The following is a commentary in an ongoing series of “Reflections” by John Mill. John Mill is the radio persona of Ronald Bruce Meyer and can be heard on “American Heathen.” “The American Heathen” Internet radio broadcast is aired, live, on Friday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm Central time on ShockNetRadio.com
Visualize No Liberals
A Reflection by Ronald Bruce Meyer
The other day while driving I saw a new bumper sticker that put a few things together in my mind. I had seen before the bumper sticker that says “Visualize World Peace” and found it naively hopeful. I had also seen the lampoon of that bumper sticker which says “Visualize Whirled Peas” and found it vegetably amusing. Then, the other day, I saw a new bumper sticker. What I saw was like being hosed with ice water. It said “Visualize No Liberals.”
I have to admit that bumper sticker upset me, but it should not have surprised me. No liberals? No loyal opposition?
For some time it has seemed to me the right wing, including the Christian Nationalists, who used to be the venerable (and responsible) Republican Party, do not want to operate through a democratic process. In fact, I think they don’t really believe in it.
You see, if the right wing truly believed in democracy… it shouldn’t matter if Obama is the “socialist” they claim he is. The President proposes and Congress disposes. Obama is a president, not a king.
If the right wing truly believed in democracy… moral issues – such as abortion, school prayer, gay marriage, stem cell research, and the like – would not be on the agenda. There is nothing in the job description of President, or Member of Congress, or Supreme Court justice, even remotely requiring any one of them to legislate the morals of the nation.
If the right wing truly believed in democracy… they would support the whole Constitution, including religious freedom, not just the 2nd and 10th Amendments, as lately we heard from Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.
If the right wing truly believed in democracy… they would not be denigrating public education as some kind of government “indoctrination” – as we lately heard from Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. We’d be hearing calls for ever greater funding of this bedrock of American brawn to make it strong. And they’d know at least as much history and civics as a naturalized citizen is supposed to know!
And if the right wing truly believed in democracy… they would support the First Amendment first of all, not just when it protects their friends in business – and certainly not advocate investigating members of Congress for being un-American, as we lately heard from Michele Bachman. Free speech and freedom of religion are so essential to American democracy that we are not American without them. Let me rephrase that: if you do not support free speech and freedom of religion, you cannot claim to be an American and to uphold American principles.
A liberal democracy is not the America visualized by the Christian Nationalists.
Every one of the presidential contenders in the current field of Republicans – but most prominently Michele Bachman and Rick Perry – believes God has told him or her to run for President. And (being Christians all) every one of them swears by a Bronze-age book of fables and forgeries. Do you know how many times the Bible mentions democracy?
Not once. Never. On the contrary, the Bible is all about monarchy.
And if you can accept a monarch in heaven, you have no problem accepting a monarch on earth. Your theology demands it. In Christian Nationalist politics, it is not only tactically beneficial but morally mandated to demonize and dehumanize your opponents. This explains why Christian Nationalists speak, not in the language of politics or social science, but in moral absolutes.
Let me make this as plain as I can make it: Christian Nationalists do not believe in Constitutions. Christian Nationalists don’t want to govern; they want to rule. Christian Nationalists believe in nothing but the will of their mythical sky-god, whose obedience they will use the power of government to force on the rest of us through self-appointed purveyors of piety. That’s their vision. And that’s un-American.
The United States is no more a Christian nation because most of its citizens are Christians than it is a 'white' nation because most of its citizens are white. We are Americans not because we practice revealed religion and believe in Bible-based government, but because we practice democracy and believe in republican government.
How far is it from “Visualize No Liberals” to no liberals in fact? It’s only one election away. Vote for someone who believes in democracy.
Copyright © 2010-11 Ronald Bruce Meyer. To hear an audio version of this Reflection, click on this link: Visualize No Liberals
Throughout most of his legal life, his religious opinion can be said to have been Unitarian. Said Holmes, “the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered that I was not God.”