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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God, the Unelected

The election of Barack Obama has inspired some to hope for a better future, some to consider the moment's place in history, and some to plumb new depths in their ignorance, gullibility, and lunacy. Case in point, Annenberg Fact Check felt obligated to answer a question on many idiots' minds lately; "Is Obama planning a Gestapo-like 'civilian national security force?'"

The answer, of course, is no. But the question was brought up by a Congressman from Georgia, Rep. Paul Broun, not some right wing talk radio loon like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage."It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Broun said. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may -- may not, I hope not -- but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun went on. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

You'll notice that none of this makes any sense at all. What he seems to be saying is that Obama will be a Marxist, just like Hitler. Except, of course, Nazism was an anti-communist movement. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to make complete asses of themselves in wire service stories, I guess.

Besides, where the hell did he get this "security force" thing? Fact Check tells us:

Obama was not talking about a "security force" with guns or police powers. He was talking specifically about expanding AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and the USA Freedom Corps, which is the volunteer initiative launched by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, and about increasing the number of trained Foreign Service officers who populate U.S. embassies overseas.

A bunch of college kids earning tuition through community service -- sounds a lot less than oppressive. What's happening here is that people don't have a rational reason to hate Barack Obama, so they make up reasons. Associated Press reports on an outbreak of racist reactions to Obama's election. Burning crosses, vandalism, physical assault, and other hate crimes are on the rise.

Obama's election is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries." Sociologist B.J. Gallagher agrees.

"The principle is very simple," he said. "If I can't hurt the person I'm angry at, then I'll vent my anger on a substitute, i.e., someone of the same race.

"We saw the same thing happen after the 9/11 attacks as a wave of anti-Muslim violence swept the country."

Basically, they see Obama's presidency as illegitimate -- not because he didn't win fair and square, but because someone like Barack Obama shouldn't be allowed to be president. AP quotes Grant Griffin, a Georgian who has no trouble being shown to be racist in a wire service piece. "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades, and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change," he says.

When people feel that their government has failed them, they turn to what I call secondary institutional structures. These are basically institutions that aren't governmental, but seek to influence society -- political parties and churches are both examples. We see this with Islamic terrorism. People see the west as an enemy, see their governments as far too cozy with this enemy, and go to war against the enemy themselves, using religion as an excuse and a recruiting tool.

Crazy Americans are no different than crazy people anyplace else. When government fails to be insane enough, they turn to a secondary institutional structure that's crazy enough to suit them.

Raw Story:

CNN's Rick Sanchez reported on a church marquee that reads "America we have a Muslim president. This is a sin against the Lord." Mark Holick is pastor of The Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita, Kansas where the sign is being displayed.

Holick told KSNW, "The main point of the marquee is to cause the Christians to understand he is not a Christian, Again, they will call me and they will tell me that he's not a Muslim because he is a Christian. That's not the point. The point is he's not a Christian."

Yeah, that doesn't make any sense at all, but it doesn't have to. We're talking about seriously nutty people here. I'd tell Holick what I always tell these guys -- go get Jesus elected, then we'll give a damn what He thinks about America. Until then, I don't see any reason why we should care. This is what people do when their arguments don't make any sense, they borrow authority from someplace else and beat you over the head with it. "God says" is the argument they turn to when "I say" fails to persuade.

And, if you think this is just the opinion of some random nut in Kansas, you're mistaken. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently told Bill O'Reilly, "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion." This is a man who may be in the running for the chairman of the Republican National Committee. His argument is no better than that of some whackjob preacher's.

People who hate Obama because of racism have no rational argument to make, so they turn to metaphysical arguments. People who are frustrated that voters didn't reject liberalism turn to superstition where reason failed. People who hate, people who define themselves only by what they oppose, people who feel angry turn to religion to explain what would otherwise be unexplainable -- their reasons for their hatred, for their kneejerk opposition, for their anger. People always worship a deity who shares their views, while other people are always the ones who are contrary to heavenly opinion. This is really handy, since you can always borrow this likeminded god's authority and throw thunderbolts at anyone you disagree with. With faith, all things are possible -- it can even turn illogic to logic. If government allows what you don't agree with, then God will oppose it for you. Your invisible friend will always have your back.

When the guy you don't want to be president gets elected, then the real leader of America becomes God. Who needs democracy when you've got that for a fallback position?



Ricky A. Pursley said...

Good one, Wisco. Even though we won, I still feel outnumbered sometimes.

Eric Lester said...

Sheesh. Anybody wanna mention Blackwater, as long as we're talking about private national security forces, neo-fascism, etc.?