Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So Give ‘Em What They Want

I’m going to write a post that is political in nature, not ideological, although I suspect it won’t be taken that way. As a lifelong progressive who has found myself admiring and even voting for Republicans over the years, I find myself appalled at its current state. How did it become a party where the word moderate is a pejorative?
Since I have no real answer to that let me make an observation. It now seems that everyone has been missing the point of the Republican primaries. A little over a year ago Republicans with real gravitas began making the decision to sit out this presidential campaign which on the face of it made no sense. Obama was by any measure a seriously weakened president, ripe for defeat. Why then did those potential candidates decide not to run, leaving the field to candidates with little to no chance to win? What did they know that the rest of us completely missed?
 It is becoming painfully obvious that for the Republican party this is the year of the ideologue. Republicans like Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan and Haley Barbour, while conservative, were certainly not pure ideologues and they knew they’d get involved in a slugfest they weren’t prepared to wage. So we’re left with one simple fact. The Republican base wants an ideologue this year and no amount of money or appeals to electability seems to be dissuading them from their demand.
And the only way for the adult wing of the Republican party, the wing interested in governing rather than a far right ideological purity that is doomed to irrelevance, to regain control of their once grand party might be to give those in the base demanding purity what they want. A purely ideological, extreme right wing candidate for president of the United States.
In my lifetime there have been just two pure ideologues gain the nomination of their parties, McGovern for the Democrats and Goldwater for the Republicans, and the results were disastrous. Yet because of their landslide losses in those elections, the parties were able to wrest control of their nominating processes back from their ideological fringe elements, and returned in later cycles to great success. So I say give ‘em what they want, nominate Santorum, take your inevitable pounding, regain control of your party from the wingnuts, and return to your roots.
Now that’s a winning strategy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Perks of being over 60 and heading towards 70!

 1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you. 
 2.. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first. 
 3. No one expects you to run–anywhere. 
 4. People call at 9 PM and ask,”did I wake you?” 
 5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac. 
 6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way. 
 7. Things you buy now won’t wear out. 
 8. You can eat supper at 5 PM. 
 9. You can live without sex but not your glasses. 
 10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans. 
 11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge. 
 12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room. 
 13. You sing along with elevator music. 
 14. Your eyes won’t get much worse. 
 15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off. 
 16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
 17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.
 18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
 19. You can’t remember who sent you this list.

Want A More Christian Nation?

Here’s a novel idea, make more Christians. 

Is it a coincidence that in the last thirty years, as the church has increasingly turned to political action to achieve spiritual aims, that we’ve seen the largest decline in church membership in our history? So today we’ve been reduced to bogus claims of a war on religion and religious liberty to explain the sad fact that we are a church in decline. Our so called leaders much prefer that excuse than a long look in the mirror.
You want war, go to Somalia, ask them what Christian persecution means. We live in the freest country in the world in terms of the right to practice our faith and we can’t fill a sanctuary an hour a week, while the church is thriving in the most inhospitable places on earth. Places where to self-identify as Christian can cost you your life. 

So why does the faith prosper there and falter here? Why are our leaders whining about legislation instead of focusing on salvation? You want a nation with respect for family values? Make more Christians. You want the institution of marriage strengthened? Make more Christians. Interested in sexual purity? Make more Christians.  Peace, charity, a nation where widows and orphans are cared for, and our elderly and the poor are honored rather than considered a burden? A church alive with purpose? Yep, make more Christians.

Maybe if our leaders spent less time running around like rock stars filling stadiums at $25 a pop, and instead followed the lead of our brethren in Somalia, China, or Pakistan we’d have a church as vibrant as theirs.
War on religion? You don’t need to make war on the church in America, they’re too busy advocating legislation, sub-contracting our faith to politicians who every four years ring our Pavlovian bells, only to take our votes and money till the next election cycle comes round. If a New Testament believer were suddenly transported to present day America they’d be appalled. Would they recognize us or turn away in disgust?