Friday, October 16, 2009

Politics as religion in America

"Perhaps the single most profound change in our political culture over the last 30 years has been the transformation of conservatism from a political movement, with all the limitations, hedges and forbearances of politics, into a kind of fundamentalist religious movement, with the absolute certainty of religious belief."

Conservatism has been converted into a religious belief, and now compromise doesn't have a prayer

Neal Gabler writes:
For decades now, liberals have been agonizing because conservatives seem to win even when polls show that the public generally disagrees with them. In their postmortems, liberals have placed blame on the way they frame their message, or on the right-wing media drumbeat that drowns out everything else, or on the right's co-opting of the flag, Mom and apple pie, which is designed to make liberals seem like effete, hostile foreign agents.

It's understandable that liberals prefer to think of their subordination as a matter of their own inadequacies or of conservative wiles. Theoretically, you can learn how to improve your message or how to match wits with adversaries, and a lot of liberal hand-wringing has been dedicated to doing just that. But it is becoming increasingly clear that liberals haven't just been succumbing to superior message control, or even to a superior political narrative (conservatives' frontier individualism versus liberals' communitarianism). They are up against something far more intractable and far more difficult to defeat. They are up against religion. READ MORE