Thursday, November 22, 2012

A reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving

As I wrote the day after the election, the most shocking thing to me was that my conservative friends really did think that Obama would lose in a landslide. What this showed me was that they were getting nearly all of their information about the election, and about the world, from right wing media, especially right wing radio and Fox News. So, they were getting spin and propaganda rather than news and opinions. That is to say, their thinking is not based in reality, but rather, is based in the fantasies of ideological purity.

I have stopped being a Republican, so part of me would be happy to see the Republicans destroy themselves, and there is no quicker path to self destruction than self delusion. But I care more about the country than I do about the Democratic Party, which I still view with a distrustful eye. I'm not a Democrat either. There are parts of the Democratic Party that can't be trusted with a budget.

I believe we need a smart, vibrant, reality based Republican Party, and essential to that goal is for those on the right to turn away from Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, et al whose job it is is to get an audience rather than to provide political wisdom. I heard Limbaugh say it very clearly not long ago, that his job is to be ideologically pure.  That is a simple job.  All you have to do is know the ideological dogma and apply it to each and everything in the world, no matter how you have to stretch and distort the world to make it fit.  Thinking is not required, only memory of dogma.  Probably the primary cause of the fall of Communism was the inability of the ideologically pure to see obvious realities all around them that contradicted their dogmas.

I think there are some hopeful signs that this is happening. I am reading that some Republicans are saying that they can't be held to the no-tax pledge of Grover Nordquist, and the are some Republican consultants who are speaking out against Limbaugh. 

Those glimmers of sanity on the political right wing are good reason for my being thankful on this Thanksgiving.

There is  reason to hope that conservatives can regain their sanity and walk away for the fanatics of the Tea Party and the Libertarians and the Evangelicals and become a reality based political philosophy and contribute to our national dialog in a constructive manner. 

Who knows, maybe even the fanatics themselves will start to soften and re-look at their views... well, that is probably a bridge too far.