I would argue that this dishonest political culture flows from a means-over-ends political culture rooted in teleological ethics ; all that matters is the final goal of complete political dominance - with the background assumption that most Americans are just too dumb to notice.
The bulk of Republican political culture is rooted in the religious right. Most on the left both acknowledge that but simultaneously dismiss it as somehow unimportant. So they don't bother to study it as a phenomenon, and mostly ignore those who do... leading to psychosis.
This left psychosis manifests in various ways. How many know about the work of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( militaryreligiousfreedom.org ) against ongoing efforts by the would-be theocratic religious right to indoctrinate the men & women of America's armed forces ?
Or, to put it more sharply, how many Americans who noisily yell about an impending "handmaid's tale" even know MRFF exists ? To simply cower in fear of advancing theocracy is just silly. To do something meaningful about it takes close attention and work. But just about anyone can
There are endless battles, on endless fronts. One simply need pick one or two, then dig in. Speaking of which, publicizing this bizarrely overlooked study might be a good place to begin. theocracywatch.org/campaigns_elec… The religious right takeover of the GOP has been ongoing for decades
It's by now mostly complete. The few GOP holdouts (John McCain, for one) are dying off or retiring from politics. McCain's father, a US Navy admiral, fought would-be Christian fascists in Curtis LeMay's USAF. His son John carried on the tradition until he couldn't resist...
Leading up to the 2000 election, Senator McCain campaigned in the primaries by calling Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance". So, he lost to G. W. Bush, who was closely allied to the religious right. McCain learned his bitter lesson. Thus, we got Sarah Palin.
I tried to expose Palin, in '08, for what she was - a daughter of the most extreme stream of the theocratic right, an effort to literally launch a global 2nd Protestant Reformation, a worldwide charismatic movement that tries to raise the dead & fights "witchcraft".
This movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, is becoming the dominant religious right influence on the GOP. Hardly anyone knows it even exists, even though academic books are now being written about it. You need to know it exists to read them.
Mostly, political activists on the left are content with calling the religious right the "American Taliban" as if that slogan does much useful work. Sure, the movement is extreme, and it's religious : that's not much knowledge, and such name calling can simply cover for ignorance
OK, I could go on for a few books worth of tweets - but I need to move on, now, with my AM.
But maybe a little more, since some people are reading this - getting back to the "ends over means" political culture of the right, consider this little gem, from Rick Warren, praising the political dedication of the Hitler Youth - huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/f…
After posting that video, I experienced what journalist Jeff Sharlet did whilst living at a hostel of The Fellowship (which runs the National Prayer Breakfast) near DC. He was being taught the leadership lessons of Hitler & his Nazi movement. When Sharlet, half Jewish, asked...
...if there might be something wrong with that, the Fellowship folks, described Sharlet, seemed confused by the question. After I posted those video bits (see linked HuffPo story) of Rick Warren teaching the same thing (advocating that Christians should follow Jesus like...
...the Hitler Youth followed Hitler, there endless comments attached to my Youtube video asked, "well, what's wrong with that ?" I had to explain, "well, why look to one of the most violent political movements of the 20th Century when there are some amazing examples...
...of nonviolent Christian political action, even one which directly took on the Nazis ?" (see: preachthestory.com/lest-innocent-… ). My underlying point was this - if you teach that Christians should be as dedicated as Hitler Youth, you're teaching ends-over-means, teleological ethics...
...basically, you're completely hollowing out Christianity by chucking its ethical content. That leaves you with an empty vessel, "Jesus plus nothing", into which you can pour your political program. Now, Rick Warren wasn't the only one teaching this. Not at all...
...Warren (a member of The Fellowship) probably learned it from Doug Coe, who headed The Fellowship until 2017. Here's Coe, teaching similar lessons on total dedication to a cause :
Coe especially liked to cite the dedication of Mao's young Red Guard who, during the bloody Chinese Cultural Revolution, were willing to cut off the heads of their own parents for the good of the state. Jesus taught that, claimed Coe. But was he wrong ? Perhaps not...
Jesus did indeed teach (or, it's been ascribed to him) that those who follow him must renounce their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, and even their own lives. Total dedication to the cause.
As an addendum, some variant of "Christian fascism" is a far better label than "American Taliban" - especially when the former term is wielded by people who know something about conservative evangelicalism, and also for the intertwined nature of Nazism & German Christianity.
[ Whoops! - "ends-over-means", that should read ]
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