Buddhist Political Action: Robert Thurman’s Meme (UPDATED with petition)

Watch Prof. Thurman’s video below and then go here (the Whitehouse epetitions site) to add your name. In just 2 days that petition has gathered nearly 1000 names with little real publicity. Sign and spread the word.

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Watch Professor Robert Thurman’s discussion of the contemporary situation in the US Congress, where Republicans have signed a pledge to not raise taxes. According to wikipedia, the pledge “was signed by 95% of all Republican Members of Congress and all but one of the candidates running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.” As Lee Fang of The Nation puts it, “Grover Norquist’s iron grip over much of the Republican Party is somewhat puzzling. Why should Senators and other lawmakers listen to a guy caught laundering money for Jack Abramoff?”

Thurman’s argument is that signing such an oath to a private interest suggests that they don’t take seriously their oath of office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

If they are beholden to an oath to Norquist’s group, they are hardly taking their obligation “freely, without any mental reservation…”

The good news, for those who want politicians to serve the country, and not private, billionaire-backed special interests, is that some Republicans are already pealing away from Norquist.

Robert Thurman is Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University. Find out more about him right here.

  • Pingback: Robert Thurman vs. Grover Norquist’s Congressional Pledges

  • tom

    This is the most non-sensical thing I’ve ever read and heard on so many levels that I can not count. It is full of standard liberal thinking that is not outside of the box like I expected. I thought I would read insightful thought but I got the same old standard liberal dung. Terrible I wased 12 minutes of my life on it.

  • Bob

    I love Robert Thurman, the man has a gifted intelligence and is an American Buddhist pioneer. However I don’t think this speech will go down among his greatest moments. This is ho-hum, standard liberal fare. Also I’m not sure that Thurman understands the concept of a ‘meme’. A 12 minute NPR-esque speech is not a ‘meme’


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