Thursday 11 October 2012

Cracked Conservatives

Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. One thing I failed to touch on during my short discussion about the Tories the other day is their lapse into political lassitude, or decadence. As a party in long-term decline, their decomposition is manifesting itself in an almost entirely negative programme for British capitalism. Sticking to their ludicrous deficit reduction strategy when every available indicator is sounding the warning klaxon is one sign of the historical dead end they're in.

However, Conservatism in the US of A is in an even more advanced state of decay. Witness these two examples:
After Arkansas State Representative Loy Mauch (R-AR) has been outed by the Arkansas Times for his pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy letters to the editor over the past decade. Mauch’s run for reelection this year is backed by the Arkansas Republican Party.

In letters to the Democrat-Gazette, Mauch vehemently defended slavery and repeatedly suggested Jesus condoned it:

If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861? 
The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity.

His other letters call Abraham Lincoln a Marxist and celebrate the Confederate flag as “a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.” He also organized a conference in 2004 praising John Wilkes Booth and calling for the removal of an Abraham Lincoln statue. Mauch has been supported mainly by contributions from the Republican Party and other Arkansas candidates.
And how about this fella?
A candidate for the Arkansas legislature, Charlie Fuqua, says children who don’t demonstrate “respect for parents” should be put to death, the Arkansas Times reports. Fuqua is a former member of the Arkansas legislature and has received support from the Arkansas Republican Party and two sitting members of Congress. 
Here’s the key passage from Fuqua’s 2012 book, “God’s Law: The Only Political Solution“:

The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:

Fuqua helpfully notes that “This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children.” Rather, parents would have to “follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children.” Fuqua assures the reader that, in his view, the procedure would “rarely be used.” The threat of death would, however, “be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.’
Complete originals here and here.

The articles say that Arkansas state Republicans have withdrawn their official backing for both candidates, so some residual semblance of sanity remains.

It almost makes you thankful we only have to put up with the likes of Gove, Gideon, IDS, Dorries, Aidan Burley, etc.


asquith said...

And the likes of Hunt, Dorries et al are doing their utmost to turn this country into America, so there's zero grounds for complacency.

Let us also bear in mind this gentleman:

It's a very telling point, and one you'll forgive me for not labouring, that he is right in a crucial sense: the Old and New Testaments don't condemn slavery. "Saint" Paul said being nice to slaves was a good idea, he never said having slaves was a bad one.

You've got your Wilberforces in the abolitionist movement, but how come his Christianity led him to the exact opposite conclusion reached by Christians (and, naturally, others) down the centuries towards the issue?

I'm still too young for cynicism, just about. And yet when we've got a 14 year old girl being shot for thinking it might be nice for girls in Pakistan to enjoy the rights our daughters have, and all manner of shite, it's hard to avoid totally despairing.

Phil said...

I don't do despair. The world is a shitty place, but I do think we have the wherewithal to change it. As a dead French philosopher once noted, where there is power there is resistance.