Friday, January 21, 2011

Values and Principles, Through the Looking Glass

The Republican/Conservative mantra is "Values and Principles". As though the phrase itself was an unassailable symbol of all that is good and right. You can't argue about it, you can't refute it. It is as though these three words were a transliteration of "We the People...".

To anyone listening to the spouting of this phrase with a critical ear, you would hear just emptiness. No definition, no codification, no intellectual tenacity. Just the thud of bombastic obfuscation. If you ever tried to read more than a few paragraphs of the Unabomber's manifesto, or the pamphlet's of some fugitive cult leader left on you parked car's windshield (I'm looking at you Tony Alamo), you know about the avalanche of dubious and empty claims, insane false logic, and hopelessly muddled ideas mashed together in total incoherence.

The Republican/Conservative tag team of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are both major purveyors of this sort of claptrap. For hours upon hours each day, these two claim to speak for America. They speak about "values and principles'. They thunder and harangue. They lie and they distort. They both have shamefully huge audiences. Their verbal puke is swallowed whole by a frighteningly large number of people.

But they don't say anything. They are both known substance abusers and clownish entertainers, both with roots in different radio formats than the platforms they now hold. Does anyone think it prudent to have the tone of political discourse in this country set by a top 40 dj, or a refugee from the morning zoo?

Sadly, that is the state of affairs we find ourselves as a country stuck with today. Two major political parties, unable and unwilling to govern. Republicans, spurred on by the lunatic Conservative fringe, seek only to dismantle government and the citizenry be damned. Democrats, fragmented and timid, are unable to seize and hold power, and lead with any kind of effectiveness.

It's hard, very hard, to be optimistic about the next two years. 

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