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The Demise of Democracy August 31, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in politics, Uncategorized.
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As a philosophy professor I am very seldom without words; but this video clip leaves me speechless.

Last weekend Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin staged a “rally” in Washington, DC. From reports, it isn’t obvious what the rally was about.

Here is a clip full of interviews of people in attendance. After watching the clip I am even less sure what the rally was about.

I challenge anyone to find a shred of reasoning here. Political thinkers often say that democracy requires an educated public.

How about a public that maintains some connection with reality?

book-section-book-cover2Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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Mama Grizzlies June 28, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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If you have been pining for discussions of Sarah Palin’s political prospects, here is the latest.

Apparently, Sarah Palin has taken to calling her female evangelical supporters “Mama Grizzlies”, invoking her belief that fighting for conservative causes is akin to fighting for your children (or something like that). Are Mama Grizzlies a  new political force like the “soccer moms” of the past election cycle?

According to demographics expert Rudy Texeira, the answer is no

Mama grizzlies seem likely to be just the latest in a long line of media-fueled electoral chimeras for the Republicans. The reality is that female evangelicals are not much of a growth constituency. And white evangelical protestants overall are roughly stable as a proportion of the population. They are no larger at this point than unmarried women—who are a growth constituency—as a proportion of eligible voters.
The growth action on the religious front is among unaffiliated or secular voters, who are the fastest-growing “religious” group in the United States. From 1944 to 2004 the percentage of adults reporting no religious affiliation almost tripled, rising from 5 percent to 14 percent. Projections indicate that by 2024 somewhere between 20-25 percent of adults will be unaffiliated.

This trend, combined with growth among non-Christian faiths and race-ethnic trends, will ensure that in very short order we will no longer be a white Christian nation. Even today, only about 55 percent of adults are white Christians. By 2024 that figure will be down to 45 percent. That means that by the 2016 election (or 2020 at the outside) the United States will cease to be a white Christian nation. Looking even farther down the road, by 2040 white Christians will be only around 35 percent of the population and conservative white Christians (a critical part of the GOP base) only about a third of that—a minority within a minority.

These developments will put increased pressure on the GOP to moderate its socially conservative stance. That stance may appeal strongly to a key segment of their base, but that segment will shrink substantially over time as religious diversity increases. A more moderate approach would have some chance of appealing to this diversity rather than leaving the field wide open for the Democrats. But of course Sarah Palin and her mama grizzlies takes the GOP in precisely the opposite direction

It is a relief that people who welcome Armeggedon are not gaining political ascendency.

Perhaps there really is a God.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

The Press Will Rot Your Brain April 18, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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In a recent Facebook message, Sarah Palin manipulated one of Obama’s quotes at the nuclear weapons summit in a way designed to to make him look anti-American.

Here is the Palin message:

Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?

Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it.

But here is what the President actually said:

But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.

A straightforward reading of Obama’s words suggests that “whether we like it or not” refers to the prospect of getting pulled into conflicts that cost American lives. He is not addressing the question of whether we should remain a superpower but whether we should devote resources to resolving conflicts.

The fact that Palin is either stupid or dishonest is no longer worthy of a blog post—we know she is both.

But what is disturbing is that the Associated Press has a story on Sarah Palin’s criticism of Obama’s remarks about America’s superpower status without mentioning it is an utter fabrication.

Here’s the AP’s lede:

Sarah Palin criticized President Barack Obama on Saturday for saying America is a military superpower “whether we like it or not,” saying she was taken aback by his comment.

It is a given that politicians will distort the messages of their opponents. It should not be a given that the press refuses to point out their dishonesty.

All of our institutions are under threat, but none has fallen farther and faster than mainstream media. No one has any reason to get their news from them.

 book-section-book-cover2  Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

She’s Back November 19, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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Since Sarah Palin is back in the news, it’s worth revisiting some golden oldies from last year.

Juan Cole shows how closely the beliefs of Sarah Palin resemble those of fundamentalist Islam.

On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick. 

McCain pledged to work for peace based on “the transformative ideals on which we were founded.” Tolerance and democracy require freedom of speech and the press, but while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin inquired of the local librarian how to go about banning books that some of her constituents thought contained inappropriate language. She tried to fire the librarian for defying her. Book banning is common to fundamentalisms around the world, and the mind-set Palin displayed did not differ from that of the Hamas minister of education in the Palestinian government who banned a book of Palestinian folk tales for its sexually explicit language.

Read the whole article.

And here is a wonderful review of Sarah Palin’s “book”:

Now we are faced with the daunting task of wrapping our minds around the Palin memoir Going Rogue, appearing atop a bestseller list near you. Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can’t write, intended for an audience that doesn’t read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn’t think. God is dead.

She is fun and she is scary.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com