08.19.08 The GOP’s 3-1/2-Legged Stool – Part I
Part I: An Unholy Alliance of Two Legs
On the simplest level, the GOP is a coalition of the hyper greedy and the pompously pious. The gazillionaires and the preachers in bed together, making the world safe for Mammon and Jesus, at the one and the same time.
It’s always been a bit of a dilemma for me to decide which part of this unsavory coalition I fear and loathe more.
On the one hand, I have some respect for the religious freaks. At least they (the foot-soldiers for god, if not their ceaslessly hypocritical leaders) believe in something greater than their own narrow and immediate self-interest. Though their values are chilling, at least they have values: they are trying in their own misguided way to make the world a better place.
Not so the corporate chieftans, stock brokers, and professional athletes. They don’t give a shit about the state of their next-door neighbor, nevertheless the world. Hell, they don’t even give a shit about the world their own children will inherit (as evidenced by their decades-long assault on environmentalism as a threat to their ability to keep raking it in). They are so completely selfish that they barely pay lip-service to grander causes.
The truth is that I have no respect for the greedy, but feel a helluvalot less threatened by them than I do by the pious. Perhaps it’s my own (relative) wealth that gives me the luxury of fearing threats to my freedom of conscience more than the threats posed by unhindered, rapacious, all-consuming, damn-the-torpedoes greed. Maybe if I were wondering where my next meal were coming from, I would find comfort in an absolutist view of god as my protection against greed.
It is, of course, one of the great ironies of this greed-god coalition that it deceives poor Americans into voting against their economic self-interest.
But there’s no doubt who I would rather have a beer with.
Next: The other 1-1/2 legs.
©2008 Keith Berner
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