Saturday, September 19, 2009

Voter "Values"

The conservative movement in America is in full hysteria mode and can barely speak without sputtering and fulminating like they are having a collective grand mal seizure. Some news pundits are referring to it as a death spasm for a political movement coming to the end of its existence (we should be so lucky) as its own extreme-radical right-wing takes over like a virulent, all-consuming cancer. Conservatives have jumped on the health care "debate" like a fat kid on a case of Hostess Ho-Hos and are shrieking and screaming like a senior citizen at a cafeteria who missed out on getting the last bowl of lime Jell-o.

The latest manifestation of this death rattle is something called the "Values Voter Summit" unfurling in all its rancid glory in Washington DC this weekend. A quick perusal of the list of speakers on their website (click at your own risk, you are warned) is like a college-level anthropology-class listing of the most reactionary, backward-thinking dinosaurs of the past 60 years. From the ancient, brittle and desiccated Phyllis Schlafly to the mummified remains of Ed Meese (Ed Meese is still around? Seriously??) to the batshit-crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann to the Howdy-Doody-on-heroin visage of Gary Bauer, the speakers' list looks like a summit meeting of every bigoted, racist, and homophobic old crank that they could drag out of the cultural toilet of modern-day America. The only one prominently missing is methed-out scarecrow Ann Coulter, who presumably couldn't make it because she's at the Goodyear Tire Factory getting her throat re-treaded.

This Values Voter Summit seems to be obsessed with "taking back their country" from the godless legions of the liberal elite who are nipping at their orthopedic shoes at every turn. They profess to be Christians but typically, so many of them are doing such incredibly un-Christian things. At their march on Washington last weekend, signs were visible everywhere which showed Obama made up to look like Hitler or the Joker from the Batman comic books. There was a sign proclaiming "No Communist Health Care!" Um ... Communist health care?? What is that? Do they even know what the word "Communist" means? Ignorance of the most profound kind was on display everywhere, with the shamelessness of a mob mentality. One woman was interviewed on National Public Radio and whined, "I'm here because I want my country back. The country that my parents left to me, I want to leave to my children."

Well, guess what, lady? That country is gone. Times have changed, and this country is a radically different place than it was even a half a generation ago. The world has never been so interconnected (due to the global economy and the Internet) and polarized at the same time. The glaciers are melting and sea levels rising. Gasoline reached over $4 a gallon before receding, and only when a global recession and the near-collapse of the US economy caused energy demand to fall through the floor. Unemployment has soared to 30-year highs and has not finished rising yet. The economy has lost over 6 million jobs in the past year, most of which will never be replaced. And the America of a generation ago came to a crashing, horrific end on September 11, 2001. Absolutely everything changed, permanently and irretrievably, on that awful day and no amount of wishful thinking will ever restore it.

But, in spite of all the evidence staring them in the face, we have the spectacle of tens of thousands of people marching on the Capitol, blaming all the awful things that have happened to this country on the fact that godless liberals took prayer out of the schools, and the homosexuals and fornicators are trying to make bestiality legal. How they managed not to run each other over in their walkers and their scooters is beyond me, but one thing was clear: this is all the fault of "others," i. e., people who don't share their conservative and fundamentalist views. Never mind that eight years of the Bush administration got us into two costly, interminable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - the Iraq war based on total fabrications and falsehoods regarding WMDs - and other wars looming on the horizon with Iran and North Korea. Never mind that conservative control of Congress has exploded the deficit and saddled future generations with crushing debt. Never mind that the institution of marriage is much more threatened by the over-50% divorce rate than it ever would be by the marriage of the lesbian couple who have been together for over 40 years. Never mind that the greedy bloodsuckers of Wall Street very nearly caused the ruination of the American economy and destroyed the domestic automobile industry, along with many other job opportunities and have caused thousands of people to lose their homes and everything they own. Never mind that the policies of the Bush administration sent millions of jobs overseas to India, China, Malaysia and other places and flooded the American job market with foreign workers willing to work for a fraction of the pay it takes to have a decent standard of living in the U.S.

Never mind that conservative principles are at the very least equally, if not more, culpable than liberal philosophy in destroying the America of twenty years ago. Never mind that in the past twenty years Republicans have held the power in Washington more often than Democrats. The only thing that matters to these "Values Voters" is the fact that they are right and everyone else in the world is responsible for all the bad decisions, poor choices, and outright lies that have taken this country down the path to dissolution. They don't realize that the "moral decay" they incessantly decry found its highest expression in the Bush White House. They are happy to listen to an endless stream of double-talking, crotchety hypocrites who tell them how right and noble and good they are, all the time laughing at them behind their backs and regarding them as ignorant, mindless dupes.

Such are the values embraced by these "Values Voters." Once again, stupidity reigns supreme in Washington DC, on Wall Street and on Main Street. How much more of this idiocy this country can endure, I don't know, but it does not bode well for us all. And if you think for one second I'm exaggerating about the bottomless stupidity and ignorance of these people, check out this video.

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