Friday, September 24, 2010

What kind of country?

So I am still trying to wrap my head around conservative/Republican ideas. I mean, unless they get sixty Senate seats, then getting the House will do them little good, except to render government inert. But suppose in 2012 the Republicans/Tea Party took the White House (Palin/O'Donnell?) and Congress. We see now that the Tea Party is evaluating candidates and proposed legislation based on their particular ideological standards. I have read that they are fanatical about following the constitution. Now, I respect the constitution a whole lot. The greatest system of government put into real practice (as opposed to the elegance but impracticality of Marxist-Leninism). A system with good checks and balances between the executive, the legislature and a court system that not only issues practical and workable justice, but is the final arbiter of the constitutionality of either the laws written or the action taken by the executive. And rights for individuals that are enshrined in the first set of amendments to the document.

But still, I know the founders struggled with the balance to set (Hamilton versus Jefferson). I can't help but wonder what they would think of how the world has changed. Millions of Americans. Slavery resolved after a bloody civil war, and yet blacks still seem to be struggling in our society for the (overwhelming) most part. And then there are the financial issues, the role of technology in the economy that have increased the speed and complexity of transactions (like for example, you are reading my blog). And the penultimate, at least for me. Guns and the Second Amendment. When the second amendment was written, handguns had one bullet, were enormous and used a flint scrapping on a piece of metal to ignite a little pile of powder to ignite a bigger pile of powder to move the bullet. Misfires were frequent, guns were inaccurate and it was hard to shoot more than one person at a time. Now of course it is fairly easily to carry a concealable weapon that could shoot literally dozens of people, or you can buy military-type rifles with bullets that can penetrate the sorts of body armor the police generally wear, and shoot a lot of them. Now, I think we need tighter controls on guns, and I think most if not all of the founders would agree. But not the Republicans.

But I think there's more. Apparently the Tea Party also connects religion to the constitution. So I guess not only would there be some new constitutional standard for new legislation, but apparently there would be other rules or laws or whatever, based on biblical standards for behavior. We would lose out (supposed) tolerance of other religions, and all have to follow others interpretations of Christianity. It wouldn't matter what my own interpretation might be, I would have to follow someone else's. Which is to say I have to wonder if the tea Party wants to create a theocracy. I expect the Tea Party wonders why someone like me, or everyone else, would not want to live in a better (more moral) country.

Not that any of this is likely. But it is frankly disturbing to me that people who might serve in the Senate who think this way.


spork_incident said...

Which is to say I have to wonder if the tea Party wants to create a theocracy

Most of them don't think of it this way. I think it's more like, America is already a Christian Nation which has strayed.

Of course the government should be run in a Christian fashion but because we're tolerant there would be no discrimination (the essential contradiction here seems to escape them).

I honestly don't believe that most of the 'baggers think beyond platitudes and possess a belief that if they elect the "right" people everything will magically take care of itself.

That said, there are no doubt actual, conscious theocrats amongst them, especially the Christian Reconstructionists. But Dick Armey and the Koch Brothers certainly don't want them anywhere near the levers of power.

(I'm for the moment leaving out the insidious idea that Islam isn't a faith but a political movement.)


EdHeath said...

Spork, except for your final parenthetical statement (which I am assuming/hoping was tongue in cheek), I agree totally with your comment. I think you are right on about Joe average Tea Partier, seeing 'Merica as a Christian nation which has strayed (I should have expressed that, 'cept I am too damn wordy and was watching while I was writing the post). I think the bit about platitudes is quite right as well.

I agree that Dick Armey and the Koch brothers would be nervous about having theocrats "anywhere near the levers of power", except that currently having a Jim DeMint and a Tom Coburn in the Senate can be quite useful (See Gail Collins column in the Saturday NYTimes). I think only a few of the lunatics will be elected, and they will be a welcome edition to the GOP "big tent".

axel said...

Honestly, I do not think most collectors think beyond platitudes and the belief that if they choose the right people want everything magically take care of itself.

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