Can you imagine a United States where the president and vice president hate the world’s second largest religion and invite into White House councils those who advocate military action against whoever we feel might be a threat, including, particularly, Iran.
That’s the scenario being faced, incredibly enough, by the people of the United States. President Obama’s pragmatic, sober approach to diplomacy has restored the reputation of the United States and we are on the verge of escaping both long wars embarked upon by the Bush administration.
But Mitt Romney wants to abrogate control of America’s foreign policy – to Israel – which wants to attack Iran. He may have noticed we just got done with a nearly-ten-year-long-war in Iran’s neighbor, Iraq. He may have noticed that we are still engaged in Afghanistan, a place even Alexander the Great could not entirely subdue, a place that was a graveyard and charnel house for the mighty Soviet Union.
And now he wants to involve us in an attack on Iran.
Because if Israel writes a check, we all know who backs that check up. It will be the U.S. military doing Israel’s bidding, and the president of the most power nation on earth will become Israel’s de facto lackey.
That’s one aspect of a Romney America.
Another is the crusading mentality all too prevalent in Republican circles. Fundamentalist Christian influence over Republican politics is at an all-time high since the process of infiltration began with the defeat of Goldwater’s 1964 presidential bid.
Fundamentalist Christians hate Islam. They contend that the prophet Mohammed was a pedophile and criminal. They contend that Muslims worship a demon or demons, that they are Pagans, if their beliefs can even be called a religion. Many of them believe that Islam should not be protected by the First Amendment.
These are incredible claims to be made in a country that is based on the idea of tolerance and pluralism. Thomas Jefferson himself said it made no difference if a person worshipped twenty gods or no god. But now Jefferson is turned into an Evangelical Christian and the Constitution is relegated to second place after the Bible.
And they think this state of affairs is normal. They think it makes sense.
But the United States is not a sort of Protestant Papa State. It was never meant to be. It was meant to be a place that, unique in the Western World, did not promote or embrace state-sponsored religion.
The Republican Party IS state-sponsored religion in that it is as much a theology as a political philosophy. You can’t vote Republican without also voting fundamentalist Christian and you can’t vote fundamentalist Christian without also voting that Old Testament wrath and ruin replace Jesus’ Beatitudes.
In the Republican universe, people don’t hide their prayers away as Jesus admonished but parade them boldly in mass rallies hosted by presidential candidates. In the Republican universe, it isn’t the poor who are blessed but the rich. It isn’t the rich who can’t get into heaven but the poor, because the fact of their poverty proves they’re not worthy of heaven. In the Republican universe, you don’t love your enemy, you hate him, and you don’t just hate him, you destroy him. In the Republican universe, you don’t turn the other cheek, you kick-ass.
A warped crusading mentality pervades Republican politics. We all saw the beginnings of that in the Bush administration, but even Bush the Evangelical admonished Lt. General William Boykin for his anti-Islamic comments.
The Romney team welcomes Boykin with open arms. He is a hero.
In a Romney America, my god is bigger than your god. And your god doesn’t get any First Amendment protections because, well, it really isn’t a religion in the first place, is it? It’s a cult. Cults aren’t protected.
And let’s be straight about this: the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that bans the establishment of state religion actually creates Christianity as a state religion.
It doesn’t work. It’s completely impossible by the wording. But that’s the story and they’re sticking to it.
That’s Romney America. An America where the president and vice president are cheerleaders for intolerance, championing religious bigotry like medieval popes, launching crusades with a negligent wave of the hand, all the while excoriating other religions for their violent attitudes.
There is no doubting terrorism is evil. The attack on the World Trade Center was evil. But America sacked Iraq. We went in there, declared an illegal war, and sacked the country as surely as Alaric and his Goths sacked Rome. And we were a lot less gentle about it.
America under the Bush administration became the new barbarians, an rogue state, embracing a bullying, piratical foreign policy. President Obama changed that. He didn’t apologize for America contrary to Romney’s repeated charges. But if he had, it would not have been undeserved.
We owed the world an apology for our behavior. We condemned the Nazis for illegal wars at Nuremberg, but then put ourselves above the law in declaring our own.
And Team Romney has the same neocon thugs behind their foreign policy stance as Team Bush, making this election not only a choice between the Bush-era economic policies than tanked our economy and change, but a choice between the Bush-era foreign policy that stuck the public with two unfunded foreign wars, and change.
Change looks pretty good, to be quite honest. Nobody wants a war. Polls make that clear. Even Republicans want out of Afghanistan. There is no support for an invasion of Iran. But there is plunder there. Another nation to be sacked by America’s wealthy pirate leaders; leaders who will be given full control over a Green Zone redux where graft and corruption lay waste to yet another Middle Eastern country and tank America’s reputation once more.
At some point, though neocons seem unaware of this, the rest of the world will tire of America’s bullying behavior. And when that happens, we will all pay for the sins of our leaders, just as the German people once paid for the sins of theirs. These thugs talk about a “new American century” but what they really want is an “old European century” with America in the place of the old imperialist colonial powers, pretty much doing whatever they wanted on the world stage, all in the name of God.
It’s no wonder at all they excoriate Obama as an anti-colonialist. He stands against everything they believe. It would be nice if this was just a political election but unfortunately we’re not going to escape without a Talibangelical jihad against our hated anti-biblical Constitution and a tolerant, pluralistic way of life. We have come to that moment the Founding Father’s feared, when the New World becomes the Old.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.