Girl at Lindo Lake © Robert Sommers 2018

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


It is hard for an observer to miss the present day political schism and separation. We have a democrat Executive branch and Senate, Republican House and governors. Maybe the mayors are a toss up, frankly I don't know?

But there is another level of governing that is equally important and that is local politics. The school boards, the fire and water boards. I believe that these positions tend to be mostly filled by conservatives and evangelicals. Don't ask me why. Perhaps they are more committed than those on the liberal left. In any case the Republicans quickly and correctly assessed the importance of a ground up campaign and they have been amazingly successful at fulfilling their goals at the local level.

The South and the Heartland are also increasingly conservative and evangelical. And their elected and appointed officials are representing in great measure the wishes of their constituency. But there is a dichotomy or two. The GOP got beaten up pretty badly last election. Besides not particularly liking their candidates, many voters took issue with their positions on various issues.

Priebus and the National committee gave themselves an autopsy report and saw the writing on the wall. They were losing it with women and hispanics and better turn things around if they are going to score nationally again. So now we hear talk about the need for inclusion and for reaching out to traditional left wing bases and showing those bases the advantages of belonging to the Republican party. Yet it is fairly apparent to anybody watching that much of the base and many of the elected GOP leaders despise these very groups that they are trying to woo. So you get the recent statements like Michigan's Agema talking about gays living a filthy lifestyle and some of the more racist language that has been pooping up at certain points in the right wing spectrum.

The word was out before Romney even ran. Don't talk about the social issues. People are concerned about one thing and that is the economy. Big tent, room for everybody. The social issues are a loser. We preach limited government, remember? But unfortunately some people can never stop.  There are some very wonderful and well meaning people on the right that believe that for instance, abortion is murder and that it is their moral duty to protest.  They can't help themselves. So now we have over two dozen personhood amendments, abortion regulations and bills proposed and signed in North Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama that practically start at the fetal heartbeat in some cases. Going after clinics that rescribe morning after pills, throwing every roadblock they can in front of women and their doctors. Dare the feds to do something.

The right has engaged in an absolute stealth campaign, pretend not to care about the social front until you have the power and then the spiritual warfare is on.

Is that what we want? What we are headed for? Two distinct America's? Soon that is where we will be. The right will get to do what they want in their states, we in ours, they can even establish the official christian religion, like they are trying to do in North Carolina. Hope the Baptists and the Southern Methodists can work things out quick about who's boss, not to mention the Pentecostals. Figure out who's going to run the thing.
The North Carolina state constitution disqualifies those who do not believe in God from public office. The provision has been unenforcible since the 1961 Supreme Court decision in Torcaso v. Watkins, which prohibited such bans. 
Both parties are playing to their fringe. The middle ground is starting to look like the Korean DMZ. Vacant. Empty. We get Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, the Teton Range, you take Mount Rushmore, Great Smoky Mountains and Disney World. Deal?

You can drill until your hearts content, kill the EPA,  bring back indentured servitude for all I care - just give the folks that don't agree with you ample warning and time to get out. Banish sex education, crush the sodomites, bring back the ten commandments, abolish the teaching of evolution, outlaw abortion and contraception, deport the mexicans (except the ones that are doing your dirty work) and fight against the local imposition of sharia law.

We will outlaw the eating of meat of any kind, forbid transportation by any means except skateboards and bikes.  Marijuana smoking will be mandatory and the kids will have to pledge to Gaia or no god every morning. A few unfortunate souls can work all the time, do the rest of us a real solid and support the dreamers who would frankly rather sit around and "grok."

We can always visit each other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems like we are drifting as we did prior to the Civil War. The main difference is that there is not one preeminent issue like slavery to tie it all together. It is a bit of a threat to the idea of Union. Howe and Strauss' book Generations suggests this is not forever but a result of the baby boomers and their tendency to see things in black and white. With luck the millennial generation can save us--that is if they can stop "smoking" their wonderful self esteem long enough to give a damn and do something.