This blog is not really about politics, but in today’s world, with religion and politics becoming more and more intertwined; I spend a lot of time discussing politics with clients, students and practitioners. I am always reminded of the following line:

When religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows.
Rev. Mother Romallo
“Dune” by Frank Herbert

So lets get into it and see what we can make of things…

First of all, I am neither a Republican or a Democrat, I am what George Carlin used to refer to as a free thinker. I find out as much as I can about the issues and/or the candidates and then make my own decisions.

I will listen to the corporate media in this country for their perspective, but I am quite aware of the fact that they tend to slant their presentations and their coverage based upon their own needs, read financial. I have no doubts that the media in America has a vested interest in politics for both access and financial reasons.

The access can be many things, but one that I became aware of in 2001 was from several friends at Disney who said that the ABC News division had been made aware that if they presented stories that were not in the interest or perspective of the Bush administration, they would find access restricted. What does that mean? Two quick examples…

  1. Every media outlet, supposedly, has members in the White House Press Core. While the administration would not evict a reporter from a network or outlet, they may never be called upon to ask questions during a press conference or just very late into it.
  2. We all see those lovely interviews on Sunday morning and other times with the big players in Washington. What does a network do when they can only get 2nd or 3rd string interview?

I think the part of this that bothered me the most was that I have always been a firm believer in the concept of a free press and this was a slap in that ideal’s face. It became even more frightening to me after September 11, 2001 and the things that happened in Washington and the media afterwards.

The Republican fall from grace

I was raised in a Southern Baptist Republican home. I was taught many things that have stayed with me until this day and in many ways find myself agreeing with many policies of “conservative” politics. Now before you freak out about this, understand that when I speak of “conservative Politics” I am referring to it as it was by Barry Goldwater, the father of conservatism.

This form of conservatism involved the concepts of self-responsibility and government staying outside of the privacy and sanctity of the home. Funny, the neo-conservatives of today would classify Goldwater as a left-leaning liberal by their current stances.

For me, the Republican Party started to fall out of favor during the Reagan/Bush administration. I became quite aware that many of my friends were getting ill with GRID, as AIDS was called at the time, and the administration did not care. The people getting this strange illness were homosexuals, drug addicts and immigrants; people the Ronald Reagan didn’t count as part of his America.

I always found it a touch ironic that he later cut the funding for Alzheimer’s disease and the same disease would be a substantial player in his own later life and death. There was a joke (?) that went around for a while that went something like: He forgot 100,000 Americans during his presidency and later forgot everyone else as well. A touch crass, but many people still hold strong feelings about the lack of care by the “Compassionate Conservatives” of the time.

During the Clinton Presidency, the Republican Party continued to show its true colors by spending years and millions trying to remove Clinton from office. The looked into and screamed about every appearance of impropriety. Basically they came across, to me at least, as a bunch of spoiled children that were unhappy they did not get their way.

Later, as a nation, we were told that when President Clinton wanted to do something about Osama bin Laden, that there was nothing to it and all he was trying to do was divert attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal that was going full force at the time, August 1998. Three years later we would find that the target had been valid.

By the time the current administration came into power, sic, I had pretty much lost all respect for the party as a whole, but I also realized that the party has been co opted by two differing factions with completely different goals, one though was more than willing to manipulate the other. These two opposing forces that seem to have united are the Religious Right and the Corporate Elite, for lack of a better name.

The Religious Right has a morality that is based upon its belief structure and the only aspect of it that gets to me is their attempts to encode these beliefs into the law of the land. I support the privilege to live as one chooses, but forcing others to abide by it is just wrong. Sadly, these people tend to believe that morality is about rules and regulations; if this is the case, then lawyers are the most moral individuals out there.

The other group that has seized power in today’s Republican Party is the Corporations and “Special Interests.” Now I have no problem with business making its voice heard, but it has been a serious mistake to allow Corporate culture all the rights and privileges of the citizenry with none of the responsibilities or moral ethics required of individuals. Corporations only do the right thing when it is profitable to them; this has been mandated by the Supreme Court in some of their decisions.

I think that the Religious Right is in for a rude awakening when they awaken to the fact that they have been used as a voting block and the “Business” side does not share their morality and will dump them as soon as they become a burden or less than profitable.

To be continued…

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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