We've all heard the assertion that marriage has always been between a man and a woman (or women). Many people feel that marriage is a sacrament, that is a reflection of natural law. They say that gays may be free to love who they wish, and to live with those they love, and even have a "domestic partnership' under law, but they have no right to change the (holy) definition of marriage. I find it odd that pundits and journalist never seem to delve into the logic behind this anti-gay truism.
Political rhetoric matters. Words communicate and careful selection of the word which are used can frame an issue and give it power in the mind of those who hear it. Republicans use this constantly with great success. Democrats need to wise up.
"After months stonewalling on releasing more tax returns, Mitt Romney invoked a brand-new explanation for demurring in an interview with Parade magazine set to hit newsstands this weekend: Religion. “Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given [to the LDS Church]. This is done entirely privately."
As our society is rapidly transformed by the increased power and influence of global corporations, conservative Christians seem unconcerned. Since Jesus was noted for his devotion to the poor, and was not respectful of the rich, or the moneylenders, it would seem only natural that there would be some conservative Christian criticism of the corporate agenda, but I don't read any.
Employer provided Health Care Insurance is one of the most common categories of "in-kind" compensation. Current media discussion has not addressed the question of whether it is fair to use this form of compensation to restrict access by employees to health care services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the employer.
The Catholic bishops demand that corporate entities affiliated with their church be granted an exception to the rules governing employer provided health insurance. ONE of the rules is about access to contraception, but when considering an exception, lets widen our inquiry.
Progressives are gleefully speculating on the tax avoidance strategies which will be revealed in Mitt Romney's tax returns. All presumably legal, but perhaps shocking to most Americans who have no idea about the loopholes available to the wealthy.
But today I am wondering how Romney's accountant has been handling his Mormon obligation to tithe 10% of his income.
Progressives (like me) believe that the highest card in our deck is the "Social Justice" card. We believe that everyone, if they only thought about it, would support the idea that government should aim to establish a society where everyone can prosper and enjoy individual liberty; a society where the poor are not expendable; and that laws should be formulated by a democratic government rather than be left to the actions of the "free market".
Republicans disagree. To them, "social justice" is a term of contempt and fear, as is "the race card".
Two functions are served by the use of violent political rhetoric:
- it serves to intimidate the political opposition and
- political followers feel "empowered" when they verbally assault "the enemy".
The entire media discussion of right wing rhetoric is overwhelmingly conducted in vague generalities. The question is, "Can't we tone down the angry rhetoric", and the answer is that "Expressing political anger should not be deemed unacceptable. Progressives expressed intense anger and concern during the Bush years." But we are never reminded of the campaign of explicitly VIOLENT rhetoric and demonization. The media is arranging the coverage so that the question of literal INCITEMENT is never even raised.
The Tea Party tribe are locked and loaded, itching to pull the trigger. They know that government is the enemy, and that they must be ready to start shooting when the government eventually goes too far. For thirty years the Republican Party has effectively use hatred, contempt, and greed to motivate the common man. This has been a war dance of propaganda by radio and TV personalities. The rhetorical prelude to attacking liberalism is remarkably obvious, yet oddly accepted. The Tea Party are not just a voting block, they are a private army, primed for "second amendment solutions".
Did Obama negotiate any concessions from the Republicans? Many point to the temporary reduction in the SocSec payroll tax, which will put money in the pocket of wage earners. That seems to be a concession, right?
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