Sunday, May 10, 2015
Give me that old time religion
I have to wonder about a candidate that keeps calling the President a psychopath. In this case a psychopathic liar. I hate to break it to the good doctor but the official unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent. Now, you can argue about the metrics and claim that the real unemployment rate is much higher since so many persons are no longer counted. But, this is the same measuring stick used for decades. The same standard existed under the previous President, so was George W. Bush also "lying like a psychopath" when he pointed to a low unemployment rate during much of his administration?
It is odd, to say the least, to find someone with so much scorn for the President. Even Joe Wilson didn't go this far, when he shouted "You Lie" during Obama's health care speech back in 2009. Rep. Wilson even apologized afterward. However, you won't hear Ben Carson apologizing.
The closest Dr. Ben comes is to admit he has an anger management problem. Maybe Barack Obama reminds him of that classmate he stabbed back in a Detroit high school, bringing out the worst emotions in him, which he has struggled so hard to contain on his rise to the top of the medical profession. Now retired, and running for the Republican nominee for President, Carson no longer seems to feel he has to check those emotions, free to say whatever he feels on the campaign trail, or at lunch with CNBC correspondent John Harwood.
However, the Republican Party as a whole seems to have an anger management problem today, unable to check its emotions at the door, easily subject to tirades when members don't get what they want. Case in point, Tom Cotton's recent temper-tantrum over being shut down over an amendment he tried to introduce to the controversial Senate bill regarding the ongoing Iran negotiations. Marco Rubio wasn't happy either, because his amendment to make Iran recognize Israel was also scuttled.
But, Ben Carson is free of all these nasty insider politics. He's a man truly from the outside of the establishment. What does he have to be so angry about?
This is a man who was not only feted by President Bush, but was invited to a national prayer breakfast by President Obama. As it turned out, this proved to be the good doctor's watershed moment, as he attacked the President straight to his face, much to the delight of religious conservatives who were anxious to have someone stand up for their values. He has been the Tea Party favorite ever since. It doesn't matter that virtually all the other candidates have echoed the same sentiments, but coming from a highly regarded neurosurgeon, and dare I say Black man, these attacks obviously carry much more weight among the religious right wing of the GOP.
You really have to wonder how Dr. Ben Carson plans to bring the country together if he is essentially condemning half the population for being out of step with Christian values he promotes at every turn. To him, just like many others on the Religious Right, our country wasn't established on Enlightenment principles, but rather on religious values. These right wing ideologues hark back to the early days of the Puritians and John Winthrop's much overused "City upon a Hill" speech back in 1630. Winthrop was referring to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but Republicans view it as the nation as a whole. For guys like Dr. Ben it is like the Enlightenment never took place.
Maybe all this hate stems back to that time as well, as these early Christian soldiers weren't very forgiving, imposing a Biblical set of laws in 1641 that were severe, to say the least. The dogma and utter viciousness of these fundamentalists eventually led to the revocation of its royal charter. No matter, the colony no longer recognized the authority of the King anyway.
Today, we see a large group of religious hotheads similarly refusing to recognize the authority of the President, and even the Supreme Court if it doesn't rule in its favor. Many of these fundamentalists retreat into the hills of Georgia or mountains of Idaho, building their survivalist communities, as they believe firmly that the End Times are upon us. Others, like Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, tap into these rebellious sentiments with the hope that it will carry them through the Republican primaries. They simply refuse to accept the pluralist society we live in, and for some they would like to impose these religious values on the nation.
Dr. Ben Carson should know better, but it seems he is so steeped in his faith that he can no longer see beyond it, reverting to the same dogma that eventually did the Massachusetts Bay Colony in. For him, President Obama represents everything that is wrong in the world, and so he directs all this deep-seated hatred at him every chance he gets. He will probably never get another opportunity to say these things to his face, but will use every opportunity to repeat them, as he considers himself a "Christian soldier."
When you hear guys like Huckabee equating abortions with the Holocaust, or Carson calling "Obamacare" the worst thing since slavery, you really have to wonder what direction they plan on taking this country? Do they really want to take us back to the early 17th century to that "Shining City Upon a Hill?"