52
   

AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:20 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:

It does strike me as odd that the Republican leadership, which I assumed would be in favor of a smaller government, would now seemingly think otherwise.


In the case at hand I believe they were aided by the nearly four decades of incompetent, racist kleptocracy in the city government of Detroit that started in the 1970s under former Mayor Coleman Young, and only recently ended with the conviction of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Last year the new superintendent of Detroit spublic schools discovered in excess of 200 "ghost" employees on the schools payroll - paychecks routinely cashed but no employees found. The current Mayor Bing appears to be doing a Herculean job, but it is very much a case of cleaning out the Stygian stables. The city is dead socially, politically and economically.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 08:54 am
A thoughtful analysis of the cost of crime in America:

http://www.occupyboston.org/2011/12/11/costs-occupy-vs-recession/?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=twitterfeed
0 Replies
 
jcboy
 
  3  
Reply Sun 8 Jan, 2012 03:26 pm
A true religious conservative from the heartland. He prays for the death of our President and uses a vaguely racist insult to describe the First Lady. Absolutely disgusting. He should be removed from office immediately. Instead, he'll become the new GOP frontrunner.

Quote:
The Republican speaker of the Kansas statehouse issued an apology this week after sending emails from his personal account referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Mrs. YoMama” and quoting a Bible verse cited by some as a reference to presidential assassination.


http://blogs.e-rockford.com/applesauce/2012/01/07/gop-speaker-of-kansas-house-prays-for-obamas-death-calls-first-lady-mrs-yomama/
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2012 10:13 pm
January 10, 2012

To hear the Religious Right tell it, men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were 18th-century versions of Jerry Falwell in powdered wigs and stockings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unlike many of today’s candidates, the founders didn’t find it necessary to constantly wear religion on their sleeves. They considered faith a private affair. Contrast them to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (who says he wouldn’t vote for an atheist for president because non-believers lack the proper moral grounding to guide the American ship of state), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (who hosted a prayer rally and issued an infamous ad accusing President Barack Obama of waging a “war on religion”) and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum (whose uber-Catholicism leads him to oppose not just abortion but birth control).

There was a time when Americans voted for candidates who were skeptical of core concepts of Christianity like the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus and the virgin birth. The question is, could any of them get elected today? The sad answer is probably not.

Here are five founding fathers whose views on religion would most likely doom them to defeat today:

1. George Washington. The father of our country was nominally an Anglican but seemed more at home with Deism. The language of the Deists sounds odd to today’s ears because it’s a theological system of thought that has fallen out of favor. Desists believed in God but didn’t necessarily see him as active in human affairs. The god of the Deists was a god of first cause. He set things in motion and then stepped back.

Washington often employed Deistic terms. His god was a “supreme architect” of the universe. Washington saw religion as necessary for good moral behavior but didn’t necessarily accept all Christian dogma. He seemed to have a special gripe against communion and would usually leave services before it was offered.

Washington was widely tolerant of other beliefs. He is the author of one of the great classics of religious liberty – the letter to Touro Synagogue (1790). In this letter, Washington assured America’s Jews that they would enjoy complete religious liberty in America; not mere toleration in an officially “Christian” nation. He outlines a vision of a multi-faith society where all are free.

“The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation,” wrote Washington. “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.”

Stories of Washington’s deep religiosity, such as tales of him praying in the snow at Valley Forge, can be ignored. They are pious legends invented after his death.

2. John Adams. The man who followed Washington in office was a Unitarian, although he was raised a Congregationalist and never officially left that church. Adams rejected belief in the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, core concepts of Christian dogma. In his personal writings, Adams makes it clear that he considered some Christian dogma to be incomprehensible.

In February 1756, Adams wrote in his diary about a discussion he had had with a man named Major Greene. Greene was a devout Christian who sought to persuade Adams to adopt conservative Christian views. The two argued over the divinity of Jesus and the Trinity. Questioned on the matter of Jesus’ divinity, Greene fell back on an old standby: some matters of theology are too complex and mysterious for we puny humans to understand.

Adams was not impressed. In his diary he wrote, “Thus mystery is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”

As president, Adams signed the famous Treaty of Tripoli, which boldly stated, “[T]he government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion….”

3. Thomas Jefferson. It’s almost impossible to define Jefferson’s subtle religious views in a few words. As he once put it, “I am a sect by myself, as far as I know.” But one thing is clear: His skepticism of traditional Christianity is well established. Our third president did not believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection, original sin and other core Christian doctrines. He was hostile to many conservative Christian clerics, whom he believed had perverted the teachings of that faith.

Jefferson once famously observed to Adams, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

Although not an orthodox Christian, Jefferson admired Jesus as a moral teacher. In one of his most unusual acts, Jefferson edited the New Testament, cutting away the stories of miracles and divinity and leaving behind a very human Jesus, whose teachings Jefferson found “sublime.” This “Jefferson Bible” is a remarkable document – and it would ensure his political defeat today. (Imagine the TV commercials the Religious Right would run: Thomas Jefferson hates Jesus! He mutilates Bibles!)

Jefferson was confident that a coolly rational form of religion would take root in the fertile intellectual soil of America. He once predicted that just about everyone would become Unitarian. (Despite his many talents, the man was no prophet.)

Jefferson took political stands that would infuriate today’s Religious Right and ensure that they would work to defeat him. He refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and fasting, saying that such religious duties were no part of the chief executive’s job. His assertion that the First Amendment erects a “wall of separation between church and state” still rankles the Religious Right today.

4. James Madison. Jefferson’s close ally would be similarly unelectable today. Madison is perhaps the most enigmatic of all the founders when it comes to religion. To this day, scholars still debate his religious views.

Nominally Anglican, Madison, some of his biographers believe, was really a Deist. He went through a period of enthusiasm for Christianity as a young man, but this seems to have faded. Unlike many of today’s politicians, who eagerly wear religion on their sleeves and brag about the ways their faith will guide their policy decisions, Madison was notoriously reluctant to talk publicly about his religious beliefs.

Madison was perhaps the strictest church-state separationist among the founders, taking stands that make the ACLU look like a bunch of pikers. He opposed government-paid chaplains in Congress and in the military. As president, Madison rejected a proposed census because it involved counting people by profession. For the government to count the clergy, Madison said, would violate the First Amendment.

Madison, who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, also opposed government-issued prayer proclamations. He issued a few during the War of 1812 at the insistence of Congress but later concluded that his actions had been unconstitutional. As president, he vetoed legislation granting federal land to a church and a plan to have a church in Washington care for the poor through a largely symbolic charter. In both cases, he cited the First Amendment.

One can hear the commercials now: "James Madison is an anti-religious fanatic. He even opposes prayer proclamations during time of war."

5. Thomas Paine. Paine never held elective office, but he played an important role as a pamphleteer whose stirring words helped rally Americans to independence. Washington ordered that Paine’s pamphlet “The American Crisis” be read aloud to the Continental Army as a morale booster on Dec. 23, 1776. “Common Sense” was similarly popular with the people. These seminal documents were crucial to winning over the public to the side of independence.

So Paine’s a hero, right? He was also a radical Deist whose later work, The Age of Reason, still infuriates fundamentalists. In the tome, Paine attacked institutionalized religion and all of the major tenets of Christianity. He rejected prophecies and miracles and called on readers to embrace reason. The Bible, Paine asserted, can in no way be infallible. He called the god of the Old Testament “wicked” and the entire Bible “the pretended word of God.” (There go the Red States!)

What can we learn from this? Americans have the right to reject candidates for any reason, including their religious beliefs. But they ought to think twice before tossing someone aside just because he or she is skeptical of orthodox Christianity. After all, that description includes some of our nation’s greatest leaders.

Rob Boston is senior policy analyst at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 10:43 pm
@plainoldme,
Interesting stuff that the current core of candidates need to read - and absorb. .
nevah hoppin.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 10:05 am
Unfortunately, the Republicans may win the presidency in November. The Democratic base--the liberal/progressive base--is disillusioned and in disarray. The independent vote seems to be moving further and further away from Obama.

I say that is unfortunate, because under a Republican president...there is almost no chance of a progressive agenda being promoted...and this country needs a progressive agenda right now.

But that doesn't bother me as much as the possible impact of a Republican presidency on the composition of SCOTUS...and the balance of the federal judiciary. The Judicial Branch has as much, if not more, influence on the direction the country takes as the Legislative and Executive Branches.

I will vote for Obama in November...and it will not be a "lesser of two evils" vote. I think he is getting about as much out of the cards he's been dealt as any Democrat could.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 10:15 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Unfortunately, the Republicans may win the presidency in November. The Democratic base--the liberal/progressive base--is disillusioned and in disarray. The independent vote seems to be moving further and further away from Obama.


I simply do not agree with this assessment. It doesn't match polling we see on the upcoming election and it doesn't match the tenor and tone that I see on various Dem blogs.

Cycloptichorn
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 10:43 am
@Cycloptichorn,
From today's New York Times!


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/us/politics/poll-shows-obamas-vulnerability-with-swing-voters.html?_r=1

Some of the comments by self-identified liberals in other forums are almost painful to read. Many of them despise Obama even more than professed conservatives. They feel betrayed...and vow not to vote for him again.

Don't get me wrong, Cyclop...I hope you are right and I am wrong. But in my opinion, it shouldn't even be close. Obama and the Democrats should be miles ahead of the clowns running on the other side.

He isn't...that I can see.

But as I said...this is one time when I am rooting against myself being correct.

Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 10:52 am
@Frank Apisa,
There definitely do exist a few groups within the Dem party who constantly badmouth Obama:

1, the 'professional left,' for whom no decision or compromise is ever liberal enough. They complain constantly about everything the man does.

2, ex-Hillary supporters who hate the fact that Obama destroyed and then co-opted her. They congregate around places like FDL and Salon.

3, folks who plain didn't listen to him in the last election when he said he was going to try working with the GOP.

I think that Obama stands a pretty good chance at capturing the vast majority, if not ALL, of the votes from the groups listed above. Romney sure isn't going to drag them over the GOP side. I think that Obama and Axelrod have, with recent moves, signaled that they are going to be running on an end to pre-emptive compromise with the GOP, and say 'look, we tried to work with them, they wouldn't do so. So, we're not going to go that route any longer.'

Re: how he should be miles ahead, who can say? He's been playing a long game this entire time and it's difficult for the short-sighted to understand why he compromises. We have the same partisan hard-liners in our base, who never want any compromise with the GOP, as the right-wing does. On top of that, many low-information voters don't understand just how obstructionist the other side has been. It'll be Obama's job to highlight that during his election campaign.

Re: the commentators who vow not to vote for Obama, I constantly read that about Romney on the other side. My guess is that 80-90% of them will vote for both of them anyway.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 10:57 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Actually, now that I think about it, what will matter most to Obama is for the economy to continue to improve (if slowly) over the course of the year.

Which it looks like it might:

Quote:
The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits sank by 52,000 last week to 352,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 402,000 from 399,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected claims would fall to a seasonally adjusted 375,000 in the week ended Jan. 14. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, dropped by a much smaller 3,500 to 379,000.


Cycloptichorn
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 11:56 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Another good news in this morning's newspaper; manufacturing increased by 3.7% last year. Housing is also improving in California. Exports out of LA and Long Beach increased...
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -4  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 12:02 pm


Obama has not had a positive effect on a single issue since taking
office... he is a complete failure as an American president.


http://howobamagotelected.com/index.asp
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 12:05 pm
@H2O MAN,
Rush Limbaugh? ROFLMAO
Below viewing threshold (view)
jcboy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2012 06:44 pm
Wow, this shouldn't enrage me this much but it does. On SiriusXM satellite radio, the liberal talk station is SiriusXM Left. It would make sense for the conservative station to be SiriusXM Right but no... conservatives are much bigger shitheads than that. Their station is SiriusXM Patriot. IDIOTS! No, seriously, IDIOTS! Just another example of the irrational right always implying that liberals (and some moderates) are unpatriotic and therefore deserve no respect. I can't wait for Obama to steamroll Romney in November.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2012 07:11 pm
@jcboy,
It's comedy at its strangest; we first have the GOP candidates spending tens of billions destroying each other, then they kiss and make up - and not because they believe in Mitt, but to remove Obama.

Reality is stranger than fiction.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 08:25 am
This is an interesting and necessary for all to read post about romney: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/19/can_mitt_talk_to_women/

I want to select a single quote from Dushku: “He’s not a man who has a moral core,” she said. “He’s very loyal to the Mormon church, pays his tithing, is faithful to his wife, but he doesn’t have a set of core values you can count on.”


In my personal vocabulary, I separate ethics from morality. I define morality as an inherited but unexamined system of determining right from wrong.

I define ethics as a mix of intellectual examination, personal experience and the inherited morality, which is tested.

Morality is fine for those whose thinking is not analytical, not critical and not developed. However, without ethics, society is impossible.

My argument with all too many religious people is that their morality is irrelevant. They have no idea why they adhere to the beliefs they hold. They often misapply their beliefs through faulty logic.

Here, Dushku uses the word moral core rather than morality and the choice of moral core implies something, I suspect, a little different than morality.

I've written often on this forum about the difference I see between ethics and morality and how I see ethics as superior to morality.

Once, a right wing male poster, fuming with anger at me and eager to demonstrate his inability to reason, wrote how he would go out and rape a pre-teen girl so that he would have the experience to know that the act was wrong. That is what the left is up against.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 10:38 am
@plainoldme,
Not only does he have any sense of moral values, but he lies on his own lies.

And yet, the conservatives are making him the front-runner for president. When any one person lies on his own lies, and everybody knows it, what makes him the conservatives top runner?

This country is going downhill quickly.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Apr, 2012 04:51 pm
I found this article in the Daily Kos, a decidedly left leaning site...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/19/1084681/-CEOs-at-top-companies-earned-380-times-the-average-worker-s-income-in-2011
Quote:

The AFL-CIO has released its CEO Paywatch with 2011 data. So how do CEOs stack up against ordinary workers? Well, the average CEO of a company on the S&P 500 Index earned 380 times the average American worker's wage, with average CEO pay having increased 13.9 percent in 2011.


Notice how much CEO pay has gone up?
I thought that the dems were opposed to CEO's getting paid so much, and that they were going to reform it.
This sure doesnt seem like reform to me.
Of course, it could be said that the dems actually helped the top 1% get richer, at the expense of everyone else.

FWIW, I dont care how much a CEO makes, its none of my business how much someone else makes.

But for the dems to claim they want pay reform, then for them to allow the CEO's to make more money, seems like they are contradicting themselves about the issue.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Apr, 2012 05:27 pm
@mysteryman,
mm, Where did you come to the conclusion that liberals were going to "reform CEO pay?"
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Are all Republicans Idiots? - Question by BigEgo
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.15 seconds on 11/23/2014 at 09:45:21