Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Politics of Hate

By Gerry Dantone

Apparently these are desperate times.  No, times are not desperate because of the war in Iraq, or the booming deficit, or oil prices or the lack of any coherent health care system, or the threat of terrorism, hurricanes or bird flu.

No, times are desperate because there is an election coming up this fall, and there is a chance that the Republicans may lose control of Congress.

Yes, now THAT is something that makes for desperate times, if you’re a Republican member of Congress or the Administration, that is.

How can one tell?  The easiest way to determine whether an election is imminent is by observing the issues that are being discussed by those who would be most affected by an upcoming election.

That life and death issue for planet earth – no, not global warming, terrorism or nuclear proliferation – gay marriage, was placed front and center in the US in June 2006 when the Republican Congress made sure that a vote on a Constitutional Amendment was brought to the Senate floor, even though it was well known that it had no chance of passage.

The Amendment was indeed defeated but it served its purpose; it reaffirmed the perception that the GOP was indeed God’s Own Party in the eyes of the homophobic faithful who happen agree with the Rev. Fred Phelps that “God hates fags.” Yes, although many prefer to distance themselves from the pious and brutally honest bible literalist Rev. Phelps, many of those same Americans apparently hate gays enough so that the Constitution of the United States of America should be amended in a way that, for the first time ever, deliberate discrimination against a class of Americans is made mandatory even if a state’s population disagrees.  Their mantra is that legalizing gay marriage would threaten the institution itself even though this assertion has no empirical basis and no logical basis.  And of course, the fact that the desire on the part of the Radical Religious Right (RRR) to outlaw gay marriage aligns so neatly with their supernatural-based beliefs is just “coincidence.”

Yeah, right.

If the anti-gay marriage amendment was not enough of a desecration of the Constitution, an Amendment to “protect” the official flag of the US was also proposed, a limit, in other words, to free speech.

What else does the RRR have up its sleeve?

Answer: Basically more religious war.

A recent book by an exploiter of the RRR, Ann Coulter, is entitled “Godless,The Church of Liberalism,” even though the Godless know that even liberals are often loathe to associate themselves with the Godless: No known elected official calls himself or herself an atheist, liberal or conservative.

Although Coulter has been widely criticized for her book, those criticisms center on her personal attacks contained in the book and the fact that it is considered an insult to be called “Godless.”

The book was Amazon’s number 1 best seller for a period of time.

All this makes you yearn for the days of the politics of greed!  At least some self-interest was involved!  Instead we have to deal with an era in which the political objective is to divide the country on supernatural-based issues, and hoping that your divided portion is larger than your “enemy’s” portion.  Trying to find common ground is a dead issue when you have Absolute Truth and Certainty on your side.

This is just the beginning.  Expect more issues to be introduced into this war, such as abortion, birth control, prayer, Creationism and any other issue that could be used to inflame.

Welcome to the era of the “Politics of Hate.”

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