Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

People on both sides of the political spectrum believe our country is more polarized than ever, and it is accelerating. I believe they’re right. Why is that? Full disclosure: for those of you who are not regular readers of this column, I’m a conservative. I write from that perspective and with that bias, but I spent fifteen years as a true-believing, politically-active leftist before moving rightward in my world view. Others have followed this left-to-right path including Ronald Reagan and it gives us a wider view of what’s going on around us. Recent rhetoric emanating from the presidential election campaign is focusing my thinking on this political dichotomy.

Into this maelstrom of thoughts last Sunday came my parish priest’s sermon, or homily as we Catholics call it. He reminded us there were not enough priests anymore to say mass at the various “cluster” churches. I called him our parish priest, but he’s actually serving several parishes because priests who serve only one parish are a luxury the Portland, Maine diocese can not longer provide. Hence the clusters of parishes, but even this recent reorganization isn’t enough to provide the basic services we Catholics used to take for granted. Church buildings are closing and being sold on the already-glutted real estate market.St. Andre's in Biddeford, Maine up for sale

So what’s the connection? What resonated in me listening to the homily? Several things, but here I’ll offer a few. I looked around at the people in the pews and the demographic was the now-familiar one in Catholic churches all over Maine and Massachusetts: most of the heads were white or bald. The old vastly outnumbered the young. Numbers-wise, things are bad for Catholics in New England and getting worse. We have too many buildings and not enough people. Too few of the people remaining want to attend mass anymore. Too few men want to serve as priests anymore. Too few babies are being born.

Plenty of people are having sex - probably more than ever - but babies are being prevented or killed when they do form in the womb - about 50 million since Roe V Wade in 1973. Of those allowed to be born, one-in-three have single mothers, three-out-of-four among blacks. The big, ornate, old churches being closed up and sold were built by small donations of immigrants and the children and grandchildren of immigrants who came to the United States to build lives for themselves - religiously, politically, and economically - because they were free to do so here in a country that prized those freedoms above all others. They “asked not what their country could do for them, but what they could do for their country,” to paraphrase that great-grandson of immigrants who was inaugurated president in 1961.
Immigration is increasing, but a growing percentage of immigrants have very different motives for coming here. More than one-in-three now ask what the country can do for them rather than what they can do for the country. They go right on welfare even though many are illegal aliens. Both political parties recruit them, but especially Democrats. Obama Administration officials even recruit them in Mexico with promises of welfare when they arrive.

Maine Governor LePage observed recently that we have more people receiving welfare here than we have taxpayers. Similar trends are evident nationally. Nearly half of Americans pay no federal income taxes and many or those receive checks from the IRS instead of sending them in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Nearly half of Americans receive some form of assistance from the federal government.Nonetheless, an article in the Washington Examiner described a US Government web site “”: “More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.”

There it is. The Obama Administration wants people to depend on more on government than on their families.

“Ask not what your family can do for you.”

“Ask not what you can do for yourself.”

“Ask what government can do for you.”

Those are the principles of the Democrat Party and so-called moderate Republicans. Don’t look to your faith, your family, yourself. Look to government. God is not omnipotent. Government is. Government will pay for your contraception, and if we can get those conservative Republicans out of power, government will pay for your abortions too. Don’t worry. Be happy. This can go on forever. We’ll just keep borrowing from the Chinese and then pay them back with printed money from the fed.Poster signed by Pete Seeger for sale on Ebay

Don’t listen to those conservatives who say we’re heading for bankruptcy. Life is good here on “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” as it says at the end of verse five of the anthem sung by old, communist Pete Seeger:
I'm bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
Don’t strain yourself pulling that wagon. Hop on and take a ride. Vote for Obama.


Anonymous said...

Even this old heretic and mugwump cannot come up with a really good argument against what you say. You still haven't turned me completely but this time I can agree to agree.

Anonymous said...

You're right about many things...

But your party certainly doesn't seem to be:

Average American said...

746 DePsam
"People on both sides of the political spectrum believe our country is more polarized than ever, and it is accelerating. I believe they’re right. Why is that?"

Because the Democratic party has been hijacked by extreme left progressives and the Republican Party has been hijacked by extreme right social conservatives. The 60% to 80% of us in the middle have NO REPRESENTATION in DC. It's time we took our country back, but we also must take back the reins of the political parties----or form new ones!

Ol hickory said...

So, let me get this straight. Both " candidates" are backed by the mega corporate bankster cartel, and you think a vote is going to change anything? You all still believe there is a real difference between the candidates? Really? Obama campaigned on having the most transparent admin. ever. Guess what? He has the least transpareny in history! Whistleblowers? Obama promised to support them. In reality, he has prosecuted more than anyone else. Oh, and not to mention his murder of countless women and children via unauthorized drone strikes in countries we aren't at war with. Libya? What a shame and a disaster. And on and on.
If you think Obama is liberal than you arent paying attention. If you think Romney is going to do anything different you are gravely mistaken.
The Americans that still engage in this left vs right paradigm are afraid of true freedom. You must be!? Why else would you go,along with such obvious lies? Why would you support a system the founding fathers warned against ( two' party system)? Do you look at every issue in your life as having only two sides?
Not to mention the " news " comes from the same corproations that back the candidates!! How the hell can you have debate if thatsnth case?!

Come in people. Time to grow up. Don't you like freedom? Liberty? Our constitution? Stop playing pretend and demand change.

" insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results every time" Einstein-------keep voting, that really changes things. Whatever you do, don't stand up for your rights.

Gonz said...

"The most effective lies have an element of truth. A little truth gives the lie a foothold in the mind and prevents the less vigilant from looking deeper. The false Left / Right Paradigm is no exception. The power elite of this country and the world over have capitalized on common points of contention among world views of the citizenry and have managed to polarize them into two political categories : Liberal and Conservative. This is not to say that these disagreements aren't real. It should be obvious that some people are fiercely for abortion while others are fiercely against it. However, what may not be so obvious is that these points of contention, these wedge issues are little more than distractions that prevent us from uniting.

I know it's a bit inflammatory to refer to an issue like abortion as a distraction. Most people have strong feelings on the subject. I myself have strong feelings on the subject. However, the reality of the matter is that the politicians that use these kinds of issues to get us riled up in one direction or another are just manipulating us and turning us against each other. As long as they can successfully keep us fighting among ourselves over religious and moral controversies, and as long as they can maintain the illusion that the two parties are significantly different we won't pay attention to their collusion on economic and foreign policy and the rampant corruption endemic on both sides of the aisle. On the issues that will determine the course of history and the future survival of this nation the Republicans and the Democrats are perfectly synchronized in the march towards Armageddon.

What it comes down to is the principle of divide and conquer. The people of the United States will never be converted to one religion, and will never come to an agreement on the best way to handle reproductive issues or homosexuality, which is why these issues are used over and over again. Those who pull the strings know that these issues will never be resolved, and they know that most people will can be swayed to make a vote based purely on emotion.

Knowing this gives us the secret to turning this country around. We must refrain from focussing on divisive wedge issues which will never be solved and we must unite under one cause: restore the Constitution of the United States. Without freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, and the guarantee that our government will not torture or murder its citizens we have nothing. The protections provided under the Constitution have been eroded in this country by the Patriot Act and a slew of un-constitutional laws. This should anger you more than someone violating a precept of your particular belief system, because without the Constitution your right to believe what you believe and to speak your mind can and will be taken away. A cursory examination of history is enough to see where we may end up if we allow ourselves to be turned against each other."

Anonymous said...

We are already turned against each other. The 'Loyal Opposition' no longer means anything. Its all hate, hate, hate. Its a shame, we had a pretty good thing going here and I would hate to lose it. The enemy is still us.

Steve said...

“As long as they can successfully keep us fighting among ourselves over religious and moral controversies…” I think you’re right on the money, Gonz. People are never so unified as when they rally behind fear or anger. If politicians and the opinion-based media (msnbc and Fox leading the pack) can keep us afraid, all the better, but they’ll settle for just keeping us angry. If they convince us that the certain salvation of this country can only be found in the strict application of one rigid political orthodoxy while the certain demise of the this country is found in even the mildest flirtation with the other political orthodoxy, then we just become their marionettes.

The irony of this is – I suspect – many of the most partisan liberals and conservatives actually think they’re the most independent and objective in their political assessments.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I have ever run across another american who brags about being a slave. in fact, likes being a slave and promotes only a slave like mentality.

Does true freedom really scare you that much? Really?

You just can't let the rest of us be free?