ANGELS OF LIGHT OR RIGHT WING HATE MONGERS?
Are you sick and tired of Republican attack ads? Are you sick and tired of verbal assaults on twelve-year-old-boys and two-year-old-girls by rich, white fat men wo share a basic contempt for change and who practice rhetorical savagery as a virtue? Yeah. I am too. And I think I finally understand the reason behind all the right wing hate-mongering and vitriole.
For all intents and purposes conservatives tend to view human beings as evil, demented creatures. Several years ago one of our blogging partners found himself involved in a truly viceral school board race in which members of the supposedly Christian Right were trying to take over a local school board. He wasn't running for office himself, but as an independent thinker and as a child of the 18th Century Enlightenment, he gradually discovered that the indviduals with whom he was debating had a very different view of the world than mainstream Christians. As we all know, many right wing Christians believe that human beings are products of the Biblical fall from grace as told in the Book of Genesis. They genuinely believe that because Adam and Eve fell from grace that every subsequent human being on the face of the earth must be a depraved, sinful criiminal at heart and that societies need strong, perhaps even repressive forms of government to keep the evil, criminal sides of our natures under strict control. To that end conservatives, especially Fundamentalist Christians, place a greater emphasis on control and regulation and less emphasis on personal freedom, constitutional liberties, and representative forms of government in general. They believe that if you give the people too much freedom that they will act on the depraved, sinful natures, creating chaos and wrecking havoc.
That however, was not what many of the Constitutional Framers believed. Many of the most influential framers were liberal Christians or Deists who believed that mankind, while not entirely perfectable, was at least somewhat perfectable. To that end they emphasized public morality as opposed to the kind of Puritanical, private morality with which the far right has so disturbingly obsessed. The far right in this country, again, the Fundamentalist Right in particular, believes that the purpose of the federal government is to control the private lives of the indvidual, to act as a kind of thought or morality police to prevent the ignorant masses from hurting themselves or others. As a dirct result we see a twisted preoccupation with sexual matters, and other personal issues which are none of the government's business. By the same token the far right dismisses the idea of public morality, so while the far right tramples on the Constitution to invade our private lives, indeed our privacy in general, it is perfectly content to tolerate the suffering of large groups of people. Whether it's uninsured children, the sick, the old, the weak, or the infirm, etc, the far right operates under the false assumption that people deserve to suffer because--you guessed it--Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In sharp comparison, the Framers of our Constitution, like modern day liberals, were less concerned with private morality than they were in public morality. In this regard they emphasized the central teachings of Jesus. Indeed, it might even be suggested that the NonChristian Deists had a better understadning of Christ's morality than the suposed Christians who use the name of Christ but who spit upon his techings whenever tose teachings become a political inconvenience. Unike the radical right, Liberals take Christ seriously when he talks about healing the sick, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, and turning the other cheek. Unlike the Conservatives who pay mere lip service to what Jesus taught, Liberals believe that civilized governments take care of their weakest citizens.
In recent days we have seen the end result of conservaive thought (an oxymoron if ever there was one!). We have seen a President, who once preached an empty gospel of Compassionate Conservatism, as he vetoed a program that wuld have provided health insurance to lower and middle income children. And what was the Conservative reasoning behind this veto? if we help a few more people now we may be tempted to help more people in the future. NOOOOOO. We wouldn't want to do that. Why, who ever heard of a government that didn't leave its chjildren vulnerable to illness and possible death. We wouldn't want to prevent that. Not when we have some archaic paradigm that says we have to punish everyone because Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden. And while we're at it, suppose we talk a little more about the rhetorical attacks by conservatives on defenseless children. Will someone please tell me just what in the hell a two-year-old girl did to merit the dubious labels of evil, sinful, and/or criminal? From where I'm sitting the most this poor child has ever done has, in all liklihood, has been to poop in her pants or knock over a glass or orange juice. Certainly that did not merit public attacks in our corporate media. Then we have the outrageous attacks on a 12-year-old boy who recoevered from a coma. What exactly did this boy do to deserve public humiliation? Was he in the Garden of Eden? The last I knew he probably wasn't, and yet the far right had no trouble when it came to picking on someone who wasn't able to defend himself. rather like Anne Coulter's attack of the 911 widows.
On the bright side, I suspect that the American people may be waking up to the basic fact that some of the talking heads (I so want to say driping penisis) on the far right simply don't know what they are talking about. They are so convinced that everyone else is evil and depraved that they refuse to cast the very large and blinding motes from their own eyes. And that's the problem, the underlaying weakness in their basic philosophy, their basic paradigm. If people are corrupt, evil, and sinful, then how can we be certain that the conservativs themselves aren't judging others by themselves? How do we know that they aren't engaged in the fine art of projection? Doesn't it stand to reason that if, according to their belief system--all people are criminals and sinners that they themselves are also criminals and sinners and that we have merely elected devils in the guise of self-righteous angels to be our dictators, tyrants, and fuhrers? It may well me. I know, I know, the Funamentalist right may wel argue that they have been filld with the Holy Spirit, that they have been chosen by God. But how can we be sure? For if we take a literal translation of Biblican text, we arrive at a point where that same text warns us about deception.
Does any one recall that inconvenient verse in 2 Corinthians, 11:14? "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." Isn't that what can happen when we begin to believe in the natural superiority of both, ourselves and our belief systems? Do we not begin to accept evil as a form of benevolence?
Looking at the Social Darwinism that has become our economic policy; at the violence, sadism, and mass murder that has become our foreign policy; at the torture, corruption and prevarication that has become our legal system, and the ceaseless flow of verbal attacks against the weak and defenseless which has become modern day journalism, I would suspect that the term conservative morality is also an oxymoron and that we have exchanged Christ's morality for deregulated savagery.