Many years ago, when the trauma of World War II was beginning to ease off, a vision arose in the Republican party. Someone had a dream in which America suddenly looked like a gigantic sitting duck, replete with money and vulnerable to corruption from within. This vision spread, and it was discovered that President Richard Nixon had begun work on what would be called the “permanent Republican majority.” The discovery of Nixon’s machinations brought his presidency down, but although the song was ended, the melody lingered on. I mean, what would the permanent Republican majority have been for?
By the time Ronald Reagan began to pass around his voodoo economics, also known as trickle-down economics, it became obvious in the smoke-filled rooms of Washington, D. C., that this concept would not be well received among the American people. A permanent Republican majority resting on fortunes derived from emptying out the Treasury of the United States could pretty much buy and sell politicians…unless the voting public caught realized what that could mean.
Face it, by the Fifties, there were no issues on the Republican side. The war was over; economic stability was in place. The protests of the Sixties were yet to come. It was a good time; why couldn’t it be used to provide permanent good times for those with the power to make it happen?
In the community of liberal Americans the Civil Rights Movement was beginning to bring ideas of freedom and justice into the hidden depths of the South. When people began to get murdered, many were prompted to take a closer look. So at that point a real alternative vision was needed. I have believed for years that the Vietnam conflict was the attempt of the Military-Industrial Complex to bring down the Civil Rights Movement. “Hey, you guys!” the cry went. “Get outa those hippie clothes and join up! There’s a new Hitler in Southeast Asia! We gotta go get Ho Chi Minh!” But Americans didn’t buy it.
So Nixon and his merry men had their horse of Southeast Asia shot out from under them and the duplicitous administration crashed and burned. Now what? We know that the discovery of the Nixon Enemies List was meant to create yet another set of false threats and fears. But after the war in Southeast Asia went the way of the Nixon Administration, the Republican strategy was reborn in all its hideous magnificence: The Culture Wars.
The Culture Wars began when some new faces appeared on the media, seeking to veto the election of President Bill Clinton. Accusations that Clinton was guilty of crimes that would have taken him out of the White House and placed him in prison were allegedly outed by some, like Jerry Falwell, while other commentators like Rush Limbaugh simply spewed personal lies and insults. I would have thought that everybody would do what I did–stop watching them permanently after one view–but did these guys go away? Not at all. Death is the only thing that has taken some of the conservative talking heads off the air. And then Fox News was born.
As President Barack Obama mentioned last week, the conservatives now have their own television network. The unholy alliance called the Religious Right jumped into bed with conservative Republicans and began to dictate. They commandeered the use of the word “Christian” to apply only to themselves. They attached not only political, but religious significance to those who refused to accept their campaign of hate. They bought themselves a set of politicians and went through each new one who was elected, lining them up and swearing their loyalty to Republican bank accounts.
And where were you and I during all this? Well, we were told not to worry about those things. If you were broke and lost your job, that wasn’t your real problem. The real problem was–wait for it–gays in the military! Republicans tried to make this a national crisis for years. And then, as if it were not bad enough that gay people existed, they were wanting to marry each other! Dogs and cats living together! This brought us down to outright ignorance, as the concept of “Biblical marriage” was talked about everywhere. But here are some examples of Biblical marriage (look them up):
one man and his sister;
one man and his dead brother’s wife;
one man and one woman and her servants;
one man and his rape victim;
one man and many women;
one man and 700 women and 300 concubines;
one man and one woman and her slaves;
one soldier and his virgin prisoners;
Just not one man and one man. The birthplace of this nonsense was the Evangelical Church, which arose in the Age of Enlightenment when primitive Christians could not wrap their minds around factual knowledge. Now we are not expected to worry about the refugee crisis or the religious fanaticism threatening the Western World. Your job is to worry that transgendered people might be using the “wrong” bathroom. Everybody got that?