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A Sick and Broken Spirit

by: AndySchmooklerforCongress

Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:08:33 PM EST

( - promoted by lowkell)

As I said in that video of mine that went viral, we are up against "a sick and broken spirit" in today's Republican Party. What is most important in each issue that arises in our politics these days is to see and attack that dark spirit that the Republicans are expressing.

That spirit is visible behind their position on climate change, and on guns, and just about every other issue on our national agenda.

What's important about climate change is not just the crucial issue of will we act responsibly to avert catastrophe, but also to perceive the grotesque Spirit behind this Republican Party -a Party that, during the election process just past, required its presidential candidates to assert to be false what science is declaring in a loud voice to be true.  

What kind of party would not only allow, but insist upon, disagreement with 97% of the top scientists in the field who are sending our nation, and the world, an urgent message.

What kind of political party would endanger so much of our future in order to reap the political benefits of doing the bidding of the world's richest corporations?  

What kind of a spirit is it that would use a once-respectable political party to play Russian roulette with the lives of our children and grandchildren, and with the health of life on earth?  

With the gun issue, we have the spirit expressing itself through a politics that deals in absolutes and spits on compromise and treats anyone who deviates from what they say as an enemy to be destroyed. The politics of the NRA are mean and they are dishonest. The NRA lies to make people afraid of phony threats to distract them from the real threat from the sick and broken spirit that's working to degrade the lives of Americans and the soul of America.

The fight should be waged at a level deeper than just guns. It should be waged as a fight for the spirit of reasonableness, of mutual respect, and blessed are the peacemakers. The spirit of caring about the greater good.

The Republican Party, as a whole, has absolutely no soul now. They have sold their soul for power. Power at any price. Sold it to that power-hungry and destructive spirit. That spirit is what our political strategy should be designed to attack.

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes:  The Problem of Power in Social Evolution.  

AndySchmooklerforCongress :: A Sick and Broken Spirit
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Video: Marco Rubio epitomized the know-nothing (0.00 / 0)
celebration of ignorance and hostility to science, rationality, the Renaissance, Western thought, etc.  By the way, Rubio's not just 100% dead wrong on the science of climate (there's no doubt whatsoever that humans pouring billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year is having an enormous, harmful impact), he's also 100% dead wrong on the economics. In reality, a clean energy revolution would be a HUGE economic plus for our country, not a negative, and certainly not a major negative as he implies. So why does he say this crap? I suppose he could simply be a blithering idiot/ignoramus, that's one possibility. Or he could know what the truth is, and just be lying through his teeth in order to pander to his blithering idiot/ignoramus "base." Or, it could be a bit of both. Other options? Got me. But one thing I know for sure: nobody should take ANYTHING this guy (or anyone else who is so blatantly ignorant/scornful of science) says, on ANY subject, seriously in any way, shape, or form.

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Rubio: "I'm not a scientist, man" (0.00 / 0)
OK, maybe he really is a blithering imbecile.

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[ Parent ]
it's a kind of arrogance as much as ignorance (0.00 / 0)
This is one of the faces of this ugly spirit, and it's one we've seen since the Bushite years.  It's a spirit that has no humility in the encounter with reality. The same spirit that will not bow down to the law, or to the constitution, or to our important political traditions, will also not submit to the dictates of the way things really are.  As the Bushites got us into deep doo doo in Iraq, refusing to listen to what the experts wanted to tell them about the necessary preparations for occupying a country like Iraq, so also this spirit has brought into positions of power in America people who will not listen to what the climate scientists say, or to what economists have learned over the past three generations, or to anything else that would involve subordinating interest and prejudice to the truths that honest inquiry discloses.

[ Parent ]
My view is that if someone's thinking is so flawed (0.00 / 0)
that they deny science (or some other basic truth that honest inquiry discloses), we should be VERY cautious about trusting them on ANYTHING. What do you think of that view?

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[ Parent ]
yes, that would be enough (0.00 / 0)
I agree, Lowell, that anyone who does not have a healthy relationship with the truth should not be anywhere near the levers of power.

But it goes beyond that, because the lack of intellectual integrity is but one of the faces of this dark and dangerous spirit that's taken over one of our two major parties.

What has the GOP done in the past dozen years that has been constructive for the nation? I can hardly think of a thing.  When they've done the right thing --like not forcing us over the fiscal cliff or like a short-term raising of the debt ceiling-- it's been for the wrong reasons.

I say --and I say this seriously, and as one who dedicated decades of his adult life not to waging battle against opponents but to building bridges and finding common ground; and I say this as one who has studied, taught, and written about American history-- I say that never in the history of the United States has a major political party been so thoroughly dishonest and destructive as what this Republican Party has become.

I hope people here will follow my unfolding series, "Swinging for the Fences," in which I will lay out as clear and deep a picture as I can of the extraordinary and dangerous drama that's being played out in our politics in our time, with the rising to power on the political right of this "sick and broken spirit."

[ Parent ]
Long Time Coming... (0.00 / 0)
The GOP made a pact with the Devil when they  assumed that they could pick up the racist South after the civil rights movement and feminism succeeded so well. They were correct. Starting with Barry Goldwater and continuing with Richard Nixon and to the present, Republican systematically drove out moderate Republicans and moved ever farther to the extreme right.

They used the Tea Party movement, which contains many racists and extremists in addition to anti-goverment people, to regain control of the House of Representatives in 2010. Now, with the 2012 election failure, the GOP is desperately seeking new packaging for their extremism.

The nation needs a responsible conservative party. The GOP of today is not that party.  

Krugman on the "Ignorance Caucus" (0.00 / 0)
I discover just now, among the Blue Virginia news articles of the day, the Krugman op/ed --excellent as usual-- that connects fully with the discussion here among our comments about the know-nothingism of today's GOP.  Krugman writes that the Republican Party of today
"dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that's not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach "critical thinking skills," because, it said, such efforts "have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

And he elaborates further with a variety of excellent examples-- seeking to cut off funding for research, or suppressing knowledge that challenges their fixed beliefs, etc.

It's at


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