Master CraftsMon

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Left and the Right Are Talking Past Each Other

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Let me talk a minute about the Right. The Big Government Conservatives have it wrong as well. Bush's ‘No Child Left Behind' is interesting, but should only be a stopgap, not a permanent feature of the political landscape. In fact I am not even in favor of government owning the schools. Why do the Federal, State or Local governments have to own and operate schools? At one point in our history individuals were too poor to buy and operate schools. That is no longer the case. Right now I could start a school and do as good a job as the average school in Texas. Why does the State of Texas have to grapple with funding the Robin Hood plan every year? Why couldn't the State administer a test once a year and the local school Board make sure all the schools in a given area were doing their job by investigating schools that did not pass the tests given by the State? In short, why can't the State of Texas privatize the school systems and then set standards that they must adhere to? Texas could then require results without having to fund it directly. Did I mention that I was a radical? We'll talk about this topic some other day.

The Right wants the government to enforce some kind of standards. Or so it seems. When you get down to it, the Right has a babble of voices about what the Government should NOT be doing, but no coherent message as to what the government SHOULD be doing.

For instance, the Right wants the government to regulate pornography on the web to save the children. Whenever I hear someone say, ‘For the Children', in political discourse, I know I am about to get robbed. Pornography has to be handled, but surely not by the government.

The people on the Left have the perception that the people on the Right want the government to govern on a religious basis. I never have figured out why. The vendetta that the ACLU has with religion in the public square has aroused the religious Right. Why anyone would expect religious people to allow themselves to be stigmatized makes no sense to me. You are not seeing a set of people on the Right trying to impose their beliefs on others. You are seeing people on the Right trying to protect themselves... or so they suppose.

A kid wants to form a Bible study group in his junior high school. The ACLU tries to sue the school for allowing that. That makes sense? Doesn't to me. The religious Right perceives that they are under constant attack. If they wanted to actually install a government based on religion, I would be one of the first to speak out against it. I just do not see a yearning on the Right to install such a government, but then again, my perception may be warped. I am just making the point that I read a lot of blogs and political newspapers. Where are the articles that advocate that position? If a religious based government was the goal, wouldn't there be more explicit advocation pieces in places like National Review or the Wall Street Journal editorial pages? For that matter where are articles in religious magazines that advocate a religious based government for this country? Is this another one of those Da Vinci Code scenarios where the advocacy pieces are in an arcane set of code words only those sufficiently enlightened can discern?

A guy I know contends that anyone who attends church more than once per year must be a religious fanatic and a danger to the community to boot. Many on the Left seem to agree with him. Why does that make sense? Is it so horrible for someone to believe in a religion? Eliminating religion will not eliminate the urge to have something like a religious war.

In short there is paranoia on the Right that the Left wants to eliminate all religion, not just in the public square, but everywhere. I draw your attention to the Boy Scouts. It looks like to the Right that the Boy Scouts are under a constant attack from the ACLU for their religious beliefs. The thinking goes that if the Left will attack the Boy Scouts, they will attack anyone.

Then there is the perception on the Right that there is a constant attack on any religious expression anywhere. How many times have you heard stories of people at work who open their Bible to pass the time during lunch and being required to put it away by their employer? Are such stories true? Who knows? That is the perceived wisdom on the Right.

As far as I can tell the Left perceives the defense of religion by the Right as an advocacy of a religious based government. All of the Conservatives I have run into do not want a theocracy. Stop attacking all expressions of religion in the public square and the religious Right will go away as a force in politics.

If you are on the Left and expect the Right to install a theocracy, I would ask you a question: "How do you do that?" I mean, for the Right to do the deed, there has to be a broad based support for the position. How do you do that without putting out position papers and action plans and political strategy papers? Surely you don't believe that there is a cabal that meets in a room under the Denver International Airport and plots to impose a theocracy on the nation AND expects to succeed? I mean, a person that would believe that would believe that Karl Rove created the Katrina hurricane to make Louisiana more Republican... Wait... I just saw that scenario on DailyKos... or was it MoveOn.Org... Nah, nah... it has to be Democratic Underground. Yeah, they constantly talk about Karl Rove being behind every setback for the Left.

Wait, you have heard of these websites, have you not? Well, you should have. These are the center of the Democratic Party at this moment in time. They fund the anti-war effort. They will set the agenda for the Democratic Party's platform for the coming 2008 elections. By my standards, these sites are cesspools of paranoia, conspiracy theorists and anti-Americanism. I hasten to point out that I do not agree with some on the Right when they say that you cannot criticize America and be a good American. No, what I mean is that these sites have continuously cheered on the jihadis by labeling them freedom fighters. When an American soldier or contractor dies, these sites seem to have people who are dancing in the streets. When there is a successful election in Iraq or Afghanistan, they go into mourning. When Lebanon was freed from Syria, they were unhappy. When Lybia gave up its nuclear program, they expressed gloom. I feel that all these sites are saying "I hate America as it is." without expressing what America could be or should be. I invite you to go to these sites and look over their comments and threads. I have given links to their sites on my blog. Maybe you will find that I am mistaken. I am willing to be persuaded.

Whoaaa... I surely hope you who are reading this do not believe that I would advocate a theocracy just because I talk about God occasionally. Why the hell would I want a theocracy? Theocracies concentrate power in the central government. By my standard, theocracies are a form of slavery. What part of "I am a Republican and I am against slavery." do you not understand?


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