Sticks and Stones and the "Secular Left"
In the article linked above, David Benjamin discusses the takeover of the Republican Party by the "Religious Right" and their tendency to label everyone on the left as "secular". He makes some excellent points, but offers no solutions. I'm going to see if I can't develop a little strategic opposition to the advancing theocratic movement.
George Lakoff is the go-to guy for this, obviously, but I'm still not seeing "our side" using talking points and framing as effectively as the Right. We've got to get on with it, before a Christian Autocracy silences its opposition for good.
The first phrase we need to learn comes from Benjamin's article: Christianism should be used to distinguish between Christianity, or the teachings of Christ, and the conservative political machine that promotes it's fascist, elitist, pro-corporation agenda under the guise of religiosity. It's painfully obvious that their agenda has nothing to do with the values or teachings of Jesus. The Prince of Peace would hardly be on the side of war for profit and the "divine right of capital".
Next, we have to call them what they really are: the Conservative Elite. The Left is comprised of many, varied groups. Certainly there are professors and scientists among us, but there are also laborers, Ministers, Jews, Pagans, Buddhists, Islamists, Christians, women, gays, straights, Blacks, Hispanics, Natives and immigrants, with a sprinkling of Hollywood-types who naturally get most of the press but are hardly the majority in our number. Most of the money in this country is controlled by the Right. They are far more likely to have an Ivy League education and a lot of their money is older than the Republic itself. Don't buy into the bullshit that G.W. Bush is a "regular guy". The Bush family is as elite as it gets, and their money old enough to have come mostly from Hitler's own coffers.
The best available estimates are that 100,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed since the U.S. invasion. Let's add to that the tens of thousands who died in Afghanistan, and the millions slaughtered in Darfur without our intervention because we're occupied elsewhere. Then there are the 1600 or so of our bravest young men and women who have died for Halliburton's bottom line. Let's look at the fact that Bush executed more prisoners than any governor in history, and without proper review of the cases. Why the hell are we letting them get away with calling it a "culture of life"? Bush's Slaughter of the Innocents is more like it, when you consider many on Texas' death row were just that, as were the women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're killing people every day who never harmed an American. We've become a Culture of Death
The Conservatives are not "pro-life" - they would allow a sick woman to die in labor to protect a fetus; they have executed the wrong people; they stand in the way of science that could save the lives and alleviate suffering for millions of people. There's no expression of concern or empathy for suffering in them. Their primary motivation seems to be the punishment of women who have sex outside of marriage, though not all who might seek to terminate a pregnancy are single. While they claim to defend the life of the fetus, their real agenda is to control women's sexuality. The salient point that rarely gets a headline is that Women are People, Not Property.
Before we even consider the concept of a Slave Birth, why don't we try taking care of the kids we already have? There are three million homeless kids in this country right now. An unwanted child is more likely to suffer abuse, neglect and poverty, and Freaknomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side of Everything, by Steve D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, showed that the drop in the crime rate corresponds to the legalization of abortion. Society benefits when its children are loved and wanted.
How about we make our own label? Pro-Constitutionists has a nice ring to it, as do Liberal Patriots and Jeffersonians. The Pro-American, Pro-Democracy Left needs to stand up and point out that the Subversives on the Radical Right are undermining America's foundations, endangering her people and ruining our reputation in the world.
We used to be the good guys. We were the champions of human rights and civil liberties. We were all about fairness and innovation and creativity. Now our image around the world will forever be associated with the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. "Cowboy Diplomacy" is the derrogatory term others use to describe our foreign policy. American elections, which used to be a beacon of hope in the world, are now a laughing stock. Do we really want greed, incompetence and callous disregard for life to be the American Legacy in the 21st Century?
Every generation has its Prophets of Doom. Instead of standing on a street corner with a sign that says "the end is near", they are sitting in the White House and the Pentagon, trying to make sure all the players are in place for Armaggedon. Personally, I'd prefer to have people in charge who are motivated to prevent the end of the world rather than hasten it.
I feel like a broken record. I write the same things on different days in different ways, but its all the same. The news is all bad and we need a majority to make a difference, but we'll never get one when elections are stolen from us. How do we reach people who don't read at all, let alone read blogs? How do you educate a person who scoffs at the educated? How do you condense American History to a soundbite so people will remember it? I'm watching my country become a fascist state, and I feel powerless to stop it.
The irony of it all is that the Left is pro-religion. We're loving, tolerant people. We love freedom, humanity and truth. There are a few among us who don't practice a religion, and that's OK with us, too. We're easy to get along with, and that's part of the problem. We want to be reasonable, but we're dealing with people who abhor rational thought. We've been trying to get along while they've been taking over. If we're ever going to fight back, now is the time. Learn these terms and use them. Come up with more and leave them in comments. Spread them around.
- Christian Autocracy
- Bush's Slaughter of the Innocents
- Women are People, Not Property
- Conservative Elite
- Culture of Death
- Prophets of Doom
- Slave Birth