In The Bloody Morning After…

by Buzz on 15/11/2012

elephant by Jack Davis

I’ve tried – granted without much success — to minimize political commentary on this blog.[1]

However, one conclusion that I think both sides can agree on is that the era of conservative white Protestant male values being the default position for political discourse is over.

These values will doubtlessly continue to be championed in the future, but the assumption that these are the only values to be aspired to has been forever blown out of the water.[2]

The GOP rightfully[3] pilloried the Democrats in the 1980s and 90s for the excesses of such politicians as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Fair enough, but love ‘em or loathe ‘em, Jackson and Sharpton were real people representing real constituencies with real points of view.

By contrast, the handful of minority and female politicians in the GOP got their tenure by rigorously adhering to those ol’ conservative white Protestant male values.

As a result the Democrats learned — slowly and painfully, to be sure — how to listen to the Jacksons and Sharptons but — more importantly — how to effectively shut them down without losing their constituencies.

Instead of retreating into the comforting false security of an epistemic closure bubble, the Democrats were engaged daily in the messy but necessary politics of coalition building.

It is tempting to many — ohhhhh, soooo tempting — to enjoy schadenfreude over the shock and fear many Republicans feel today.  On both sides of the aisle there is open speculation the GOP is on the verge of extinction while many who cling to conservative white Protestant male values fear the “loss” of their country and that at the very least God is abandoning us if not actually preparing to unleash a mighty wrathful vengeance.

People, seriously, get a grip…

The GOP isn’t going to disappear. Americans enjoy their stable two-party system:  It’s noisy and messy and inefficient but hey, it’s ours.  As Rachel Maddow points out, we need both parties to suggest good counter ideas; in the ensuing debate the country figures out what it wants to do and where it wants to go.

What’s going to happen is that the GOP, as the Democrats did years ago, needs to spend some time in the wilderness doing a little soul searching.

this one, too

It’s already showing signs of happening.  Evangelicals are wondering if maybe instead of opposing gay marriage as a way of strengthening conservative white Protestant family values, it would be a better idea to get their own coreligionists to stop screwing around on their partners and getting divorced so much. And to counter the hysteria of the oh-gawd-we’re-doomed-secede-from-the-US crowd, blogger Steve Elliott has posted a passage from the book of Jeremiah, “the letter to the exiles”:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”[4]

Life goes on.  If not this, something else.  Don’t like the view?  Just wait, the wheel turns.

E pluribus unumFrom the many, one.  We need to hammer out our differences, not let one point of view hammer the others flat.

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[1]  My previous post was an abstract on the efficacy of SuperPACs, not an evaluation of either party’s platform.

[2]  And this is not to say there is anything intrinsically wrong with such values.  But as John Scalzi points out, being a conservative white Protestant male in the 20th century was like playing a video game at the easiest level.  Not all conservative white Protestant males enjoyed an easy ride, but their rides were easier than those of their non-conservative non-white non-Protestant non-male neighbors.

[3]  Ouch!

[4]  Blogger Al Menconi publishes a somewhat similar piece reaffirming his faith in God and God’s plan for everything.  Al regards the result of the 2012 election as a bad choice but one that God has ordained.  My question is, why assume the 2012 election results aren’t exactly what God wants in order to bless this nation?  Just ‘cuz a big hunka registered voters are comfortable with conservative white Protestant male values doesn’t mean God is.

buzz@buzzdixon.com

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