The "Rightwing" page ("Traditional Correctness"; previously worked on as "Traditionally Correct Turmoil" and even earlier as "Doctrinal Correctness" or "Doctrinally Correct Darkness" to counterbalance the by then critical "politically correct/political correctness" term aimed at liberals, and a book entitled "Politically Correct Death") was the first project I sat down to begin writing Thanksgiving day 1986, as I had reached my 20's, and was in the process of adopting a Christian worldview, and wanted to begin speaking out about the things I saw wrong in both the world and the Church. I began writing down a lot of different thoughts, but it was taking time to organize them into any textual flow, so soon, the "God In A Box" (Triune) project came up, and the outline pretty much came together on its own (I was always proud of how that one flowed), and that was the one I for the most part finished first, while still adding to the Rightwing manuscripts throughout the 90's. (With its very divisive presidential races, and even the prospect of a race war looming through events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, police and neighborhood conflicts, and the ever prominent inflammatory rhetoric of various vocal figures and blaming of social programs and crime for all our ills).
Later, the CCM and Psychology projects (which closely tie to Rightwing through fundamentalism) came up, especially after taking a fundamentalist class on both subjects, (and already for about a year beginning to write letters on the CCM subject to different ministries).
The Rightwing project really gained a big boost upon my discovery of both "Confessing Evangelical" Michael S. Horton's Beyond Culture Wars, and the late columnist Carl T. Rowan's The Coming Race War in America. Both nailed [different aspects of] the issues in ways that nobody else was pointing out, and without making the Right all wrong, or the Left all right.
In 2000, all these projects of mine went online. The final format the Rightwing Project took on was a three part series framed around man's sinfulness and self-centeredness, and how this shapes politics and ideology, including that of Conservatives; even Christians ones. This group seemed to have forgotten this, as they launched decades of criticism against religious and political liberalism, beginning with a lot of legitimate concerns such as theological and moral error, but then extending to every political or cultural issue they have embraced, such as economics or contemporary music in church (among different groups), with their views assumed to be automatically right, and opposing views as plots of the Devil against God and His people. A lot of criticisms they made of everything from Marxism to Darwinism often described themselves in ways. (Such as an unbiblical idealism that fails to take into consideration man's sinfulness, or economic principles based on a virtual naturalistic "survival" philosophy).
Forward to 2008, and the United States does the unthinkable, and elects its first African-American president! It looked like a major accomplishment in racial relations, and I added a declaration to my main page, and repeated it as an annotation at the beginning of the third part of the Right Wing series. However, the happiness has been dampered, as we see stuff like a "birther" movement aiming to discredit his eligibility to be president, and "Obamanation" and "Gone! 2012" slogans. Patriotic Christians who once preached respect to our leaders had already begin lowering this standard with Clinton, but now, the disprespect is going even further than I have ever seen! You could at least understand a lot of the contempt for "Slick Willie" because of his infamous moral lapses, right in his office. The claim for all of this greater hostility towards Obama is that he is even "more radical" (politically, of course). The main example being the long hoped for national health care bill (known as "socialized medicine") that he has signed.
In the middle of it all, there remains much resentment that still lurks on race, though one side will not admit that it is about race on their part. They will claim to be reacting to a reversal of racism against them, through the policies of the "liberal government", with even the Republicans of the previous administration said to not be conservative enough for them. An adaptation of Aesop's old "Grasshopper" fable, already discussed in the Rightwing project from when it surfaced years before, would once again be passed around, insinuating that some "vast hordes" of people are draining the economy gaining free money without working. They vehemently deny this is about race, and more current versions of it have removed obvious racial inferences such as "NAAGB" - "National Association for the Avancement of Green Bugs").
The original version from 1994 (in the height of a racially tense political rhetoric climate) by its original writer (a long time protegé of Limbaugh) can be found here: www.warroom.com/antgh.php
A new version, updated for the Obama era:
In this and other newer ones, ACORN is poked at instead of NAAGB.
The people today deny this being aimed at minorities, yet they then can't tell you who these "grasshoppers" are. They try to throw it to the wind, and claim it is "anyone" who lives off of the dole (Not the rich, though! Even the bailouts are blamed on Obama rather than the excecutives who drove the institutions into the ground while still living their high life!)
If you press them enough; then guess what comes up, but statistics showing that minorities are the biggest welfare recipient group! This is just "the facts", and while they don't want to be quoted on saying minorities are the "grasshoppers"; still if it is "the facts" that say it, then they are absolved. Problem is, they toss around such numbers at their own discretion, and when other numbers or factors are taken into consideration, they do not always prove their point. This you can see here: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=65361
So the way this can be analogized, they are the ones who have actually played the race card, but placed it face down, and beneath other cards. Perhaps, they did not realize what it was themselves, but only trusted whatever they got from the deck. When you turn it over, and deal it back to them, they accuse you of "playing" the card!
Here basically is the "vicious cycle" we end up with:
The utter irony is, that when anyone suggests it might be these rich who are draining the economy (I say to think of them as the "Queen Ants"), the conservatives blast this as well. "Class warfare" they have always considered "Marxist". Though their own rhetoric is nothing but the same class war, though turned on its ear so that it's actually the poor who are gaining everything!
As you can see here: www.dailyfinance.com/story/ceo-worker-pay-inequality-index. It at one point had 60 pages of comments, with mostly conservatives excusing this and accusing the article and everyone complaining about its subject as being "socialist", and also, "being jealous and lazy and doing nothing themselves", and that they need to climb up like the CEO's if they want more; but all of this was erased, and they started over. I had commented:
The problem I'm seeing over and over is that critics of the article assume that everyone complaining about CEO pay is just lazy and doing nothing, and needs to climb up to CEO level themselves if they want "more". The truth is, most of us ARE working hard, and still struggling. Not everyone can climb higher (because everyone wants to be there, and it often does depend on advantage such as already being in a rich family or knowing the right people).
Good to see those on the conservative side deflect attention to athletes and celebrities, because that is even more ridiculous.[you had a lot of this in the comments before, and you can see one new comment on it has been added. Of course, many entertainers and athletes are black, hence people think they are being ignored by "liberal" critics of the rich]. Yet it is ultimately justified by the same philosophy; the worth to the company. Question is, why are all of these people "worth" more than they were generations ago when they didn't make 1000's of times more than everyone else?
And no matter what liberal is in office, and how high taxes are, the rich still get richer, so I do not see why they need such angry defenses from people.
At one point in a debate on that other board, I mention how expensive eyeglasses not covered by a plan are, and I'm told by another to "man up", like I can't afford them because I'm not working hard enough, or something like that. This is geneally how they respond.
In this article, I had not seen one person in these articles or discussions say they were poor or out of work, and that they wanted as much as the CEO's had. But that's what conservative defenders always interject into their opponents' words.
The rich are getting richer and more powerful, not the poor. Again, that is what seems obvious. But then the philosophy comes up that since they "took risks", gained knowledge, responsibility and skill, etc. ("KSR" one defender pointed out in the old comments) they are somehow absolved of being the source of the problem, and blame automatically falls on the poor. So the poor have too much (as some actually argue), and the rich can never have enough. That seems topsy turvy to me.
(Ironically, the conservatives are always accusing liberals of "not taking personal responsibility, and blaming others", but it seems the rich are not responsible for their acts; it's "the market", or taxes or unions).
So we end up with what in practice amounts to a plutocratic/oligarchist scheme that is claimed to be "absolute truth" or "obvious", yet God is not even mentioned in it, and it seems to be more of a party line than something that was even thought out well.
Conservatives blame Regulation, Unions and Taxes for all the financial problems, including higher prices, lower quality and outsourcing of jobs.
Let's call this the "liberal RUT".
It's one thing if all of this so hurt the corporate powers that the executives and investors all had to cut back on their own prosperity, and THEN passed the misfortune down to everyone else. Yet their lifestyles continue to rise despite whether the liberal or conservative policies are enacted. They are given tax breaks, and some of this "trickles down", but then every two decades when Republican administrations do this, the economy starts to crash, and then liberal Democrats are elected. They cut the breaks and raise taxes, and conservatives scream about how the liberals are punishing those "hard working" leaders, and thus causing them to withdraw the jobs and prosperity they supposedly provide, but guess what; the corporate executives are still unaffected!
So they are not hurt by the liberal policies at all. So why the defending of them, and blaming only of others for the drain on the economy? Money is obviously flowing their way whether taxes are high or not.
Fed up with seeing liberals trashed with such comments or even forum signatures as them having "mental illness", or that only conservatives deal in truth, and liberals are incapable of truth and only deal in lies, and my favorite, that the other side needs to "stop whining", when the conservatives are doing the most complaining; I set out to challenge some of them on this mindset:
Why Does One Side Think it has all the Truth?
For all the claims of them having such a hold on the truth, they could not only not answer the question, but could do nothing more than turn the discussion around to be about me, and supposedly being "dishonest" on my own political affiliation. I never promoted myself as anything other than someone very critical of conservatives, though also realizing that liberal solutions didn't seem to work much either, and that the left often lacks tact in their words and actions.
But to them, you have to be on one side or the other, and one side has all the truth, and the other only lies (as was reaffirmed over and over, with one even claiming to have no deceit in his nature. He did not even try to claim God's regeneration or sanctification granted him this special gift among men (the most natural answer), when I gave him 1 Corinthians 4:7 "what causeth thee to differ"!)
But then that right there is all that is necessary to prove their point. You disagree with us; you're a "far left liberal"; liberals can't deal in truth; therefore you're wrong; we're right". See how it works! But then this answered my question!
So not only is no actual proof of their claim to "truth" not necessary, but then notice, they even want as far as to virtually refuse to bring Scripture into the debate! I kept mentioning it, and it just went back to me and my motives, and the most I got was that since conservatives are more "grounded in scripture" on some issues (like abortion and homosexuality), then it stands they are more likely to be true on the rest of the political and economic issues as well.
On this point, it is noteworthy that Horton has since written a followup to Beyond Culture Wars called Christless Christianity, and though that may seem a harsh descriptor of modern evangelicalism, it really sounds like it quite literally describes the ideology we are seeing here!
They could not even answer the question of what they really want. What they expect all of this bashing of Obama and every other liberal to accomplish. I was seriously trying to understand where they were all coming from, instead of just writing them all off as self-righteous ignoramuses, (like they all would prefer to do to their opponents, and as others would tell me to do).
In the course of the debate, someone had went and dug up the links to the Rightwing pages, to prove I was a far left liberal and "enemy of the country", disgustingly, "from its founding to the present" (I was disputing one person, a Calvinist who was insisting the country was founded by God's providence, and that we should all be thankful and never critical of it --except for the liberal direction the country has taken in recent times, of course! With the indignation in that statement, you would think it was "Bible history" or "God's plan" I was rejecting "from its founding to the present"!)
Here is the "vicious cycle" for this part of the debate:
They claimed I was "hiding" all this, but I had openly posted the links on the board over the years. I had stopped posting it more recently, because the times have changed, and the page is a bit outdated in its approach (though most of what it addresses are still problems in different ways).
Hence, what I am getting to here on this page.
For instance, at the very end of the last page, is a treatment of the so-called "angry white male" phenomenon of the 80's and 90's. In the two recent decades, this sort of died down, and you do not hear directly the "white, male" designation of it anymore. Many people from the same demographic, however, are still making all the same complaints that they were under that banner; that they are the ones being unfairly oppressed in reverse fashion due to their race, and that some "vast horde" (whom they won't readily name) is taking things away from them, or blaming "whitey" for everything. (So then, the color designation resurfaces when projected to the other group's supposed beliefs). But since the language of the complaining group has changed, then the addressing of "white males" can easily be misunderstood.
Also, you have a lot of 80's/90's stuff there, from when the likes of Pat Robertson was more popular, rendering the second part now a bit dated as they have faded a bit from the spotlight. Evangelicalism has become much more moderate compared to the outspoken, fiery, moralizing of old, which the first part of the series reflected.
So seeing their reaction, how incredibly jumpy people are on "race", and already pondering on what should be done with the page, I have put together this new page, to for now highlight the points that still need to be driven home. The old page is way long, not the most well put together, and I even admitted in the debate that became about me, that I was hastily venting, and just responding in kind to the tone I sensed in those I was responding to. (Liberals seemed too soft-pedaling on the issues, giving credence to conservative claims that they had no answers, or just went by emotion; and we are often said to become the same way when we respond to others in kind). I had little time or resource to put together a better treatment of those issues. And again, it is in many respects, outdated.
So here are some links to articles or debates, plus some further recent thoughts (some written for posts in different places) that are pertinent:
On Race and the election of Obama: 2008 foreword to Part 3
A great exposé of anti-tax rhetoric: Thom Hartmann: The Great Tax Con Job
A story on a hedge fund that will drive up chocolate prices:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e50feefc-9120-11df-b297-00144feab49a.html (Financial Times)
I had recently debated with someone elsewhere who claimed prices only rise (and quality/quantity drop) because of taxes and unions. Those factors have nothing to do with this.
NAACP vs Tea Party debate:
"The Pot Calling the Kettle Black"
A liberal defense on why conservatives seem to get painted as ignorant and racist, and what they really want from them:
An Open Letter to Conservatives
The cycle of rising prices: (from Part 2 of the series)
I have recently reworked the passage, from a by now cooled down discussion with some of the same people I was debating before:
I think the problem starts because everyone wants more. This creates a cycle. Like if the farmers or food companies decide to raise prices for executive raises, then the consumers are going to want higher wages to maintain their lifestyles, form unions to get them, and other protection, which puts pressure on the employers, who then want to raise prices more and cut quality, and meanwhile the poor are being left behind in all of this, so then the government will want to raise taxes to help them (in part), and perhaps create regulations (including capping prices, etc), and let's not forget govt. officials wanting raises for a nice lifestyle themselves, nice new facilities (which I saw being built during the whole financial showdown of the 90's), and the businesses and other consumers wanting help from the govt. themselves. The businesses then continue to adapt to this, so that their income does not decrease, passing the expense back to everyone else. Who then wants even more higher wages, programs, etc. to maintain their lifestyle. And so it goes, around and around.
I'm not sure exactly where this started. But I think it's a combination of these things keeping the problem going, (plus the global factor) and not just taxes and the other stuff on the government or labor side of it. I guess government is easier (in theory) to pressure to take the first move to undo the process? Still for whatever reason, even that has not been working.
I tend to think the private sector started the ball rolling, because they are the ones with more leverage, in the sliding scale known as "the market". So they may raise prices to make up for taxes, regulation and unions & worker demands, but it seems they can also raise their own income apart from those factors. And that would make sense considering how astronomically much more they make compared to others and compared to the difference the past, regardless of the state of the economy or company. It seems to favor them for everyone to blame only taxes (under which they are presumably as victimized as everyone else).
As for companies vs unions; if executives demand more, creating the competition among companies to lure them, and this determines their "market" worth (Which is the argument of conservatives), then you can't deny unions the same bargaining power, and then blame them for higher prices or relocation, while the executives always get a pass. (It seems that some form of literal slavery really is the ultimate ideal in conservativism!)
But that is because I identify with them as a Christian, which title some even co-opt for the Right wing, so in my view, since they are the ones who appeal to God and scripture more, but have nevertheless gone off track about as much as liberals; they are basically the ones who need the most correction. Why argue with people on biblical absolutes if they don't even profess belief in biblical absolutes?
In its original conception, the project was to include a critique of black culture (to balance things off a bit, since they are fallible humans as well. This was patterned after Frame & Tharpe's How Right Is the Right? A Biblical and Balanced Approach to Politics, which concludes some of its chapters with a section titled "A Word to the Left", offering balance in the critique). But that was at some point dropped from the text, but yet eventually became embodied in my article on rap (some of the thoughts trace right back to the original Thanksgiving 1986 outline): Rap: Where did We Go Wrong"?. So you can see all the same venting the conservatives got, turned in a totally opposite direction!
Also, some criticisms of the decadence of pop culture (which is of course, not really conservative), and you can get an idea of this further below, as I recount what drove me to my views in the first place.
I should also point out that while these pages might criticize the conservatives' criticism of government programs, that does not necessarily mean I think programs/big govt. are the answer (e.g. that there should be more programs, or that all of the ones in place are necessarily right). I did lean more towards (assume, basically) that when I was younger, but have rethought it more recently.
Like the health care bill, for instance, I would think makes a lot of sense, when private health care is so high. Yet I realize how government programs like that have traditionally not always been of much quality. Then, some of the recipients will complain about that. I also think that making it mandatory for all to sign up for (I imagine for their own good) is a bit scary; like right out of a socialist country. So I'm just watching to see how good this will be, and if it will cause higher taxes, as everyone fears. (The only thing I heard about taxes was the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes being allowed to expire).
But whether existing programs are working or not; I think they are in many cases being wrongly blamed for problems that involve many more factors (such as global finance/politics); some of which, deliberately ignored (corporate greed), and that this is being used as a smokescreen.
|To understand my perspective, I grow up seeing power in both business and government. All I saw in either were suit-and-tied leaders who wield authority, and reap the most compensation for their position. They all provide services, which we depend on, and often raise prices, cut quality and jobs, while still personally profitting themselves. I then reach an age where I must look for a job, and had equal choice to apply for either types of organizations, and eventually work for both, and still end up struggling to meet the high costs of living. I would imagine the leadesof both also had that equal choice, and cound have just as well gone either eway. It's often said that the line is blurred, when business leaders are pppointed positions that are involved in politics, such as consultants, certain boards, etc.|
So in the view that comes to me, business and government are pretty much the same thing. It seems to make little difference which has the most power. I trust neither. Both are run by the same species of fleshy humans who have pushed and climbed and amassed power and then take advantage of this and put their own survival needs (including comfort and luxury) ahead of everything else, including the people and services they provide for them.
So I don't see either as the solution to the problems, but at least with the government, we have more input through the election process. That kind of tilts the scles in ther favor in my view (they are the closest thing to a "neutral moderator" in the competitive atmosphere of living), but to conservatives, that same point is what makes them more demanding of the government to be what they want it to be, which is less intrusive.
But again, neither form of institution is ever going to be what "the people" want it to be. the people who make up those institutions are serving their own needs first. So for either side to scream and try to give business or government more power is leading nowhere.
So even though I am really not enthusiastic about government power, and in some respects sympathetic to a libertarian position; I still don't know if we should just pull the rug out from everyone's feet in trimming govt; and just let the powerful who've been able to climb the ladder do whatever they want. So I get annoyed at those who seem that that approach is the solution for everything. At least admit that this is a tough dilemma, and also, of course, be willing to admit that the powerful are partly to blame for economics as well. We criticized "might makes right", when the Soviet empire did it. Why is it OK for Western corporatism?
So while the existing system may be flawed, I still belive we should look at how it could be fixed, or try to think of other options rather than just eliminating the entire net for the powerless, while giving unlimited freedom for the powerful, based on a topsy-turvy notion of where all the money is really going.
The Theological Underpinnings of the Ideologies
I have added that this would also explain why the Right thinks its views are so automatically "right" and the rich uncritically defended. I see a striking parallel of this with this old Puritan belief of wealth as a sign of election. Hence, blessed and regenerated by God and imbued with "the new life", what they do is always the right thing, and they thus need no moderation or regulation from the government, or protection from through institutions such as unions. If one doesn't like what they get under their rule; it's that person's fault for not "taking risks" and pulling themselves up like they did. So no matter what; they're never at fault, not even in part; and are never guilty of vices such as greed. It's all They're victims of the attacks of the "enemies" of God and America. They're the "chosen ones". It's "just the truth", God's truth; the absolute truth; no gray areas, no proof needed; you either accept it, or are blind, as I have experienced in these debates.
Even if one THINKS they don't really believe this, it is a holdover from that earlier ideology which carries on in diminished forms through party platforms people follow.
(They will also retort that liberals behave this way too, and use this to further question my "honesty", but the conservatives are much more persistent at it, most vocal (they can even brag how conservative radio thrives, while the liberal Air America kept dying), and again, are the ones using an infallible authority (God) as being behind them, so it does look like they are the ones to have mastered these debate tactics, which they of course all the more attribute to their simply having the truth).
I think a lot of people's jumpiness on race is because of all the indirect blame placed on minorities in the last 30 years of political campaigning, especially revolving around crime (which has sort of died down more recently) and especially "taxes spent on welfare" (which continues to this day).
Hence, the whole "grasshopper" debate, with the qualification "don't quote us on saying those are minorities; but hey, the statistics do suggest that".
Hence, this whole "small government" talk becomes infused with race, for the primary fault of this "large government" seems to be these "social programs". (Again, I never see them blame the $400 screwdriver contracts, the large airports they built in the middle of nowhere, the fancy new office towers they build, pork barrel projects that favor the rich or suburban middle class, and all the other waste we have heard of).
Then, to add to this, the conservatives loudly try to call the Democrats out on "using race" to justify these "programs" and also gain votes. This is where a lot of the race rhetoric on their side is heard.
Surely; that is just stating objective fact, isn't it? Yet who's directly mentioning race frequently, now? (I had often thought that it looked like this supposed race "backlash" was being used as a pawn in their war against the Democrats, and that they should really look for another issue).
Liberals had long said that class; irrespective of race, is the real issue and that we should thus move on past race; but the conservatives don't want to see a "class card" either, which they view as "Marxist"; so they quickly rebuke that, and go back to scolding the Democrats on race.
So again, the entire discussion is by now increasingly revolving around race. So then, the Democrats and especially black leaders thus come to suspect the whole premise as racist. Then, the conservatives react, accusing the other side of keeping the race issue alive and unfairly accusing them, as if out of nowhere.
So it's a cycle. Conservatives accuse liberals of using race to raise taxes and gain votes, and then the liberals call this rhetoric and the movements that embody it "racist", and then the conservatives now have another "race card" to complain about and blame the liberals for destroying race relations.
Race cards are wrong, and class cards are wrong. What is the problem, then? It's just those evil Democrats and the vast hordes of lazy grasshoppers they are trying to give a free ride at our expense. That seems to be all conservatives want to hear, as "the facts". Everything else is "excuses", "rejecting right and wrong", etc.
Yet that whole "reverse racial" premise collapses (like a house of cards!) if it's not accurate that all the "high taxes" are going to race-based programs.
The demand for smaller government in itself is not racist, but I think it's time people stop blaming almost solely, "social programs" for large government and high taxes, and also assess whether taxes are really the primary problem in this country to begin with. We've seen more than ever the corruption of the corporate world and global finance that has a lot of financial power in the country. A quote made by Pat Buchanan of Brownstein says those are becoming distrusted too, yet in these debates, they always get a pass (or the "liberal government" blamed for it), and the finger is turned back to the "grasshoppers" and the liberals.
As I have said, BOTH sides need to refocus and change their tactics and rhetoric for this race thing to die down. There is never any one side who is all right and innocent, while the other side is all to blame for everything. It was not even like that in scripture (at least not among men).
People in debates like this will always deflect attention away from the super-rich on the premise that they earned it and should be "free", but regardless, they are making hundreds of times more than they did generations ago, and many of them are proably also mixed in with the world economy. A lot of money is taken out of the country, and they don't even have to pay taxes on it (more than making up for whatever "high taxes" they pay here). So wealth is being "redstributed"; but not where you think. I guess the problem is, that an upward flow is seen as natural, where the liberals try to curb this unnaturally through taxing and programs. So one side favors the natural redistribution, and opposes the unatural redistribution. However, it is still redistribution, and money is not limitless.
So the conservatives will tell their followers it is all taxes, and then the focus usually ends up shifted to single minority mothers, and all of these "fat poor in the ghetto with a car and electronics who don't want to work"; etc. and now, the Mexican immigrants. Particularly under the premise of accusing the liberals of trying to keep them enslaved, or garner votes. Then, statistics are brought in; the denial of race suddenly stops, and we are told "see; that's the facts!"
Regardless of all of this; the end result is that the focus is constantly being shifted to those groups.
(In this light, it is ignored how even the supposed welfare money wasted on materialism is basically thus going back into the economy. Thus the whole premise that these "grasshoppers" are a "drain" on the economy is false. Not so with corporate powers who are able to take money out of the country.)
The Appalachians might eventually be brought up in defense, and then you never hear about the govt. waste that benefits others, such as the $400 screwdrivers, and many other ridiculous contracts and projects. The liberals are always being condemned for "social programs" more than anything else (even abortion and gay rights I don't hear as much on anymore, like we just gave up on that stuff).
This is why complaining of taxes gets suspected of being racist. It is taken as "code language"; right or wrong. Some today might not mean it that way, but the rhetoric never really made a clear distance from the past where many did appear to be basing it on race. It sounds like the same thing.
On the other side; it is true that many liberals and groups like the NAACP, Jackson, etc. are still pointing their followers to race, or suggesting the more direct forms of redistribution.
So then this further keeps the conservatives fixated on that stuff, and the battle goes on. Meanwhile, the problems also go on, as both sides are just blaming each other. Conservatives don't seem to be happy with much of anybody anymore, regarding even most Republicans as sold out to liberal Democrat "big govt".
If the entire political system across both parties has gone so off track and unconstitutional, no matter how much people scream and protest, then it looks like something bigger than us, and something definitely bigger than some measley social programs.
•That your nation or ideal political system was founded by God, or "the closest to perfection man can produce", to the point that to disagree with it is to be an "enemy".
•That you always have "the facts", while the other side has NO points at all. And remember, one went as far as saying he had no deceit in his nature; and the one mentioned below also said he had no ego or ideology!
It creates an attribution shift where you're both doing the same things, but for your side, it's attributed to a good cause, and the other side, it's attributed to evil. So both sides complain about things the same, but when they do it; they're "whining" and lying, and when you do it, you're "just stating facts".
You end up having a RIGHT to complain, but they DON'T! Hence, pejoratives such as "whining".
If people believe they are so much better than others on all those things, then why should it be so hard to believe that would include race as well? And even if they weren't; those other things are really just as bad! It's the attitude that is wrong; not just whatever issue it might surface in!
If you were willing to repent of the narcissistic view that your side is always right, then you would not get all bent out of shape about racism. The problem is, you IDENTIFY so much with these institutions (such as the current Tea Party or the nation's past) being accused of racism.
You don't see me defending the NAACP or liberalism as faultless and all good. In fact, about every time I mention either, I admit its flaws.
Inasmuch as many people identify with the colonizers, founders, and the society in general in the days of slavery and segregation, they tend to subconsciously take on their guilt, even as much as they argue they did not do the things those earlier generations did.
Even though most will acknowledge that colonialism, slavery and institutionalized racism existed, and perhaps even take them for granted as wrong; they nevertheless insist on the righteousness of America's past; in comparison to today's society, with all its debauchery, and in many peoples' criticisms; multiculturalism! In order to maintain this stance, they end up having to try to downplay this stuff, and then become very defensive about it.
The human conscience knows that such crimes against other people were wrong. Yet, because people naturally want to look up to their ancestors, they find themselves in a dilemma, and therefore have to suppress this innate sense of right and wrong. This then totally distorts their morality, and it all becomes muddied as they end up preaching one thing at others, while doing or arguing the exact opposite when they feel their lifestyle or values are threatened.
So by suppressing the graveness of the past sins, in order to maintain the innocence of their forebears in the nation, they in effect unwittingly take their offenses upon themselves, as if they were their own; even though they accurately deny they actually committed them. This stuff then enters the unconscious, and is projected out onto everyone else. (Which is what happens with the unconscious). Guilt enters the picture, and they fear punishment, and hence have this sense that someone is coming to demand "payment", i.e. "take something from them". This is what they then turn and lash back with, and while there has been a lot of truth to it, it also becomes exaggerated (like some people painting the entire black race as trying to "get whitey's money". Notice right away, how they're now the ones using the racial epithet against themselves, imagining that the entire black community is thinking these words).
So they spend a lot of energy deflecting all the criticisms, such as "well, the Indians and Africans had their wars and sold each other into slavery", or lash back at how "racist" the past Democratic party was (as I have seen some do, though I or others were not defending one party or another from charges of racism), and how much "reverse racism" there is today, pointing to some black leaders or government programs they focus on. They thus sound like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, even though it is true that they cannot be blamed for what happened centuries ago.
Because they don't acknowledge the wrongs of the past then:
all efforts to create equality are seen as wrongfully taking something from them.
They obsess on this and exaggerate and ignore change of times and policies. (i.e. as many people are not demanding as much as they think).
This then leads them to fire back, and deflect charges of racism, and try to scold entire races for their problems (some actually continuing, and a lot of it hyped up).
The race issue then continues to follow them and won't die down, and it just adds to the conspiritorial "us vs them" mentality, where "liberals" are blamed for using all of these issues just to gain votes and attack them.
Most recent example. A group of blacks in Iowa attack whites at a fair. Police receive a call saying they were chanting "It's 'Beat Whitey Night'!" but "could not find the origin of information". So they were hesitant to conclude it as a "hate crime".
People on the discussion board now lash out at these officials; one concluding "The police chief is an idiot, and has caved to PC behavior", and again trying to accuse me of "making excuses", or sarcastically "So...since white people hate black people, they fabricated this event? Good grief. Try again". None of that was said nor implied, anywhere!
But anybody can call the police and claim anything, and they will keep it in mind, and look for evidence, but until they find it, they will not officially brand it.
This is the way the police work in all cases (fire=arson? unexplained death=homicide? non-natural disaster=terrorism? --even when terrorist groups call and claim responsibility, etc). If more evidence turned up, then I'm sure it would have been branded a hate crime. It would have here in NYC, as happens now and then.
So the attackers may have possibly been racially motivated. Or it may have just been a night of crime, and they went after the people who were there at a large gathering. Until the police have more evidence of the exact motives, they cannot clearly label it.
I don't see where Iowa of all places would be where minorities would have such an influence that the police chief would bow to PC to such an extent (assuming there really was sufficient evidence of that term being chanted). It's not even that bad in PC places like New York! Yet people blame anyone and everyone whom they fear is turning the tables on them regardless of how illogical the accusation is. They see a boogeyman in every corner!
They ironically end up acting just like or even worse than Sharpton and others whom they frequently accuse of race-baiting with hyped up accusations of racism towards blacks. (Also noteworthy is that an Aryan Nation group got involved in it, to "answer the call of white people", and they appeared to be the ones insisting the term was being shouted).
So with all of this reactiveness, they come off as if black people and white liberals (and even officials who aren't even necessarily liberal and in areas where there is not even a lot of pressure from minorities) all hate whites.
To withdraw the projection, all they would need to do, is own up to, not even their own evil in this case (since they did not commit the evils in question), but rather to stop putting their ancestors or forebears on a pedestal and realize they were as sinful as anyone else; so if they treated other people wrong, then that was their sin; God holds them and only them responsible for it, and it is no mark on you as long as you do not merge your identity with theirs. Don't jump in and try to excuse them before God, and you won't get caught up in their guilt. Then, you can more clearly see black leaders or groups unfairly accusing whites or exaggerating injustices as themselves stuck in the past, rather than as being so much bigger and more powerful than they actually are, and coming to get you.
I know some will knock this "psychobabble" as they call it, which they see as unscriptural; but actually, as they will point out, scripture is the 'answer', and that answer is repentance. But there is no conflict there; for that is precisely what has been lacking, and what would have eliminated all the projection being described.
The whole point the entire series was getting at, or trying to at least, is that there does not seem to have ever been much repentance in conservativism in issues like this. There especially can't be when you have people saying deceit is not in their nature, and they naturally deal in facts. There would seem to be nothing to repent of, then! The resistance I myself have experienced makes you wonder why people who call themselves Christians would be so averse to the posibility that they could be wrong, which is the first step of repentance. Some seem to be so busy telling everyone else to repent, figuring God has "changed" their lives already, (hence, some seem to presume they are virtually perfect, and some will even quote 2 Timothy 3:17 or Hebrews 13:21), and now is using them to bring everyone else into line. But that is not what scripture is teaching. The redeemed are still prone to error and must continue to be changed.
In this case, repentance would start with admitting the error of the past (which is not even their own error), and not defending or excusing it. Then, one won't take it upon themselves. There would be no reason to be so defensive and think someone is trying to take something from you.
What is their own sin is the insensitivity they often have for different groups, and perhaps some prejudice of their own they need to check for. Like dismissing monorities' complaints as "whining" (while screaming loudly for their own concerns and values), refusing to acknowledge the pain of the past and its lingering effects today, and then thinking that they are all trying to get their money and live without working (and blaming them for all the economic problems, while ignoring all the other factors). Even if there are some like that, or some of the complaints or demands might be unreasonable, if they acknowledge their own human tendency to what I call "inertia" (the survival extinct of enjoying the most convenience with the least effort or resistance), then they will put that into perspective as well, and not see everyone as out to get them.
So, admit your own imperfect humanity for a change, then then maybe you'll see real facts more clearly. Again, I think people need to remember that they are still human and still prone to stroking the ego, which is what most of this looks like. But of course, that won't happen if you're convinced you are totally grounded in truth.
All of my other discussion forums (mostly on transportation and personality type), race is something practically irrelevent. It will come up in the discussions sometimes as it crosses the topics, but you do not see all this blaming and defensiveness over it. The only exception was recently on a forum where the entire topic was off topic (as I kept telling the other person, and there was no "Politics" or "Off Topic" section on the site). He was angry about censorship of old animated films based on racial references, and when I made a short response pointing out why some are so sensitive (though even acknowledging that I believe the political correctness goes too far, and I too wish the censored material restored), he fans it out into these huge posts atomizing quotes from me sentence by sentence, and covering everything from economics to Israel and Bible prohecy, and makes all of the same accusations I saw in my other debates. (including stuff like "enemy of America"), and claims to "go by the facts", while others "go by emotions", and "know he's right", he "has no ego or ideology", I was trying to end the discussion because "the liberals censor because they always lose in debate", liberals and Democrats have always been the real racists, etc. The discussion was deleted by the moderators (as I had been warning, but they did not seem to be paying it any mind at first), and that was what finally prompted me to go back to the other board and ask why conservatives had such attitudes in the disputes.
So it looks to me that this drama on race is following conservatives, more than anyone else.
So to sum it up: because they don't acknowledge the wrongs of the past, then:
All efforts to create equality are seen as wrongfully taking something from them.
They obsess on this and exaggerate and ignore change of times and policies. (Not as much is being taken from them by as many people as they think).
This then leads them to fire back, and deflect charges of racism, and try to scold entire races for their problems (some actually continuing, and a lot of it hyped up).
The race issue then continues to follow them and won't die down, and it just adds to the conspiritorial "us vs them" mentality, where "liberals" are using all of these issues just to gain votes and defame them.
In actuality, the main difference in conservative vs liberal method of spreading their ideology is that while liberals may in fact end the discussion, censor, or walk away and just use other means of influence, conservatives scream their views all over the place, counting on the timbre of their fervor and shouting down and drowning out the other side to make it pass as fact. With the other side being more passive, it really looks like they don't have any answer.
•How does high prices, cheap quality, etc, end up being ALL the fault of taxes, unions and regulation, and never executive largess, since they "deserve" it according to the "market" or "how much they make for the company", and "KSR" (Knowledge-Skill-Responsibility)?
•Considering executives did not make this much more than everyone else in the past, how can this astronomical increase not affect prices, quality and the economy? How can it be ONLY the liberal policy to blame? Why isn't it BOTH?
•I have heard some even say they "don't care what anyone else makes!" Again; how do you think that this is not somehow eventually leaving less for everyone else?
•Why is defending these people; most of them not even Christian, and not caring about your life, Christ, the Gospel, biblical morality, etc. so important?
•Does God really favor one side and their interests, and that now becomes the Gospel?
•You all are probably feeling the crunch of the financial problems, and not happy with the way things are. Why do you identify with CEO's so much to the point of getting so angry that anyone would question their income? You didn't pull yourselves up to their level either. You're basically in the same bracket as others you call jealous.
To continue with this last point; your responses to the poor can be turned back on you. Why don't you stop whining and work harder and pull yourself up further like the rich, and then you would be able to afford to pay 80% of the taxes or whatever, and still live good? Then, taxes won't matter as much!
No, but you too want some politician to rise up and give you something more than you already have.
I really don't know what you expect. You had an entire decade and a half of Reagan, who seems to be an ideal all the others are measured by; followed by Bush Sr. But conservatives weren't happy then; in fact, that's when this whole noisy backlash against the government that continues today began. It was the "liberal Congress" that was blamed.
When it switched over, and we had Clinton and a Republican Congress, then it was the President that was blamed. It turned over again, and we even had a brief period where the Reps had BOTH the Presidency and the Congress. Surely, your day had come then, hadn't it?
No; by that time, everyone was saying the Republicans were no longer conservative; they were "closet Democrats".
So you want to accuse others of whining and being ungrateful, you all are the ones who have gotten your concerns addressed and some of your wishes granted more than anyone else, and yet scream louder and louder as time goes on.
One person I discussed this with claimed that we have yet to cut taxes and spending to the point that's needed nor for the length of time that's needed; and that people are fickle and want instaneous changes. We've built up an extensive dependency on government that it would take decades to undo.
So if all the tax cuts we have had at times were not enough, and not for long enough; how do we know that will work? And considering that private companies consist of humans just like government, how do we know they will do the right thing if given all of this leverage? Remember, many of them are operating globally, and may not even feel any particular allegiance to this country and its economy anymore. And I think they basically showed us what they were made of; what they're about, during the bailouts.
So I could see where they would have us believe we should just "trust" them --for a longer while, and then everything will be right. But who knows what will happen by then.
I'm not saying big government is the answer, but then to me, big business consists of the same class and mindset of people; both types of institutions are power structures. (Think of them as consisting of individuals, thinking of their own personal career and wealth, whether they do it through a private company or government agency. hat same person you hate so much as a big-taxing government bureaucrat could have just as easily taken his education and experience and climed a coprorate ladder instead, and he would still be the same person with the same personal goals).
With a choice like that, I guess the appeal of govt. is that at least we elect those leaders, even though they ultimately let us down too. That's probably why the "fickle" people run back and forth from one side to another every few years.
Then, in passing, you have the frequent charge of Obama "blaming" Bush for all the problems under his administration. But this is what all politicians in office do. I remembered hearing the problems of Bush's era blamed on Clinton, and the problems of Reagan's era blamed on Carter. And that it "took time" for these things to be undone. Of course, on the flipside, they will take credit for the good things under their watch, while detractors will credit the predecessor (and that the current president messed it up after some time). So there was a tug of war as to whether the budget surplus of the 90's (after the hard recession) was really because of Clinton, or whether it was the "prosperity" inherited from the Reagan-Bush era of the 80's finally "trickling" down. So the sudden end of that, and current crisis, are argued as to being either Bush or Clinton's fault, and now it is being transferred to Obama, of course.
I think all of these perspectives have grains of truth. It does take time for change for good or bad, and for previous conditions to wear off. And each president's changes seem to be more about slowing down or speeding up certain trends that are really bigger than them.
I would love for all this race stuff to be forgotten about, and we could all stand together as one united nation. But it's no use when one side is convinced that something is wrongfully being taken away from them (perhaps "the nation" itself!) and they're blaming and demanding it back from what they see as some "vast horde" that remains nameless, until either some statistic is thrown up, or that group (or at least one of the candidates for it) blames first.
It's no use when those who really are gaining all the profit despite the cutbacks and "high taxes", are justified and defended from the other groups being blamed.
If the rich are supposed to make as much as they do, then apparently, the system is working as designed. Even with whatever amount of taxes they pay, they can still afford their lifestyles. The notion that they deserve what they have, and social program recipients don't doesn't change the fact that executives, entertainers and the global economy are where all the money is going.
So constantly blaming taxes, and then blaming social programs as where most of these taxes are going, is very suspicious looking. Looks like a deflectionary tactic. I would say those are the real race baiters.
It's a sinful world of suffering for all of us, and nobody is ever going to like everything that happens in life. Partly because of our nature of wanting more and never being satisfied; and partly because the world is just imperfect and fallen. And people are all always telling others complaining about economic inequity that "life is not fair". Why do you expect it to be so fair to you come tax time? I was told to be thankful for the "blessings of the nation", but the ones telling me that certainly aren't thankful, at least when it comes to what they're alarmed about.
In the past, Christians used to tell people complaining of unfairness or oppression that this life doesn't matter, just "trust God", He's "testing" you with these "trials", "working all things for good"; think about others instead of yourself, and wait for the real Kingdom in heaven. (and this is still the "official" answer in Christian teaching). Yet now, this seems to go out the window as everyone is up in arms about all of this stuff in politics they don't like, that according to their own theology, God must be sovereignly ordaining.
Conservatives have really stepped up hostile rhetoric about the less fortunate whom they believe are actually gaining everything in this country. Add union "thugs", "slugs" or "goons" (Especially after major union events in Wisconsin and a few other places) to the minorities now, under the banner (from one Wall Street Journal article) of "takers, not makers".
We often hear about how the rich, such as CEO's work 80-120 hours a week, and that the workers who just work their 40 hours and go home, (without improving their productivity) yet want more, are "lazy" and "covetous".
But for one thing, the income gap is not CEO's making merely 2 or 3 times everyone else. Then, they'll argue that they "produce more value with the same amount of work", and thus "deserve to be rewarded for it"; and if a person does not feel the need to make certain sacrifices, (to either gain more skills or produce more for their companies) they will be limited in their income.
Then the question is, why is this "value" going up hundreds of times compared to the past? Especially as quality goes down, and all the other cost-cutting methods. (Including shipping the work out of the country. But then that's all the govt. and union's fault, right).
I think they're making that determination themselves, and selling us a bill of goods, and you're buying it uncritically, based on the notion that to question this is "coveting" what's "his".
If that's the case, then one could say the taxes the gov't takes from you and gives to someone else aren't yours, but theirs. I'm not arguing that, but the common thread here is essentially 'might makes right' (in a more subtle, manipulative fashion). So again; it's not about the government taking from them, but there does need to be some sort of accountability. Unless we want some sort of corporato-fascist state (which I could see many of these people creating if given the power).
Also, the workers are "lazy" according to who? Some rat race whose pace is set by people at the top worshiping Mammon? What happened to "man's life does not consist of the abundance of things he possesses"? That God's original purpose for man seemed to be to "till the ground"; not strive to "climb to the top" of something, and that it was people like Nimrod who mastered that, and it wasn't good.
We quote scriptural examples like these to the poor sometimes, but always exclude the rich, seeing them as "deserving' all of it. Yet what's ignored is them making such an idol of success, they are pushing themselves like that to the detriment of their own health as well as their families. (And you can even see that in the divorce battles they have, the effect on their children because the parent is too wrapped up in the career).
All for the idolatry of mammon. It is no excuse for the widening gap (as one told me)! If it is, then not only are we going to say that is good, we're basically saying everyone else is "lazy" for not doing that as well.
It (at least my point) is not so much about the 40 hour person getting more. The reason they want more is because their work IS increasing (as the companies cut back and dole more work out to fewer people; let's not forget stuff like that!) while the CEO's income can go up even if the company is failing; let's not forget that as well! Plus the cost of everything going up. So it gets to the point that if you're not producing over 100 hours of work (or whatever) like them, you don't deserve anything, not even to live fairly decently!
People are speaking from an idealized perspective, that does not take into consideration all the variables of what actually goes on in practice (which is just Marxism did on the other end of the spectrum).
Meanwhile, where would you, Mr. Tea Partier or other conservative, fit in this ideal system; many of you admittedly not striving as much as the CEO's, but with the middle class possibly squeezed out into an extreme gap of rich and poor, if "the market" so determines? The people who believe and spew all this stuff are themselves, mostly not these rich risk-takers, but themselves are probably around the same bracket as the union workers. So anything they say about others not striving far enough can be said about them.
Yet they don't seem any more happy than those they scold for wanting more. They, in fact, have been even more vocal than anyone else! Only they get to blame taxes, and the supposed unions and welfare people for all their unhappiness, and the "unfairness" of it all, while we're told to stop "whining" and expecting fairness because we were just too lazy to do any better for ourselves. (And many play a semantics game by substituting "justice" for "fairness", as if that makes their complaint more valid. Well, just as they tell us "life's not fair"; it also isn't just either. The two go hand in hand).
Most of these people probably have their little office jobs, and come home to their cozy easy chair, saying this stuff about others. Maybe they work more than 40 hours, or maybe many of them do run their own little businesses with all the "risks" involved. But still they are wrong to call all of these other groups lazy. Then, the people leading this rhetoric are political and media figures, who spend most of their time in some big easy chair behind a mic, or desk, or wherever the think tanks, foundations and campaign office work is done. Perhaps travelling around, speaking their rhetoric, or whatever (and being paid a lot just for that). But not doing even the CEO style work they say everyone else should do. So most of them are rich! Yet they want to call others "slugs" or "grasshoppers" who are getting way much more than they deserve, and at everyone else's fault.
Here are a few more articles on the subject:
Pay Your Taxes? These 10 Companies Didn't
America Is Not Broke
Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
Political Blog, for continued commentary on current events
Later works embodying the thoughts here:
MAKERS vs TAKERS: Slacks, Tax and Blacks: How Racial Tension is Fueled in the Politics of Blame
Ten common arguments in the race issue