JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CLIVE CROOK COMMENTS ON REPUBLICAN AND TEA PARTY BEHAVIOR DURING BUDGET TALKS   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The Republican behavior has a long history.

Barry Goldwater, a decent though extreme politician, back in the early 1960s was fond of saying, “…extremism in defence of liberty is no vice…”

The “Tea Party,” really just a sub-caucus of the Republican Party, adhere to that kind of simplistic declaration of faith.

One senses in such adherence more than a tinge of another American social phenomenon, the notion of the endless possibilities of self-improvement held almost as a kind of intense faith in wish fulfillment.

If I want it to be so, and wish or pray for it hard enough, it will be so.

The outer limits of these attitudes are seen in the large groups of fundamentalists who periodically sell their homes and gather in some location, waiting for the Second Coming at a predicted date – something which has happened dozens of times.

Another reflection of the phenomenon was highly visible at the turn of the century. Huge numbers of otherwise seemingly reasonable Americans predicted social collapse and stocked freeze-dried food and ammunition.

We do have millions of American fundamentalists who support Israel out of some bizarre set of thoughts from the Book of Revelations that when certain events transpire in the Mideast, Christ will return. Thus they support Israel in a kind of nihilistic embrace of death.

I believe these extreme attitudes and views have a Puritan origin. They are in the genes, not learned.

That makes them pretty well unchangeable over any reasonable time horizon.

Whenever a bizarre subgroup has leverage over a political system, owing to that system’s inadequate institutions, we get paralysis.

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