CJ Werleman's just published Atheists Can't Be Republicans.
That atheists are secularists is one reason why atheists can’t be member of today’s Republican Party.
The Grand Old Party (GOP) is ... a theocratic sponsor,...
Atheists can’t be Republicans because the economic and social policies of the Republican Party have been proven abjectly false and dangerous. Much in the same way religion is false and dangerous. In other words, atheists who cling onto modern U.S. conservative ideology are hanging onto ideas that have either been proven mythical at worse or remain unproven at best. If atheists applied the same litmus test to their political ideology as they do to theology, then clearly an atheist cannot be a Republican.
Atheists are the fastest growing minority in the country. We now have the critical mass to shape elections and policy. Were atheists able to establish a monolithic political demographic, one that is based on proven economic and social policies, then our potential political power would translate into saving this country from the clutches of the American Taliban and Wall Street.
On the other hand, the author also says,
... I have come in contact with as many idiot atheists as I have with idiot Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
The Republicans make good points as well.
- Republicans tend to be realistic about our need for energy and to use resources, as in oil drilling. Many people hate the idea of drilling - they push it offshore into deep water, for example. But those same people also want to drive their cars and have other benefits from oil. I appreciate the realism.
- Republicans tend to be in favor of free markets and competition. The free market is a powerful force for efficiency and for giving consumers what they actually want, not what some bureaucrat thinks they want.
- Bureaucracies should not be involved in our lives any more than is necessary. When Republicans are in favor of limited government, they are pushing for freedom.
- When the government spends more than it takes in, that is probably bad for the economy. It causes inflation, which eats away at people's savings.
These things have their limitations. I don't believe in an unlimited free market.
But, why don't other people try to see some good in Republican positions? All I have read, have been generalized statements picking out the faults that you see - making a negative caricature of the Republicans.
The people who disagree most, often have most to teach you.
This is also true of social conservatives like Thomas Sowell. He often has good observations.
I find reading conservative commentary to be useful. I don't agree with everything they say, obviously. BUT, the conservatives make good points that are left out of liberal commentary!
The fact is, we have to get off fossil fuels. That is realism in the rawest form.
Free markets, unregulated, result in growing household income inequality. In some countries, everyone is poor and needs to develop markets. Other countries allow unfettered free markets and they ultimately lead to class warfare. The most successful markets have been when those who produce the goods and services enjoy the benefits of sharing profits.
Our nation had the largest middle class, the lowest poverty rate, lowest infant mortality rates, lowest mother mortality rates, the best infrastructures during the time of high taxation on profits and wealth, and strong regulation of markets. Just look at any method of measuring these factors and you will see the trend lines. In 1975, +- , the middle class began to decline in relative numbers and wealth grew, all the above measures began to decline. Just look at roads, for example. They are a measure of how the economy is going.
The great deficits come about during war, and the USA has been at war since the end of WW I and II. Great wealth was created and if it were not for labor unions, those who produced the goods and services of war machines would have increased the spread of the income gap.
I have read a lot of Tomas Sowell and I see and hear little basic sense in his writings and speaking. His philosophy is flawed.
"The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.
The Apollo Moom Project could not have happened without the use of meetings of people from all over the world. Ed Lindaman had a great hand in making that communication work and all it took was training of those involved. It is a learned skill. To criticize a process that is misunderstood and malpractice is just another sign of prejudice. Sowell, of all people, should understand that.
The reason to confront a line of thinking is because it creates problems that impact people's lives. Hunger is political, so is health care, and wealth gap, and education, and money in elections. These all can be managed with well trained leaders and representatives of government, which, sadly, does not happen.
During the Reagan years I told a conservative and a liberal who were arguing, "You two go right ahead. While your attentions are on each other, we progressives will empty your shelves."
They looked completely mystified.
Luara, you said
Republicans tend to be realistic about our need for energy and to use resources, as in oil drilling.
I don't consider "Drill Baby, Drill!" realism, because it ignores the consequence of fossil fuel burning. People don't need oil-based transport, we need transport. What we have now, with fossil fuel subsidies, isn't remotely free market.
It's important to see the valid motives that Republicans have - not ascribe only bad motives to them.
Some Republicans have a valid concern with the national debt. I hardly ever see liberals mention such concerns - but they affect us all.
Some Republicans have a valid concern with personal freedom and choices, with living one's life free of government interference. Having bureaucracies regulating your life is a nightmare.
Many small business owners are Republicans. They see the downside of big government, in taxes, paperwork and regulations.
Some Republicans have bought Ayn Rand's philosophy, hook, line and that proverbial sinker. She looked at individuals as the primary focus of decision making and failed to observe the need for community. It is very telling that she decried government intervention, yet accepted her Social Security check each month. A philosophy of self leads to failure to see the effects of one's actions. She did not think a country needed a social services network, when, in fact, that is a prime element of the success or failure of an economic system.
A garden gives a good example. A successful, knowledgable, observant gardener has an oversupply of many products. That oversupply, at least in my garden went into baskets to the local community center so people could take what they needed at no cost to them. It didn't hurt me at all to give from my abundance and I met a lot of very nice people by doing this.
Government functions under the same principles; a well run economy is a successful one, producing goods and services, and the creators of those goods and services participate in sharing the profit. Wealth is not created by and for one person. It takes a community to produce goods and services, that create profits. In such circumstances, there is always an abundance, and that can be shared with those too old, too young, too sick or disabled, to have their basic needs met.
Relying on charity leads to two vulnerabilities. 1) Not all people in need are served; 2) charity is a good way to make great wealth, just by skimming off funds into the coffers of those who handle the money.
Many small business owners pay higher tax rates than some corporations. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy. Small business creates more jobs than mega-business, take better care of the land, and practice sustainable farming, for example.
Luara, Repubs attack regulations so angrily that I want to know if they mean to repeal the late-1800s, early-1900s progressive-era's child labor laws, the pure food and drugs laws, the truth in labelling law, and every other protection for people who are not wealthy.
A few years ago, Clinton cooperated in repealing Glass-Steagall, which contributed to the 2008-09 crash.
The party's beloved "job creators" don't create jobs; people who buy goods and services create them.
And as Florida's Alan Grayson said in Congress, the Repub health care plan is "If you become ill, die quickly."
So much anger.
I can't remember the name of the Liberal radio host who calls them this, but I love his term; RepubliCONs.