Things are getting to the point where if you dislike socialism as much as you dislike moral conservatism, you have no place in either the Republican or Democratic Party.
American politics are now driven primarily by socialism and moral conservatism.
Libertarianism is a joke.
And an especially cruel joke at that, considering that the majority of the country (the “middle,” if such a term may be applied to people so profoundly disenfranchised by the American political system) are in fact libertarian. (That’s with a small “l” folks; they prefer common sense to ideologues or ideology.)
Hidden agendas dominate politics, and neither “side” wishes the public to see the dreadful ideological venom which poisons their parties’ rank and file. If you don’t believe me, just get involved at the local level. You will quickly learn that the people who staff the tables, distribute leaflets, knock on doors — in short DO ALL THE WORK — are activists. Socialist, feminist, environmentalist, gun grabbing radicals on one side; religious fanatics who think God is guiding their every move and Christianity is defined by an obsessive hatred of homosexuality on the other.
Ideologues on both sides will generally be very nice to anyone naive enough to be tricked into working for a political campaign or organization, and therein lies the hook. Fanatics know full well that ordinary people who might want to make a difference are not fanatics. So, the goal becomes one of trying to convince them to become fanatics (a mild form of brainwashing often justified as “ideological training.”) Those with real power in the two major political parties know what is going on and look the other way. Who else will staff the tables and do the dirty work?
Ordinary people who get bamboozled into working on these campaigns are sometimes fooled by the niceness and claims of friendship, and, not wanting to offend their “friends,” they either go along with the bullshit, or remain silent.
Hidden agendas are everywhere. A recent example is the Terri Schiavo case, where a brain damaged woman is being “saved” by activists who have a primary goal of messing with homosexuals (in the name of “saving” them, of course, by submission to religious-based shame). I am not exaggerating; the organization paying the legal bills on the Schindler side is a notorious Christian Reconstruction outfit called the Alliance Defense Fund — headed by James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Don Wildmon and others who want homosexuals imprisoned. Their “victory” will be claimed as a “Christian” victory against the dark forces of homosexuality.
For an inside look into these thought processes, here is another fun website.
NOTE: At least two members of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Board (Wildmon and Kennedy) are known members of the Coalition on Revival.
Lest anyone think I am out to bash the right here, let me give you an example from the left. At a San Francisco Lesbian Gay parade years ago, a large crowd was suddenly treated to a long harangue by a woman named Inez Garcia. No gay rights figure, she had simply killed a man who had raped her — some weeks after the alleged rape. Her position was that any woman who is raped has an absolute right to kill in return, at any time. Not quite an eye for an eye, but good enough for the feminists of the time. So there we were, listening to Inez Garcia, and being counted as a crowd in “support” of her. While I wasn’t completely unsympathetic to Ms. Garcia, I felt manipulated at the time.
Let me step back and narrow the focus. Might I be over-generalizing when I characterize the Big Split in American politics as Marxism versus Fundamentalism?
Might it be more evolving into something more specific? Something more along the lines of Identity Politics Left versus Identity Politics Right? Homos versus Christian Reconstruction, for example?
Let’s take a look at the “sides.”
Identity culture politics is one of the most tyrannical aspects of modern American society. It begins with labeling.
Under the philosophy of identity politics, there is no individuality, no right to be left alone to be yourself. Instead, you must be charted and analyzed. Your race must be identified, and you are not allowed to decide whether it matters or not. It matters. Your religion (or lack thereof) matters as never before.
One would think that human sexuality — what it is that turns a person on sexually — would be one of the most private matters there is. Even more than race. But no. Even such a personal matter is subject to an inquisition by religious maniacs and sexual activists.
I defy this system, and I always have. But most people won’t and can’t. Heterosexual or homosexual. According to many religious people, that’s the choice. According to the sexual identity political activists, it isn’t a choice. Under either approach, you must define yourself, so that you can be manipulated and then tyrannized some more. You must either be a homosexual or a heterosexual, and you must declare this. According to your answers, you will be either welcomed or shunned in various places. You cease to be an independent human being. You are now a something-sexual. It is fascinating that religious identity activists and sexual identity activists are increasingly in agreement about the need to ask, to identify, and then play the include/exclude game. In a recent example, religious school authorities asked a boy whether he was gay, and when he answered in the affirmative, demanded he submit to the shame cure, and then expelled him.
Religious identity politics is a more recent development, but one which is growing rapidly thanks to a ruthless juggernaut called Christian Reconstruction (another link here — and here is a statement of some of the core beliefs of the (Reconstructionist) Coalition on Revival).
Getting unbiased information is problematic, because Christian Reconstructionists believe in obtaining power through stealth, and conservatives are loathe to criticize those who help them. Especially fellow travelers. This brings up a central point: the similarity of Christian Reconstructionists to Communists. I have been around Communists and worked with them, and it amazes me how similar they are in their methods:

  • Working in the background
  • Stealth
  • Belief in a highly disciplined elite
  • work in coalitions through a variety of “fronts”
  • poised to take power
  • educate and indoctrinate young people for a future power takeover
  • frighten critics and potential converts by a combination of carrot (work in your campaign and give you money) and stick (threats, ostracism, ad hominem attacks) Techniques quite similar, I might note, to what Arthur Silber describes here.
  • While there appears to be somewhat of a genuine theological split between Christian Reconstructionists and other fundamentalist sects, the stealth nature of the Christian Reconstructionists tends to obscure its nature. (All the more reason to promote not only the First Amendment, but the reasoning behind it.)
    But stealth and hidden agendas are what give these minorities the power to dominate majorities. Through stealth, minorities on the left and the right are able to dominate most of the American political process. Americans do not especially like identity politics, because it is profoundly un-American. But when the fanatic identity politicians are able to grab control of each major party, they can then pose as representing the entire country by pointing to each other as “alternatives” — to the exclusion of the majority.
    A lot of people have been talking about third parties. Arnold Schwarzenegger might as well have been a third party. In a normal election, the Republican minority activist consensus would have guaranteed a primary victory for McClintock (whose campaign, not coincidentally, was run by a Christian Reconstructionist) — and, ultimately, another Democratic victory, not because the voters love the Democrats, but because the Democrats’ version of rule by multiple identity politics groups is less threatening than the Republicans’ “Party of God.”
    Fuller voter participation is the best way to stop this tyranny by activist minorities. It won’t happen through the primaries. Voters need, simply, to have alternatives to those who hide behind cutthroat identity politics.
    Identity politics is like gang membership, born out of a desire to belong, and a form of mob rule. It is based on emotion rather than thought. Voters reject it if given a chance, but it is very powerful — and not always what it appears to be.
    Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s limited to the left.
    NOTE: The above post (and lots of great stuff) can also be read at Blogcritics.org.