But one Republican official in Oregon, Washington County, Oregon, Republican chairman Gary Bray, caught up in the rhetoric, found himself out of a job when he claimed that Democrats were to be equated with communists seeking “utopian enslavement” and that liberalism was an atheistic cult. If you look at the title of his self-published magnum opus, “Brayn Food: For the Tea Patriot Hungry for the Truth,” you won’t be surprised.
“The Democrats,” old, white, and angry lumber magnate Bray said, “have replaced personal morality with social morality which means to be a good person you no longer have to worry about your personal failings but your societal failings…You can be a drug addict, leave your family in shambles or steal from your boss but, as long as you drive a Prius and are concerned about polar bears, you are a good person.”
Bray’s troubles began, as these troubles so often do, when he sent out an email to precinct officials. Who knows what he was thinking? Maybe he thought this crap would actually be well-received, unlike all those other emails other Republicans have sent out that got them into hot water and out of jobs.
The Oregonian called the email “provocative.” Greg Leo, the chief of staff for the Oregon Republican Party, apparently agreed; he was quick to point out that Bray was not speaking for the party, saying, “We do not endorse or support what he is saying. Those are his beliefs, not the party’s.”
The Oregon GOP seems aware that things went bad in 2012 when too many Americans were expelled from their party’s teensy weensy little tent, and that needlessly alienating even more people was not the best means of growing the party back.
Bray apparently read too much Ann Coulter before he went on his tirade, saying in his email that,
Liberalism is a Godless religion whose High Priests are scientists. Since they don’t believe in God or a superior being the only people who can explain; existence or truth are scientists. They won’t accept the “myth” of creation so they have to have the scientist explain our coming to being through evolution. According to evolution the top of the evolutionary chain is man which means that the only thing superior to man is a more intelligent man or a group of men together like government or science. That should disprove their theory right there.
Odin’s ravens! I believe in more gods than Bray, and I’m the atheist? This fellow entirely misses the point of liberalism, which is liberty. Unlike Republicans, I’m free to worship, as Jefferson put it, twenty gods or no god.
Bray, a member of the party which has politicized science, and which has been waging an unrelenting war against science, had the temerity to claim that “The truth is science has been corrupted by politics and now is closed to competitive theories and will destroy careers of non believers.”
I’m sorry, Mr. Bray, but dinosaurs walking around with people isn’t a competitive theory in this universe or in any other. Even Pat Robertson knows that.
And so, of course, the old “war on Christians” meme pops up:
While they look with sanctimonious disdain at Christians and their religious myths and intolerance to be scoffed at they will spend untold millions on frauds which have no credible proof. It takes far more faith to believe in evolution than God when you look at the extremely long odds of random evolving of our complex species yet they laugh at the idea there may be a creator. Both take large amounts of faith to fill in the gaps yet one’s is laughed at while the other is taught in every institution in the country. The reason is these institutions have agreed that evolution is true through consensus which means all gaps in the theory are ignored completely and questioning is stopped. Anybody who argues against the so called proof or evidence are declared heretics to their religion and not admitted into the church of science. This consensus tactic has been repeated throughout liberal politics to declare their ideas right and any dissention attacked.
Bray not only proves that he fails to understand that science is not something, like religion or gods, that you believe in or not, but he went on to reveal that he had learned nothing at all from the GOP’s 2012 debacle, claiming that “if we find candidates who can articulate Conservatism there are enough people to vote for them.”
I think 2012 just proved this sort of thinking is a clumsy lie Republicans tell themselves so they can feel better.
But Bray stubbornly concluded that, “Rather than trying to be like liberals with all their group dividing “isms”, let’s explain how capitalism and God free you rather enslave.”
Yeah…I don’t think that’s going to sell. He fails to see that it was liberal success at uniting various “isms” as he puts it, that gave Democrats success in 2012. Rather than expelling from the tent, the Democratic Party invited these disparate groups into the tent and found ways to work together to achieve their mutual goals.
It’s called compromise. You know, the thing that made the U.S. Constitution possible in the first place. Bray seems to think that shrugging off thoughts of consensus tightening the ranks, and soldiering on is the path to victory (his exact words were, “rather than following the affirmative action consensus model let’s promote leaders who will lead the followers into our ranks and start attacking the cult”).
Well, happy days. Bray paid for his backward-thinking remarks. The Oregonian reported yesterday that Bray is out:
Gary Bray, the newly elected Washington County Republican chairman, resigned his post just hours after The Oregonian published a controversial email in which he accused Democrats of seeking “utopian enslavement.”
Bray said the political position had not been a “good fit” for him. Gosh, ya think? The Oregonian further revealed that “Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, in a phone interview from Washington, D.C., said that Bray resigned before he had a chance to encourage him to do so.”
“It was the appropriate thing to do,” said Starr, adding that Bray “wasn’t going to be effective” at helping elect more Republicans to office.
“We’ve got to build bridges,” said Starr, “and Republicans have a record in this state of working in a bipartisan fashion with their colleagues across the aisle.”
What a refreshing idea! Talking to Democrats instead of de-legitimizing liberalism itself.
In his email, Bray proved he still didn’t get it, saying that the problem was that people just couldn’t take a joke:
We had fun over in East County and kept it light so if I sent an email that may have a joke in it or was not someone’s cup of tea they simply laughed it off and moved on. Not so with the rest of the county so before I invest anything in this job I really have to say no.
Oh, so it was all in good fun. Yeah, go back to your lumber business, Mr. Bray. You won’t be missed, I am sure. Petty Republican oligarchs are, unfortunately, a dime-a-dozen. If the GOP wants to become relevant again, it will need to recognize that both conservatism and liberalism are legitimate ideologies and that America needs a healthy, vibrant, and more moderately attuned Republican Party.
There will always be extremists like Bray, but we have seen what happens when the extremists get into the driver’s seat. The whole world saw it, and has paid the price. Let us hope Bray is just the first of many Republicans to discover that “talking across the aisle” is not treason, either against his nation or against his god.
Image from OregonRepublianParty.org
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.
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