry takes that even further, holding rallies against the Amendment and his state had Thomas Jefferson (the author of it) removed from their school books.
I'm reading a book Just leave God Out of it, by Tim Riter and David Timms of the private Christian University, Hope International in Fullerton, California.
They open by telling the story of a men's religious retreat in Australia. After a morning of prayer, they took a break to play a little rugby. During the game, one of the men suffered an injury, resulting in his ankle being bent an odd angle.
Everyone scrambled, looking for ice and determining the quickest route to the hospital. But then one of the camp workers came over and asked the group, "Has anyone prayed for him yet?"
"Ouch! Great and intense teachings on prayer were ignored." So the men prayed first and then took the suffering individual to the hospital. According to the authors, this was a wake up call as to how much "cultural creep" was affecting society. Secularism was clashing with "godly values".
"This challenge is serious. The value of our culture subtly squeezes us into their mold, at the expense of biblical values."
I would have put more value on easing the man's pain and making sure that he got immediate medical attention, but biblical values say that he must suffer while first they pray. No mention of God-given medical know how.
I'm reminded of a joke I heard several years ago.
Warnings of a flood had prompted an evacuation, but one man was without transportation to leave, so his neighbours offered him a ride. He refused saying that he was going to put his faith in the Lord, who he felt certain would save him. So instead he prayed.
The inevitable flood took place, and rescuers in a boat found the man in his water logged home praying. They offered him a ride, but again he refused, saying that he was going to put his faith in the Lord, who he felt certain would save him.
Finally, as the waters engulfed his home, and the man was standing on his roof, a helicopter hovered overhead offering a life line. But again he refused saying that he was going to put his faith in the Lord, who he felt certain would save him.
The man drowned and when he got to Heaven he asked God why he had forsaken him. The reply: "But I sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter. What more did you want from me?"
Rick Perry would not only be that man on his roof, but the tyrant who would lock the entire community in their homes, so that they could go down with him.
I wonder what Barry Goldwater would want to kick on this guy. It's obvious that he's already taken a swift kick to the head.
I remember my mom being afraid of Barry Goldwater. She was an English war bride who had lived through the bombings, and felt that he would lead us into another world war.
I can't believe I'm now looking back to the glory days of the Republicans, when Barry Goldwater was the voice of conservatism, and perhaps their last voice of reason.
A Harper majority and Rick Perry in the White House? Heaven help us.