Monday, November 21, 2011

American Theocracy

The always frightening Rick Santorum told Iowa Republicans this weekend that everything immoral -- according to his interpretation of Christianity -- ought to be illegal:
Our founders understood liberty is not what you want to do, but what you ought to do. That’s what liberty really is about. . . . God gave us rights, but He also gave us laws upon which to exercise those rights, and that’s what you ought to do. And, by the way, the law should comport—the laws of this country should comport with that moral vision. Why? Because the law is a teacher. If something is illegal in this country because it is immoral and it is wrong and it is harmful to society, saying that it is illegal and putting a law in place teaches. It’s not just—laws cannot be neutral. There is no neutral, Ron. There is only moral and immoral. And the law has to reflect what is right and good and just for our society.
Whenever some anthropologist says that we just can't understand people from other societies because our assumptions are so different and so on, I think, how could anybody's way of viewing the world be more different from mine than Rick Santorum's is?

1 comment:

leif said...

it's superbly disappointing how dualism -- the simplest, least enlightened, stone-age approach to understanding an issue -- appears to be the sole lexicon of many political leaders (santorum's voice being one of many in a pathetically unoriginal dirge). it has infected discussion of even politics itself to the point where any discussion of political stance must conform to the liberal/conservative trope, leaving no one capable of viewing the liberal/conservative axis as one of two axes, where libertarian/authoritarian forms the other.

this narrowing of the political road seems designed -- yes on purpose -- to exclude creative discussion, new ideas or heck different ideas, in order to perpetuate the two-party system.

i think every politician currently in and running for at least federal office should be compelled to honestly complete and then publish the results from the political compass quiz so that they not only reflect on whether their own tendencies extend or conflict the goals of a republic, but as well so we as an electorate can attempt to choose our representatives more by stance, less by eye-catching explosive issues. it would also be illuminating to simulate past presidents' answers to compare against.