Sunday, November 7, 2010

No one's mentioned this either

This election demonstrates, once more, that there's no connection between personal and public morality.

I'm not advocating anything here but honest politics that serves the citizens and the country, regardless of where you stand on the conservative--liberal spectrum.

Consider: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Oskar Schindler, and innumerable other benefactors of humanity all cheated on their wives. Yet they did more good for more people than a churchfull of pious, godly folk.

Consider: George Bush II and innumerable others conducted politics in and from the gutter--yet Bush II, after a certain point, became a devoted husband and father. And I'm sure there are tobacco company executives who were equally good family men, while being slo-mo mass murderers at work.

And now consider this: I know a lot of Republicans, courtesy of attending a very conservative Christian church regularly. I've known some of them for over 20 years, and most of them are men and women of great personal honor--folks you could trust with your last dollar.

They rejoiced in this recent election that put what they imagine to be their party, enshrining their values of honesty, hard work, and responsibility, back into power--at least in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Yet their party did not win this election through an honest presentation of conservative principles.

Instead it was won not just by lying, but by the foulest politics, fueled by the largest amount of secret money applied to one election in the history of the Republic.

I am most assuredly not criticizing conservatism. This has nothing to do with conservatism. It has to do with lying on a gargantuan scale, in ways that pander to people's fears and animosities, with a divisive aftermath that will plague American politics for decades.

This has been verified by pretty reputable fact-checking organizations like Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact.com and factcheck.org--both of which never hesitate to let Democrats and their allies have it with both barrels when they lie or distort the truth. Maybe they aren't always totally unbiased. but they're generally very, very good at what they do, and very nonpartisan. Add to the the Congressional Budget Office and mainstream newspapers.

Of course when I bring this up to my Republican friends they imply that, basically, any organization that criticizes anything any Republican does must be Lib-er-ul under their nonpartisan stance.

But that's just tribalism and good old human denial talking. Surely they must realize that they who pride themselves in their personal honesty--and who are, indeed, personally honest--are now rejoicing with nary a doubt or criticism in a victory gained not by fair means but by foul ones. They'll also claim that the Democrats did dirty deeds too, and they'll yammer about George Soros and The Unions. But even if they did cheat--and of course they did--they're such small potatoes, and their financial sources are so out in the open, that it's like comparing some high school baseball team with the New York Yankees.

It would take a book to detail what a colossal, coordinated attack was just completed on America's most fundamental institutions. But why duplicate what those fact-checking organizations have done? Read them yourself if you don't believe me.

And then come back and consider my point here: my Republican friends and yours have now associated themselves with a political organization that's no better than the ones you'll find in many a third world country. They've sacrificed their personal honor for victory.

For shame.

1 comment:

n1ck said...

Most people who vote are loyal to their party the same way other people are loyal to a laundry detergent, beer, or brand of coffee.

In this country, issues don't decide who gets elected. Party loyalty does.

If 90% of the electorate voted on issues, rather than straight R or D, the political landscape would look a whole lot different. Yet, people don't. They grow up Republican or Democrat, and stay a Republican or Democrat.

They don't listen to reason, or search for compromise. Their demagogues tell them that they are exactly right, and then tell them what they think about every issue.