JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON OBAMA’S EFFORT TO GOVERN BY CONSENSUS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

The political divide in America is more visceral than it is in many other places.

It always has been.

I believe it reflects not just differences of view or understanding but of basic genetic make-up.

The Puritan strain in America gives us not just a tribe of Right Wingers but a nasty contemptuous propensity found in many American political commentators and politicians.

I think it not without some truth that the good folks in America always ready to bomb some society with which they disagree and going back to supporters of the extirpation of America’s First Nations and the supporters of all-out, unforgiving war in the American Civil War are of a piece with the kind of Right Wing politics we see so often in America

The Coulters, the Limbaughs, the Gingriches, the Gramms, the DeLays, etc, etc represent a genetic strain going back to the horrific diatribes of dark souls like John Knox. They were horrible people in the 16th century and their descendants still are.

In America they are sentimentalized as religious refugees in distinctive garb, munching on the first Thanksgiving dinner.

In fact, they were so obnoxious in their behavior in 16th century Europe that no one wanted them around. Many used to go to the church meetings of other groups and raise ugly disturbances, showing absolutely zero tolerance for the beliefs of others. It was mobs of Puritans who ran through the great cathedrals of England hacking up ancient sculptures, burning paintings and manuscripts, and even destroying the graves of historic figures.

Of course, the reality is that after the first Thanksgiving these charming folks busied themselves with destroying the natives who had helped them.

Nothing has changed. This curse remains unlifted.

Unfortunately, America received so many Puritans in its early days while Australia was lucky to get the criminals.

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