A Pagan's Blog

My favorite “hard science” blog, by physicist and science fiction writer David Brin, has the following questions anyone should ask conservatives who claim to love their country:
“…insist that it is just fine for two companies, run by a pair of extreme partisan brothers, to manufacture the nation’s voting machines, never submitting their software code for open testing, obstructing paper trails or auditing, while lobbying for state laws that forbid exit polling, as a last ditch way to verify election results? Wouldn’t that combination make you a little, well, paranoid? That is, if democrats did it.

“…kept buying up newspapers, radio stations and television outlets, aided by rule changes that allow just a few men to control most of the news Americans get to hear? Fabulously rich men who are actively and relentlessly partisan?
“…let politically connected companies control the FDA, write laws, pick the inspectors who regulate them, and allowed Big Tobacco to settle court judgements for one penny on the dollar?
“(Self-check: Admit it! If Cintonite Democrats had done any of these things, you’d be up in arms! So why are you ignoring it now?)
“Don’t you think you would have called it politically “significant” if Democrats were involved in nine out of ten of the lawmaker sex/perversion/corruption scandals, in the last decade? Of course you would!
“You’d call it symptomatic of deeply-rooted Democratic depravity.
“So how do you manage to shrug it off as “irrelevant” when — in fact — it turns out to be GOP lawmakers getting caught as flagrant perverts or crooks, nine times out of ten?
“Is that symptomatic? Deep-rooted? No?
“Why not?
“Among all of the major candidates running for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, five out of six of the divorces… and all of the really nasty ones… are on the GOP side.
“Not important, you say? Not morally indicative?
Would you have said the same thing, if the stats were reversed?

“Well then, would you call it politically “significant” if all if the worst spies to harm America in the last generation happened to be Democrats? Of course you would! You’d call it symptomatic of Democratic wickedness and a propensity for treason.
“So how do you manage to shrug it off as “irrelevant” when — in fact — it turns out that all if the worst spies to harm America in the last generation were, in fact, Republicans?(The Walkers, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and so on.)
“When “abstinence” programs result in much higher teen pregnancy and STD rates than Sex Education, can you be practical and abandon a dogma that failed?
When divorce rates are much higher among fundamentalists than among bluestaters, shall we listen to them preach about marriage?
When they rant against science, doesn’t it embarrass you?
When brazenly doctrinaire fundamentalist groups take millions in your taxes, to use seeking converts, does your copy of the Constitution even cringe?
“When they declare that millions of their fellow citizens are literally and inherently damned to eternal torment in Hell, because of differences in faith, do you squirm, even a little?
“Above all, when those same fanatics publicly yearn for an end to the world — impatiently salivating for an imminent, blood-drenched, Revelations conflagration — shall we rush to give such people control over diplomacy, policy, our military, and nuclear weapons?
“People who pray daily for events that will terminate America should be given control of our nation’s tiller?
“Is this where “conservatism” has gone?
“And is that whirring sound Barry Goldwater, spinning in his grave?
“Oh, but the ironies and hypocrisies go on.
“…responded to a terror attack by grounding all Americans for two days, not allowing them to fly…
“…but meanwhile whisked out of the country, in luxury, every rich or well-connected citizen of a hostile foreign power? The same foreign power from which most of the terrorists had come? Including some relatives and close friends of the plotters? Not even allowing the FBI to ask them any questions?
“Would you have let all that tickle your paranoia bone, if a Democratic president did it? Or would you have shouted treason?

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