Creating Footsoldiers for the Culture Wars
The football metaphor of American politics says that we stay loyal to our political party/leaders/ideas in the same respect we stay loyal to our sports team/players/franchise. The success of this strategy really speaks for itself, but it must ignore the primary brutality of executive power and the inevitability of its abuse.
Conservatism is based on the notion that freedom must be “conserved” by the people, not given over to the government–especially not with the enticement that they’ll “solve” something or other by virtue of our sacrifice. No. Bullshit. It’s correct to be suspicious of that view. The problem is that conservatism doesn’t look anything like it used to. As Robert Anton Wilson laid out for us:
“It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.”
It could be said of almost any political party–which is inevitably a group of ideas that get replaced piece by piece until the entire menu changes without much of a hiccup. Conservatism’s synchronicity with wars, defense, security measures and surrendering of civil liberties is not a coincidence. Yet it somehow stands in direct contradiction to the principles upon which it was formed. Not a coincidence.
We’re too old and savvy to explain this pattern as the manifestation of a single individual or group’s endeavors. No, this pattern repeats as large segments of the real economy simply have convergent agendas. We cannot ignore the multinational conglomerates–especially those with oligopolies in both the media and the defense industries. Our beloved financial industry runs on high-profit opportunities with little or no regard for long-term or even short-term consequences beyond profit. War is an exciting opportunity for most of the wealthiest groups in the country. Murdering people is extremely profitable.
Now, conservatism wears a robe of xenophobia. It all seems to follow a pattern: push 1950’s family values coupled with guilt-free consumer gluttony, and voila!, every man for himself, except around the dinner table or if you see them at church. But that just glosses the surface. This pattern is perpetrated upon us all as a solution, a path to be desired.
Evangelicals have become the foot soldiers of the culture wars, but again, this is not a coincidence, nor is it simply the natural evolution of Evangelical Christianity. Is there some charter of Evangelical church practice that dictates displaying the Israeli flag? Without fail, we see the blue Star of David on a white background posted in every “non-denominational” church in the country as if someone handed down a mandate. I have no problem with the Jewish religion nor the state of Israel as defined by UN mandate 242, but why is it posted in all these churches? Pastor Lee Boss of the Victory Christian Center, when asked, told me it was to remind us of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ that must begin in the Holy Land. I find that answer lacking. In fact, his expression concealed his discomfort with my questions. Why would I want to know this? Was I some kind of anti-Semite?
Hardly. But that won’t stop the accusations. Whatever. The whole enterprise of bringing people in to “worship” feels more like deliberate recasting the entire right-wing agenda as the will of God (or Yaweh). And why wouldn’t they? It makes sense as a business model. The only dirty parts of that equati0n are the pathways through which a plan propagated through to the church leaders.
This has become an unfocused rant, but the bottom line is we are being molded to a set of acceptable behaviors which are ultimately (and even in the short-term), harmful to the whole of American society and citizens of the world. But we take it, day in and day out, like an obedient pet who thinks it’s normal to be yelled at before being allowed to eat. Americans are dumbasses.