Thursday, March 26, 2015

Republicans seek to lead us ... back in time

 
"Looking into my Dreams, Awilda" located in Millennium Park, by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. 
     Quite a fuss this week over Ted Cruz, the conservative Texas senator who announced he is running for president. Even though his far right wing views—Nate Silver created a chart showing him to be not only the furthest right of all the presidential candidates vying for position now, but the furthest right ever, at least over the past 50 years, even more conservative than Barry Goldwater. 
      Who, if you recall, got shellacked in 1964 by the not-particularly-beloved Lyndon B. Johnson.
      The Onion of course nailed it, with the headline: "Ted Cruz Boldly Declares Nation Not Deserving of Better Candidate."
      The general consensus is there is no need to fret about Cruz—he's on the Sarah Palin track, run for office, pump your Q score, then enjoy a long, flush semi-retirement spoonfeeding Republicans the mendacious fantasies they crave. 
     The chances for his winning are given as nil, or close enough to it.
     But the Cruz candidacy, doomed though it be, prompts me to point out something you should keep in mind during the 2016 election, because whatever temporary success Cruz enjoys will tend to draw Republican candidates toward his extreme opinions. It's a basic truth, but those are the best kind. 
     Ready?
     Time goes forward.  It does not go back. Bells cannot be unrung, pool balls do not re-arrange themselves into their original triangular arrays after being struck by the cue ball, eggs do not uncrack. 
     This might not be news to you—I sure hope not, I hope you realize by now that grandma's not coming back—but the Republican Party just doesn't get it.
    Cruz's views are diverse, but they can all be categorized under a banner popular among his less extreme peers: he is a revanchist, i.e., he wants to lead us back, to a nation of his imaginings. 
    Climate change? Never happened. Cruz mocks the science proves it to be worsening year by year. A demographic shift that has made Hispanics—which Cruz claims to be—the largest minority, with 17 percent of the population, surging to 25 percent in the next 30 years? Ignore it, build a wall, keep their parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers already here in permanent serf-like limbo. 
    Cruz announced his candidacy at Liberty University, the self-styled largest Christian college in the world, and called for the nation to finally be run on Christian values. But the number of people who identify as Christians is steadily shrinking—down to 73 percent from 86 percent 25 years ago, and those who do profess to the faith go to church less, in keeping with a general global shift away from religious observance. The United States never was a Christian country; it will be less and less as the years go by.
     The list goes on. Gay marriage? Undo it. Abortion rights? Allow the states to roll them back even further. Obamacare? Scrub the country clean of it.
      But Obamacare is like that egg that can't be unbroken.  It occurred, and while they might overturn it, the way you can take a tweezers and glue and try to reassemble the shards of shell—you end up with a mess, the damage has been done, if you consider "damage" to be that tens of millions of Americans now have access to affordable health care.
     They can mask who they are. They can nominate Marco Rubio and hope people are too dense to realize that he's Cuban, an elite immigrant group given special status to poke a thumb into the eye of the Commies, and that he stands for all the policies that most Latinos are against. But it won't work. No matter how vigorously you stir the coffee, the tablespoon of cream you added stays mixed; it never reassembles back into the original spoonful. Even if you really, really want it to.
     Every day the country hurtles into the future. We become more diverse, the gap between rich and poor grows greater. And the band of people who are willing to gather under the Republican banner of Religion and Revanchism grows smaller. The past is gone. You can fool some people, you can even fool some people all of the time. But you can't fool enough people that they agree to try to return to the past. Because a) it's impossible and b) even if it weren't, the past of their imaginings was never really there in the first place, not the way they remember it. It's so strange to see people passionately urging the country toward a place that doesn't exist and we wouldn't want to go, most of us at least, even if it did. 

34 comments:

  1. Don't forget, Cruz managed to draw a huge crowd for his announcement.
    Of course, that's because that ridiculous "university", made it it a required assembly for all of their students, by calling it a convocation, whatever that's supposed to be!

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    1. oh yes, one of those right wing universities, prob not even accredited, imagine taking a biology class there, bible is okay but that's all they want to study, and old test. is what men thought at that time and didn't know better, more of a jewish book, stick with nt if you are rel. without being a fanatic

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  2. While I disagree with Cruz on gay marriage, abortion, religion and many other things, including imperialist war, I would consider voting for him if he got the nomination for two reasons. 1. His opposition to environmentalism. Like many, I oppose luddite nonsense and the climate change bullshit. 2. his opposition to the current horrible harsh gun control laws. Finally, as I am against the government and its functioning, he will help bring it to a halt. --Another leftist for Cruz if the alternative is Hilary or other Democrats who are fr the environment and gun control.

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    1. I vote Democrat but even as a lady, would not vote for Billary.

      The far right is getting to be the party of non science wrecking moderate repubs.

      Liz Warren is someone I'd like to see run or Bernie Sanders.

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    2. tea partiers are nuts, as are the insecure gun slingers

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    3. oh yes, first anon, let's let big corp ruin our water, see the latest lawsuit with Duke energy in NC and let's let the big bus. investors do war for profits

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    4. conservs shouldn't be on this forum, Neil is a lib.

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    5. Climate change bullshit?

      Seriously, disbelief in the warming of the planet is luddite material. The planet temperatures continue to go higher every year and projected changes--such as crazy snowfalls in winter and droughts caused by shifting jet stream patterns--keep strengthening the models.

      We have lax gun control laws. It is utter folly to think we have restrictive gun laws.

      So, here you are, Anon, willing to toss all sorts of human rights issues aside for factually incorrect beliefs. I find it hard to believe that you actually disagree with Cruz on any other issue.

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  3. Listen up you white wacko Christians, you gun toting crackers, you poor souls who want to take back America...the ironic 800 pound gorilla in this conversation is that Jesus Christ himself would be disgusted by this loon. One shudders at the thought of what this guy (with a Republican Congress) could do in four years. Dividing America, disregarding science, damning social welfare programs...sounds like a plan!

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    1. don't put all Christians in one basket, born agains / funds with the tv evang are the worse, but the super lefty give muslims too much of a pass

      moderation is the key

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  4. Not a Christian Nation? I have it on good authority (Palin, Cruz, Buchanan) that the Founding Fathers were the 12 Apostles and all those namby-pamby Rights were Judas's ideas.

    John

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  5. we are a corporate nation. one that allows those with the money to grab (pay for) the power and bend the rules to their advantage. Left or Right, that probably won't change because all the pols pockets are open for filling.

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    1. yes, no thanks to a conserve court letting the super pacs funding do whatever

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    2. sounds like ann rand on the pro corp, uncaring stuff, sure comm is bad but she went to other extreme

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    3. oops, make that ayn

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  6. Guys like Cruz give some continuing relevance to what General Phil Sheridan said about the great state of Texas: "If I owned Texas and Hell I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."

    And has anybody noticed how much he looks like Joe McCarthy?"

    Tom Evans

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    1. that's a good quote about tx

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  7. Good points, Neil. One doesn't have to be a right wing evang. to be somewhat religious. Just understand whether in the torah or Christian. that Genesis isn't exact and believe in paleontology, anthropology, biology, astronomy, geology and study it and don't see women as they did 2000 yrs ago. Another words one doesn't have to be an atheist to be scientific.

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  8. and the founding fathers were more deist, then fanatical evang. christians

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    1. They'd have to be, since the fanatical evangelical christians who believe in the Rapture didn't even exist until the 19th Century.

      They all knew good and well from experience the results of combining religion and governance, and they wanted no part of it.

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  9. a relative of mine applied for office work at Wheaton college, she got some rejection letter saying God will guide her path, not mad at the rejection letter but how they worded it, what it really meant was just like they fired a Cath. teacher there years back, though she taught English, and she converted to Caths, they could tell daughter went to a non born again nut college, talk about hypocrites there

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    1. and they act like it's God's plan to hire or not,

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  10. I mostly agree with this, except IMO, Ronald Reagan did succeed somewhat in turning the clock back. We used to be a nation that thought it had at least some obligation to the poor and oppressed. Reagan succeeded in taking us back to the pre-New Deal days, where we now begrudge and bitch about every nickel of tax money that goes to help someone else.

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    1. Agreed, Scribe. Sure seems to me like the country has "turned back" in a number of ways in the last 30 years. I don't have any statistics, but from what I read, it's harder to find an abortion provider in many states than it was 20 years ago. Neil mentions that "the gap between rich and poor grows greater." This is a feature from over a hundred years ago, that HAD been in the past for a couple generations or so, but which has since returned with a vengeance, aided lately by outrageous Supreme Court decisions that corporations are people, when it benefits them, and that money is speech. Which follows from the fact that the S. C., which is set with a conservative majority for the foreseeable future, is way more conservative than the one during Johnson's years.

      "And the band of people who are willing to gather under the Republican banner of Religion and Revanchism grows smaller." I keep reading this, yet all I see are states with Republican governors and legislatures all over the place, along with our swell Republican Congress. As long as the "band" continues to vote and organize in disproportionate numbers compared with the allegedly reasonable, climate-change-affirming, moderately religious or nonreligious group you're championing here, Neil, the hurtle into the future is going to remain quite bumpy, methinks.

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    2. It's funny Scribe mentions Reagan, because everytime someone says (or writes) something like "____ has next to no chance of winning" I'm reminded of a 70's SNL sketch: IIRC it was nothing but a black screen and a voice saying "President Ronald Reagan. Think about it."

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  11. let's do a birther search on Cruz's birth certify, lol

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  12. yes, now some repub are fully reactionary

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  13. on bruce jenner, talk about a guy with nothing better to do with his time or money, bad enough when one really has to go to doc/ hosp, etc

    love to hear neil's idea on that, what lefty shrink is saying that's okay? makes money I guess

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  14. wonder if that co pilot in german plane crash was tied with terrorists

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    1. Seems unlikely. Probably working for Eurorail.

      John

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  15. Cruz and his ilk are prominent because they pander to the fearful, ignorant and racist. Unfortunately, this shrinking demographic has yet to prove they are a political force beyond the primary season. Yet they feed the parasites that depend upon their favor, so they continue.

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  16. well said, Wendy

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  17. "yet to prove they are a political force beyond the primary season" In presidential races, perhaps. Uh, he IS a Senator, Wendy.

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  18. jakash, must you always correct everyone? how insecure and or arrogant you must be

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