The new Michigan poll: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/02/santorum-moves-ahea... 

Santorum looks like he's going to have a big win in Michigan, and Romney is being forced to spout faith-based insanities in an effort to survive (as is Obama).  

If Santorum is finally the agreed upon representative of the lunatic right, the Republicans are going to find that they've got a clear and angry split in the Party, with only one damaged winner coming out of the convention, and it won't necessarily be Romney.

While I think the Republican Party will lose the election, I think the cultural divide in the US might equal the Vietnam era. Will this year be the high-water mark of the "social conservatives?" Predictions anyone? 

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The political/social divide is clearly becoming one between secularism and democracy on one side, and an effort to re-create a Darwinian (ironic, eh?) Christian Republic, or at least a return to a past with white Christian men in charge.

Abortion and gay marriage are the major battle lines right now: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/18/us-usa-gaymarriage-idUSTR...

I agree completely.  This election is shaping up to be more about evangelical social issues, which, in my opinion, should be issues at all, and less about important things, like the economy.  It is the main reason I started my blog and I have railing about it all week.  Political and religious moderates, as well as atheists, need to speak up and make themselves heard or risk being drowned out by the Christian Right.

A broad and effective approach should probably be justice and human rights vs. authoritarianism.

I can't find your blog.

 

I would agree with your statement, but that would imply that the fundies would need to accept that they are in fact authoritarian.  My blog is at http://www.reason-being.com  Thanks for looking for it!

Got to your blog, thanks!

Firstly, we aren't appealing to Rick Santorum or Anita Bryant. Their souls are lost.

The products of bigoted and authoritarian entities should be clearly pointed out. You can't hit the proletariat on the head with the Enlightenment, Darwin and sexual equality directly. They've been brainwashed by religious and corporate interests through the acquiescence of TV, People Magazine, et al.

The products? Loss of protections for most workers, loss of reproductive rights for women, the return of discrimination in all areas of public life, diminished educational opportunities and educational quality, unaffordable health costs, crippling debt that justifies further cuts to infrastructure and human well-being, environmental destruction, income disparity, etc., etc.

Where did the debt come from, by the way? Tax cuts for the wealthy and unnecessary wars. The usual Republican debt incurments that they blame on food stamps. 

We may know the root causes of these things but we've got to approach the WalMart shoppers with some care.

 

"we've got to approach the WalMart shoppers with some care."  Great line. 

I agree no point in appealing to people like Santorum or Byrant.  I do think it worthwhile to appeal to the people who may vote for them.

I agree with what you are saying, I just happen to be a bit more blunt about things when they are so obvious to me.  It is important to communicate in a way that gets people to look at the issues individually and illustrates the costs of the proposed policies.  I have tried to do that in some of my posts, it is hard to do in such a short space---we could easily write a book or two on each topic!

Well, thanks. We've got to use euphemisms such as Wal-Mart shoppers for the US proletariat, social conservatives for dumb-ass Christians, etc. To be effective, we can't just let it slop out. They can't handle the truth - at least in the form of a bucket-full of the raw stuff. There's a lot of inertia to overcome.

Very true.  I would love for you to make some comments on my site in the future (if you would like to).  I think they would be helpful to generate some good discussions.

If there's a place for comments, of course!

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/nyregion/christie-vetoes-gay-marr...

Just in - Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, a favorite for the VP nomination, just vetoed a gay marriage bill. This has a positive in it.

It helps put the Republicans more clearly in the position of being hostile to most Americans. Add up all the folks they consider degenerates and they are left a distinct minority.

They're going to lose this year as a result of pandering to the social conservatives at the outset. The losses will cause the corporate interests to drop the idea of trying to harness these idiots to win elections.

That's my prediction. I'm feeling optimistic today. 

"...we've got to approach the WalMart shoppers with some care." NOT a great line.

I'm a atheistic, progressive activist. At Walmart I pay a dollar less for a box of my fave cold cereal, two dollars less for my fave citrus juice (than at Lucky/Safeway).

"Walmart shopper" is of course a stereotype, but with some statistical backing.  I also shop at the local Walmart supercenter regularly, for the convenience and for the generally low prices.  But every time that I'm in the store, and especially in the checkout aisle, I can't help wondering what I'm doing there.  It would be worthwhile to gather some statistics on Walmart demographics... level of education, religious orientation, political leaning and so forth.  Speaking purely speculatively, I would expect quite a trend, relative to what we see in say Kroger, Albertsons, Meijer, Safeway and so forth.

For whatever reason, the phrase "workers and peasants" has never found appeal in America, either in academic parlance or in self-identification by people who really are workers and peasants.  To refer to small-town and rural dwellers as "American peasants" just sounds ridiculous - except that it's not.  In many practical regards, I myself am a peasant.  It's not a pound of pride of defensive antagonism, but merely a broad yet somewhat accurate demographic generalization.

I agree with you Michael.  I found the use of the term "Walmart Shoppers" to a rather comical way of saying the same thing you are.  "Peasants" do not exist in America.  What I think Phil was referring to, though I will let him speak for himself, but at least the way I took his meaning could be better stated as "blue collar conservatives". 

Without any real data, and just from my own experience, the "blue collar conservatives" tend to be very religious, and often very conservative.  They do not seem to understand that the Republican Party is not really looking out for their interests.  I have found that group, of which I know many, including family to be the toughest to have a rational conversation with on any of the topics referenced in this blog.

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