Monday, October 15, 2012

Politics and the Elephant in the Corner



I always seem to make people mad when I talk about politics, but after seeing this, I just couldn't help myself.  There are two things here I want to comment on.  First, when it comes to Paul Ryan, I just can't make myself like because he is such a smart ass, and I deal with enough of those on a daily basis as a teacher that I don't want one to be my country's VP.  He also says that Ayn Rand is his idol.  And while she was a conservative, she was also an atheist.  She did an interview two years before her death with Phil Donahue which an excerpt of can be seen by following this link. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GS6vxb4H3M&sns=em).

The second thing I wanted to mention is the hypocrisy of Republicans who are ignoring this aspect of Ayn Rand while still saying that they are Christian conservatives.  This is the same Christian Right who the vast majority have said in the past that they do not believe that Mormons are Christians, but now that a Mormon is the Republican nominee, they have changed their tune.  I find the whole thing to be ridiculous.  Most mainline Protestants and Catholics have always seen Mormonism as a cult and not true followers of Christ, but now they are willing to forget this for Mitt Romney.  I personally think that Mormons tend to be very nice people, but I do not agree with them religiously.

Many of the Christian Right, at least the ones I have talked to, say that they would rather vote for a Mormon than a Muslim.  Also stating that at least they believe in the same God, but worship Him in a different way.  How is it that people still believe that Obama is a Muslim?  (If you are in doubt that Obama is a practicing Christian, read this article from Time Magazine: "The Obamas Find a Church Home — Away from Home" http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1908437,00.html). I know people have the right to change their minds, but this is a drastic change.  Ignorance abounds throughout the political world and the voting public, but this election is showing America's ignorance in politics and the politicians they support or not.  Maybe America should take a closer look at the elephant in the corner that everyone seems to be trying to ignore.

Okay, so that is my say (rant) on the subject. What do you guys have to say?

9 comments:

Coop said...

Joe,

I watched the VP debate. And, yeah, Paul Ryan comes across as a smart-ass now that I think about it. He was very inarticulate about the tax plan because not everyone has a head for numbers, as a conservative acquaitence pointed out. I don't. And if they got into healthcare policy my brain would have short circuted. They'd find me sitting there on the sofa reduced to a drooling vegetable. Biden's laughing and STUPID grinning, especially during the parts about the recent 9/11 tragedies in the mid east, was RUDE. Either way we'll have a VP who provides a lot ammo for cartoonists and comedians. What else is new?

As to your thoughts, today: People are fickle. The Evangelical christians would have preferred a Christian. so while Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Fig-Newton Gingrich were around, they harped on Romney mormon-ness. Now that they have to live with Romney, they are ready to kiss and make up.
(Newt Gingrich's sins, of course, would be ignored. Better to have a divorced, philandering heterosexual man who professes to be a Christian); even though Ellen and Portia are a better example of marriage ;-)
In a similar way, they'd ignore certain parts of Ayn Rand.
Bear in mind that these people are partisan kool-aid drinkers, something you and I are not, along with a growing number of Americans.
I confess that a candidates individual religion means nothing to me, insofar as they adhere to the freedoms of the 1st amendment. I like your thoughts, I think you're over-thinking the issue.

Jason said...

The Republican party like most political parties often ignore the truth behind a story of a person if it serves their cause to do so. A journalist will sometimes say 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story' yet those words would be much truer coming from a politician, along with 'never forget honesty is subjective and never answer a straight forward question with a straight forward answer!

naturgesetz said...

I think it is sometimes possible to compartmentalize someone's thought. For example, one can think that Karl Marx pointed out real problems in 19th Century industrialized economies without subscribing to dialectical materialism. Similarly, I think somebody can think that Ayn Rand makes a good case for individualism as the basis for a healthy economy without subscribing to her atheism, especially if the alternative is thought to be statism. So I'd give Ryan and the Christian right a pass on this, perhaps even some credit for being able to make distinctions rather than take it as all-or-nothing.

I don't know why anybody should be unwilling to elect a Mormon or a Muslim on the basis of their religion. What the Christian right realizes, at the least, is that if you can't get what you want, it is prudent to take the (imperfect) best you can get.

Anonymous said...

Another thoughtful posting, even if you think it is a rant. I do not. I think you hit on the things that many of us towards the middle think about and wonder about those on the extremes....left or right. Sigh. It is amazing the hypocrisy and double standards on displayed in this election cycle. It happens every time, but geez....I have wondered if someone could take the comments that the cronies on both extremes have made in different election cycles and compared them.....you will find that both extremes say the same things, no matter the political affiliations, when their candidate is in similar situations as to the latest gaffe or negative polling. No wonder there is little to no respect for or credibility of the participants in this process anymore...no one can take off their 'spin' hats and analyze the situation for what it is vs. for what they are trying to convince us it is....

Sorry, I guess that my rant for the day. Off soapbox.

Anonymous said...

Well said!!!

SEAN said...

They know that Romney is a Mormon they are mislead to think Obama is lying about being a Christian and so believe he is a Muslim (they know his is black). Maybe they think that Romney being a Mormon is yet another thing he'll flip/flop on.

Coop said...

Jason, you're absolutely right. And both parties have their sycophants and followers; who will jump off the zakum bridge if told to do so.

Uncutplus said...

Why should a presidential candidate have to subscribe to any religion? The general moderate population is becoming more secular, leaving behind the extreme right wingdings. Could a political candidate ever be elected, if he did not publicly profess a particular religion?

This question is similar to could [1] a woman or [2] a homosexual ever be elected president. They have been elected to Congress. Are there atheists in Congress?

fan of casey said...

Joe: Politics and religion often force people to confront issues they rather not acknowledge. Here's a psychological explanation:

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/#more-1218