Field of Science

The Impending crisis

"If the *..... convention was meeting in an irrational atmosphere, the reason is clear. During the last few years events themselves had been irrational; politics in America could no longer be wholly sane. Here and there, like flickers of angry light before a thunderstorm, there had been bursts of violence, and although political debate continued, the nearness of violence-the reality of it, the mounting threat that it would monstrously grow and drown out all voices-made the debaters shout more loudly and appeal more directly to emotions that made reasonable debate impossible. Men put special meaning on words and phrases, so that what sounded good to one sounded evil to another, and certain slogans took on their own significance and became portentous, streaming in the heated air like banners against the sunset; and even the voices that called for moderation became immoderate. American politicians **..... could do almost anything on earth except sit down and take a reasoned and dispassionate view of their situation."

Alright, 5 points to the person telling me what this passage is referring to.

This paragraph is from one of the books I am currently reading, and I was struck with how this rings true to our current politics. Maybe this is what politics and discourse is universally. Maybe its an American idiosyncrasy, Im not sure. Regardless, it is not effective or meaningful ways to solve problems or protect citizens. This particular passage comes from Bruce Catton's The Coming Fury and describes the Democratic convention in Charleston SC in 1860. There are ramifications to this kind of rhetoric and discourse. In this case, it resulted in 620,000 American lives lost directly and is still the deadliest war in relation to US deaths.

Now despite the whining of a Texas governor, there is no obvious secession or splitting the union along state lines. However, the rhetoric regarding fundamentalist christianity is getting louder and louder. Major "news" outlets espouse the idea that we are a Christian nation in a way that is more than numerical. The military is allowing (by a lack of enforcement) evangelicals to force religion on all troops. The peer pressure and abuse that non-christian kids and adults face is pervasive, but if someone requests that a baby jesus not be on the steps of a state capital building or prayer not be forced upon public school children, its the fucking apocalypse.

Today our debates are centralized around who is more godly, who gets the most oil doused upon them (but not in a running around with my mistress lube kind-of-oil), who may be an atheist (even if they aren't). And if you don't cowtow to overt fundamentalism, you may be fired. But Christians are the persecuted minority and maybe they are sick of it. The most extreme fundamentalists have essentially taken over the Republican party and makes up most of the Tea Bag movement (LOL, I can't tell you how much I laugh when some slick haired 55 year old overweight white guy proudly proclaims they are a teabagger). Anyway, maybe its time (well past time) to wrest discourse back into the realm of reason before we get to a Terrible Swift Sword.

* ..... replaced Democratic
** ..... replaced 1860

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