Should We Be Worried About Rick Perry? Absolutely

This is a guest post by Michael Tracey. He is a writer based in New Jersey and a former Secular Student Alliance group leader.

***

Some are wondering aloud about whether Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is a sincere religious believer. The man who will probably secure the Republican presidential nomination has certainly made it clear that he’d pursue a biblically-inspired agenda while in office, but I’ve seen a number of people nevertheless assume that Perry’s just another showman — your classic disingenuous politician, whose only goal is to win. And in the process of earning a win, this line of thinking goes, he’ll gladly mollify all the requisite GOP power-brokers to solidify bases of support. I’m not sure which is worse: someone who really believes what Rick Perry and his supporters say they believe, or someone who is just putting on airs. But that’s not really even germane here, because I think there is ample evidence to conclude that Rick Perry is the “real deal” from a conservative Evangelical standpoint. This is what conservative Evangelicals in the political world are saying about him at strategy meetings, conservative conferences, closed-door banquets, and so on. You can choose to think these leaders are either lying or being fooled, but I’m inclined to take them at their word. So here’s how I size up Rick Perry, who in my estimation has about a 70% chance of being the GOP nominee.

Let me start off with something I once thought would be obvious, but many have insisted on disputing. Make no mistake: Rick Perry consciously chose to prelude the announcement of his presidential campaign with a massive prayer rally specifically designed for conservative Evangelical Christians — and not just any prayer rally, but one of epic size and reach. More than 30,000 people attended, tens of thousands more watched via livestream with their churches or discipleship groups, and the freakin’ thing was held in a football stadium. I went, and to say it was somehow “not politically motivated” is just manifestly absurd.

The Response, as it was termed, showcased some of the most resolutely right-wing voices of the American evangelical right — notably including the traditional moral majority folks like James Dobson and Tony Perkins, figures dismissed by some opinionaters as having waning influence in GOP politics. But Perry’s success proves this is clearly not the case. In fact, a Perry victory would mean that conservative Christians will be invigorated and emboldened to an extent that would’ve seemed like a distant fantasy even under George W. Bush. I’m not exaggerating. Here’s a good piece of evidence: some of those libertarian-leaning, business-first Republicans who still exist in the Northeast are starting to get anxious, and have reportedly placed a fresh round of hortatory phone calls to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has long been considered a possible presidential contender. On Fox News Monday night, Karl Rove said there are “vibrations” in GOP circles reverberating around two remaining, savior-like figures: Paul Ryan and Christie. These wealthy donors who work behind-the-scenes — “movers-and-shakers,” in Rove’s words — must be getting desperate, because Christie has remarked just within the past few months that “short of suicide,” there was nothing he could do to convince media questioners that he had zero interest in a bid for president. “I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running. I’m not running,” Christie said. Still, the governor seems to have fielded these high-powered phone calls with humility and grace.

Here’s my point: some Republican donors are visibly nervous for an obvious reason — they know Evangelicals view Perry as the real deal. A true believer. Or, as one preacher from Baton Rouge, Louisiana told me at The Response, “God’s Man.” Not just any old politician who can sling off a few spiritual platitudes for effect, but a deeply-committed Christian who speaks regularly about the power of faith with steadfast conviction. Additionally, Perry’s proven willing to walk the walk. In the runup to last weekend’s presidential announcement, he held several closed-door meetings with leading figures of the Evangelical Right, including one on June 21st that General Jerry Boykin says he attended. Boykin is an ex-military Christian activist who served in Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq. In the video linked above, Boykin can be seen accusing Barack Obama of attempting to create a paramilitary force in America, one that would emulate Hitler’s Brownshirts.

Boykin reported being deeply moved by Perry, who “very humbly stood before a group of us and said, ‘I’m doing this because it’s what God wants us to do.’ It’s not a political ploy.” So Perry has evidently made numerous testaments of religious devotion before these private audiences with important Evangelicals. And I have heard many times now, from enough people in a position to know what they’re talking about, that he’s a rock-solid man of faith.

Get it yet? Perry views himself as the emerging key leader in a bona fide, in-your-face American religious-political movement. A movement that seeks to carry out God’s will by using the tools of the White House. If that doesn’t satisfy the criteria for a domestic religious-political fusionist agenda, I don’t know what would. And I should note that this is not some overblown conspiracy-mongering on my part. I’m simply relating what Evangelical leaders and those familiar with their feelings have told me about Perry. I’ve also perused his well-documented connections with controversial ministries, pastors, and the like. None of this required much digging at all — basic biographical information, for the most part. And we have many months to go before any of the real electoral sparks begin flying, which is plenty of time for reporters to uncover further examples of Perry’s bizarre theological associations. So expect a doozy of a ride.

The prevailing assumption is now that either Perry, Mitt Romney, or Michele Bachmann will win the nomination. It’s still hard to believe that Michele Bachmann has become a serious candidate for president. If you had asked me six months ago which person in the Republican Party simply defies caricature, I would’ve answered by saying Michele Bachmann. Without trying to be hyperbolic here, she represents secular-progressives’ worst fears about the dark depths of the conservative Christian political psyche. Whereas Mitt Romney seems like his commitment to Mormonism can be tempered, Bachmann is a pure Christian activist. That’s how she entered politics in the first place: by getting involved with local school board affairs, in order to argue that Jesus was being unfairly excluded from the curriculum. She also picketed at abortion clinics, went to Oral Roberts University for law school, and cites some of the most virulently Christian Dominionist figures as her philosophical influences. When Bachmann ran for state senate in Minnesota, she listed a biography of Robert E. Lee on her campaign website as recommended reading. The book argues that slavery was “not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect.” This is from Ryan Lizza‘s profile of Bachmann in the New Yorker — frightening but necessary to read. Prepare to become increasingly shocked as it progresses. Bachmann has also said that wives are commanded by the Lord to be submissive to their husbands. When she ran for Congress in 2006, she even described taking a job as a tax attorney on her husband’s orders, even though she was distinctly uninterested in tax law.

So: I hope it’s clear that Bachmann belongs, whole-heartedly, to a Christian nationalist movement. She is of it, and I think there’s little doubt that in her view, attaining the presidency would vindicate all the religious activism that she and her compatriots have carried out over the past several decades — beginning when the progenitors of this ideological tradition were first getting their theory straight in the 70s and 80s. These vaunted figures include men like John Rushdoony, Francis Schaeffer, and John Eidsmo. Google them, unless you’ve already been stressed out enough for today.

While I couldn’t have asked for two better candidates than Perry and Bachmann from a journalistic standpoint, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how damaging the ultimate outcome of this could be for the country. Barack Obama is now polling below 40% for the first time in his term, and the economy seems poised to continue deteriorating for the foreseeable future. Because macroeconomic indicators are nearly always predictive of general election outcomes, this means that Republicans are probably in the midst of deciding who will be the next president of the United States.

Of course, I’m not making a bulletproof forecast. Who knows what could happen between now and November 2012? But it’s pretty clear that an incumbent president would have to overcome very daunting odds to prevail in a political and economic climate like this one. Obama has to bank on the Republicans really screwing things up for themselves, which is exactly the fear right now among some conservatives about Michele Bachmann. Even if they like Michele personally, as many do, they know she’s not quite presidential material, and would make a much weaker general election candidate relative to Perry. In time, I wager, these Bachmann supporters will gravitate towards Perry, as polls already suggest is happening.

Rick Perry is a smashmouth, confident, exuberant, and skillful politician — a winning combination that seems perfectly tailored to the electorate’s desires at the moment. He is uniquely positioned to unify the GOP, which historically has yearned for someone to coalesce around in the primary without getting overly fussy about intra-party squabbles. I am not aware of any other candidate who could so seamlessly bridge the Republican Party’s traditional divide between business and religious conservatives. Perry makes both factions very, very excited. And I think it’s only a matter of time before he wins over the undecided or preliminarily skeptical. So unfortunately, my prognosis is that the Republican nominating contest may well be more important than the general election, which is a scary thought. Secular types have a lot to worry about.

I would argue that aversion to these systems of religious belief, including the relatively more benign one professed by Mitt Romney, is sufficient grounds on which to oppose all three candidacies. Mormonism’s core theology is transparently fraudulent. Interesting as an example of homegrown American frontier religion, yes, but containing enough demonstrably false assertions that electing a Mormon president would be an embarrassing statement to the world about our collective credulity. LDS doctrine includes verifiably incorrect claims about the genealogy of Native Americans, fake Egyptian hieroglyphic messages purportedly translated by Joseph Smith, and is centered around a convicted huckster who worked as a mystical treasure-hunter in the 1800s and claimed that an angel bestowed unto him a sacred breastplate. The Church of the Latter-Day Saints also has a troubled history in the United States. It fought a war against the federal government in 1857-1858 under the direction of Brigham Young, who was a legitimately theocratic governor of Utah. I won’t continue through the entire history of Mormonism, like its bogus “revelation” in the 1970s to finally include black people in church procedures, but you get the idea.

The point is that these candidates are all on the outer fringes of American religious life. And even Mitt Romney, who may well end up becoming the “safe” candidate, has pretty warped views of the relationship between divine and secular law. Recall his awful speech in December 2007, anticipated by politicos as a grand clarification about Mormonism, which was preemptively likened to John F. Kennedy‘s famous 1960 address on Catholicism before distrustful Baptist preachers. Kennedy delivered those remarks in Houston, TX, as it happens — the site of Perry’s prayer meeting. Romney was supposed to dispel any apprehensions about Mormonism’s theological weirdness with the speech, but predictably, he addressed nothing of real interest. Instead Mitt stuck to bromides about how generic “faith” is really what matters in American public life. Faith in what? He never specified, but so it goes.

And to put this in context, while my concerns with Romney are certainly grave, I am far more alarmed about Perry and Bachmann.

Thought experiment: Imagine how all this kerfuffle appears to basically-normal residents of, say, Holland? How can it be that the United States, still one of the world’s admired democracies, appears willing to nominate someone like Perry or Bachmann — people who literally view it as their mission in politics to make secular law comport with God’s will? A scary thought, but the process is now fully underway. And if the financial indicators continue to falter, coupled with persistent unemployment, there’s a very strong likelihood that Obama will be shown the door in January 2013. Many correctly predicted that the Democratic primaries in 2008 would actually trump the general election in overall importance, because for years, all signs suggested that a Democrat was heavily favored to succeed George W. Bush. It was only a matter of which Democratic candidate would prevail. Same idea here with the Republicans, I’m afraid.

I don’t necessarily endorse this view, but a vote for Obama in 2012 might well be justified on the grounds that stopping these religious nationalists from taking over the executive branch of government is a reasonable priority. And I think it’d be a legitimately-rationalized decision. If Obama operatives are somehow behind the Republican Party’s seeming intention to nominate the kind of people who will scare Democrats and secular-minded independents into line, those operatives have crafted a brilliant strategy. There will be many disaffected liberals, progressives, moderates, etc. who simply cannot bring themselves to help allow for a Perry or Bachmann presidency. Either would be a profound disaster for secular government in the United States, which has already been done great damage by Bush. Obama, for that matter, hasn’t shown much willingness at all to change course — especially on faith-based initiatives, which have remained functionally consistent across administrations, save a few minor improvements in the past year or two.

If Bachmann or, to a subtler but still major extent, Perry becomes president, we will have a chief executive who envisions him or herself as the leader of a Christian movement. There is no other way to put it. The normal rule of law in the United States is almost trivial to these people, because it so pales in comparison to God’s law — the real and eternal driving force behind our politics.

An argument can be made that George W. Bush was at least in the same vicinity of these two in terms of religious devotion. Maybe so –- we don’t know a heck of a lot about Bush’s genuine beliefs. He’d always been somewhat ambiguous and reserved when asked about them; maybe he never even gave the matter much thought. Not so with Bachmann and Perry, on a number of fronts. Unlike both of them, George wasn’t noticeably involved in grass-roots religious organizing — salt of the earth ministry, that kind of thing. He was a mainline Methodist who underwent a classic born-again experience at age 40, conveniently timed to come shortly after his wife threatened to end their marriage if George didn’t address his longstanding alcohol problem (he had just gotten a DUI). But Michele Bachmann, on the other hand, will always be a Christian activist at heart — no matter how much she presently emphasizes economic issues. Regarding Perry, many are sure to lazily label him as some kind of Bush clone. But this glosses over important distinctions between the two — Perry is much more extreme, religiously. Recall that Bush at least campaigned with the pretense of “compassionate conservativism,” whereas Perry has no time for any of that softie stuff. And I think it’ll be to his political advantage.

He’ll sail away with this thing in due time. Saddle up, y’all!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • nick

    What’s worse is that my secular stepfather is determined to vote for Perry. He is content to let Perry make this country a living hell for anyone who isn’t a Christian just because he is a businessman.

    • Valhar2000

      Your stepfather does not realize that republican policy is already turning the USA into a 3rd world country? That doesn’t seem to me to be conducive to good business.

      • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

        I have been to lots of 3rd world countries in my life.  The rich there live well.  The poor are VERY poor.  Most are poor.  Those that can afford personal security have personal security (armed guards and the like).  Sounds like the direction that the US would be headed under tea party rule.  It will be good for the firearm, bullet-proof vest, and home/business security business (but bad for society at large).

  • http://www.facebook.com/onanyes Ollie Nanyes

    As far as 2012:  Obama has actually gone UP in intrade to 52 percent. We was briefly below 50.  

  • http://twitter.com/TPRyan007 TPRyan

    I’m worried. Some serious food for thought from the daily beast (Sam Harris linked me to the original blog I reference)… http://coffeelovingskeptic.com /?p=665

  • Justin

    It honestly worries me that there is a very serious evangelical presidential candidate getting this much coverage. If he had shown his ability to keep his religion out of his politics I’d be okay with it but obviously he can’t. I’m also afraid that enough people are tired of Obama to simply vote for “the other guy” and if that guy is Perry we have a very serious problem on our hands

  • Vayaconcarne

    Really thought provoking and well written post, Michael. Also terrifying. I’d say Harold Camping was more or less right except that he was a year or so out, and that this is the first rumblings of armageddon, if I believed in that sort of thing…

    I’m in the UK and if any of those 3 jokers were made president I wouldn’t expect it to affect me immediately, but I’m sure we would eventually filter across to this side of the pond.

    Sadly, you’re right on the money with your thought experiment in which you use the people of Holland as an example. I remember being astonished that George Bush was re-elected, and hard-pushed to find any explanation for it that wasn’t that over 50% of Americans were morons. All the Americans I’d ever met were people with liberal views that were very quick to stress that Bush didn’t represent them, so I really wasn’t expecting him to be re-elected. I suppose the kind of people to vote for that sort of candidate aren’t the types to leave the country that frequently though…

    My respect for the American people was largely won back when Obama was elected, but it could be lost forever if any of those potential candidates get in to the White House.

  • UsuallyScarlett

    Finally someone is taking this seriously!  I’ve been worried since he announced he would possibly run a few months ago.  Rove is going to try and take him down, and former members of Bush’s staff do go for blood, but I’m not sure that the establishment will be able to touch him.  After all, they haven’t managed to contain the Tea Party.

  • Lesle Alvarado

    It’s a terrifying thought that either Bachmann or Perry could end up in the White House. 

    But since Perry threw his hat in the ring, I’ve had uber conservative friends (even someone who isn’t 100% convinced POTUS is a U.S. citizen) proclaim they will vote for Obama before they would for Perry.   That’s how much distaste some of us Texans have for our governor.  It’s somewhat reassuring.

  • Ellavemia

    Reading this, I actually shuddered in fear. I have been viewing all these potentials as far too conservative to win. I’d been naively assuming that Obama, as the ‘least worst’ for many people, had re-election in the bag. He himself is too conservative for my liking as he’s basically given in to all the GOPs demands so far.

    I’m just floored that so many Americans are fundamentalist enough to consider any of these candidates serious contenders. Now I have to consider which would be the least detrimental to our culture, and I suppose that would be Romney. If either Perry or Bachmann are nominated I don’t know what will happen to us. On an international front, we’re a laughing stock for even considering these people. Should one get into office, any credibility the country has left will be lost.

  • T-Rex

    Looks like the Libs have an attacking point if they point out the GOP candidates’ lack of respect for separation of church and state. Will they have the balls to do it though?

    • Kevin S.

      Unfortunately that strategy backfires in a lot of places when the Religious Right turns it around as “They’re trying to ban Jesus!”

      • Marguerite

        Michele Bachmann’s biography on her website actually says, “As a believer in the traditional values upon which this country was founded, she consistently defends America’s religious liberties…”  Seriously.   Apparently in conservative Newspeak, “religious liberties” are now a code phrase for “getting Jesus back into the classrooms” or some such.

  • Anonymous

    “The prevailing assumption is now that either Perry, Mitt Romney, or Michele Bachmann will win the nomination.”

    Jon Stewart was right. People tend to forget Ron Paul.

    • Kenneth Dunlap

      Anti-vax, anti-evolution, anti-science, anti-regulation candidates SHOULD be ignored!

      • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

        How is Paul anti-vaccine?

      • Kevin S.

        Yeah, but that describes most Republicans.  Unlike others, anti-regulation generally extends to moral regulations with Paul as well (other than abortion, I think).  Most Republicans would cut taxes to the rich, cut services, shove Jesus down our throats and still find a way to run up the deficit.  You don’t get the last two with Ron Paul.  Sad as it is to say, that makes him the most palatable of the GOP field.

      • Anonymous

        Cult of The State is the largest secular religion.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Don’t forget that Obama is also a crafty politician.  He will probably edge to the right just enough to get enough of the fiscal conservative vote to try to win re-election.  Of course the republicans will try to paint him as a communist/socialist/foreigner.  The branding war will be vicious.  For FSM sake, though, everybody should make sure they are registered and vote.  Don’t sit this one out due to laziness or some kind of misplaced attitude that you are somehow “above it”.

  • Tinkergr

    Let’s not confuse conservatism with just plain stupid. Conservative does not mean religious. It does not mean that they give money away to big business. It does not mean changing the constitution. There are NO conservatives in our government. The Republican party has been completely corrupted by the religious ‘right’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719095026 Zach Johnson

    Religion completely aside, the thing that scares the hell out of me most about Perry is his willingness to completely ignore the constitution.  Endorsing that prayer meeting thing as Governor was as blatantly unconstitutional as it gets. 

    If he were elected President, ironically, he would be committing perjury by taking the oath of office: “…and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
    I don’t care where you fall politically, voting for a Presidential candidate who has proven to be eager to disregard the constitution when it suits them is pretty much an act of treason.

    • Michael Tracey

      Not only did Perry *endorse* the prayer, he conceived of it, organized it, and emceed it.

      • Michael Tracey

        Sorry, I meant “prayer rally.”

  • Annie

    In 2001, when Perry participated in a prayer at a public middle school assembly, he didn’t attempt to worm his way out of ignoring the 1963  Supreme Court ban on organized prayer in public school.  His response?  “Any time you have a crisis that faces you either in your personal life
    or as we have now in our country, reaching out to a supreme being is a
    very normal act.”  He cherry picks the constitution, just as he does the bible.

  • Sean

    There’s a good article on Perry in today’s The New Republic magazine here:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/93781/rick-perry-religion-evolution

    It outlines his religious evolution (yes, I know, a contradictory statement – sorry!). The article is definitely worth reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Irvine/506893850 Andrew Irvine

    “How can it be that the United States, still one of the world’s admired democracies, appears willing to nominate someone like Perry or Bachmann”

    Not sure who thinks the US is an ‘admired democracy’ outside of the US. Most people don’t understand it or don’t think about it. They do remember rigged elections and Arnie though.

  • Anonymous

    If you have any doubts about Perry’s ability to govern Texas, ask a Texan. I have a brother, sister and son living in the Lone Star State and they tell me things are not as rosy as Perry would have us “believe”. Texas ranks at the bottom along with Mississippi in number of low paying jobs, population covered by healthcare, and educational achievement. Property taxes are through the roof (pun intended) because Texas has no state income tax. We have already had four Texans as POTUS, we don’t need a fifth. If you don’t remember them they are: D Eisenhower, LB Johnson, GHW Bush, and GW Bush. The really scary item about Perry is his hyper-christianity. Anyone who doesn’t think that a person’s beliefs affect they way they conduct business (or government) should read about the founder and owner of Chick-fil-a.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      POTUS?

      • Michael Tracey

        Eisenhower was really more from Kansas, but I take your point!

        • Anonymous

          Thanks. I am living in Mississippi so I keep up with the “stats” between the “states”. Texas makes Mississippi look good although both states are bottom feeders. Kinky Friedman, former comic candidate for Gov. of TX once said, “I just want Texas to be number one in something other than executions, toll roads and property taxes.”

      • Anonymous

        President Of The United States. The very first episode of the show “West Wing” taught me this.

      • Anonymous

        Not sure what your question is. POTUS President Of The United States. There have been 4 Presidents who were from the state of Texas. That’s enough.

  • Anonymous

    Well written, yet alarming.  I’ve been of the notion that half of those that claim to be religious are not and only using religion in their favor to gain power.  Perry and to some extent, Bachmann may actually be true believers, which is hard to publicly debunk.

    Too much debunking and you get the public defending them, which is in a way, the sympathy vote.  The voting public feels like Christians are getting the raw deal for their beliefs.

    Politically, the last 11 years have been a mixed bag of fucked up.  I mean, we can go back to the end of 1979 for the start of all this “win at all costs” option.

    While I have my issues with Obama and what he’s not done so far, he’s a better option that turing this entire country into a Jesusland.

  • http://twitter.com/looloolooweez Louise

    I’m from Texas, and it makes me sick to think about this man making it all the way to the White House. Our current administration is far from perfect… but imagining Perry as POTUS is just terrifying.

    • Anonymous

      You Texans can’t catch a break. First Dubya almost bankrupts TX, then Perry tries to save it by creating jobs that don’t pay a living wage. I just heard a TX joke about those jobs… “Perry created tons of jobs, I’m working 3 of them!”

  • Anonymous

    “Boykin reported being deeply moved by Perry, who “very humbly stood before a group of us and said, ‘I’m doing this because it’s what God wants us to do.’ It’s not a political ploy.” ”

    Yeah, because no politician has pandered to the religious voters before.  The very fact that he says that makes me think he’s pandering.

    It’s hard to not just give up on this country.  They won’t be happy until we have a civil theocratic war and that is where we are headed with “leaders” like Perry and Bachmann.

    • Michael Tracey

      Like I said, you can choose to believe that Perry is just pandering, and that these pastors are wrong about the genuineness of his beliefs. But I’m taking them at their word.

      • Anonymous

        I believe he is a genuine narcissistic hypocrite who has completely bought into his own BS. He started his political life as a Democrat, a TX Democrat. Karl Rove and the Bushies haven’t had anything good to say about him yet!!!

  • Anonymous

    The Republican Party is being influenced by the same individuals who think Jesus is going to steer the country back to Post WW2   prosperity; who think that Church- State violations are filed by rabid secularists who can’t leave the citizens of the Christian Nation to propagate Christianity in peace and also want the Antichrist Obama Government to keep its claws off Medicare. And now Bachmann or Perry for possible POTUS nominees?
    Now would be a good time to stoke the 2012 Doomsday rumors.

  • Michael

    Whoever wrote this is an idiot that needs to brush up on political history…..The obviously are under 25 years old, A 64 year old like myself realizes how wrong and just plain stupid/incorrect the authors points are. Obama did a terrible job, who could support him? I rather a religious nut then someone who I know failed me for 4 years. It’s why we should not have re-elected bush and why we hopefully wont re-elect  Obama

    • Neil

      In what ways, exactly, has Obama done “a terrible job”, how was it worse than ANYONE else ( who could’ve gotten elected in the first place) would have done in the same circumstances, and how will any of the current republican hopefuls do any better?  Can you even answer one of these questions?

      The only reason that most democrats have some dissatisfaction with Obama, is because he was nowhere near liberal ENOUGH.  Instead, he made progress on some liberal issues (and gets no credit from anyone), while playing it mostly as a centrist…a “fiscally concerned liberal” or “compassionate conservative”.

      Your solution to your dissatisfaction is to hand the keys to the asylum to whatever patient has the audacity to take them from you, despite the fact that they are clearly unhinged and care only for increasing the power of themselves and their own christianist tribes.  And you have the gall to tell young people they don’t know anything.  despite the fact that they represent the same people and interests that have allowed our problems to become so large, and pretty much destroyed any power the people used to have to fight the corruption of government.

      This 38-year old is telling you that you, and people like you, have failed this country for decades.  You clearly haven’t learned anything from the last 40 years of American politics except how to be a fickle, ignorant unprincipled whiner who just wants to complain, and who is willing to sacrifice any principle for the temporary feeling of being a “winner”.  You suck. 

  • Joshua White

    So what to do if you see Obama as just as threatening in different areas? His justice department positions have put him in the position of essentially being identical to Bush’s positions and his administration is supporting some of the worst of the Bush administration’s positions.

    He is;
    *Coming down hard on whistle blowers, (when we need them more than never) after saying he would not

    * Supporting telecom immunity concerning unconstitutional survalence by the government with industry support after saying that he would not

    *Defending the “enhanced interrogation” techniques of the previous administration and letting all people responsible for allowing and creating the torture industry within our government get away with it (despite the fact the our laws require them to face charges)

    *Judicially blocking justice for demonstrably innocent people who were tortured by our government for months and then dumped in seemingly random countries (Khalid al-Masri and more) and claiming that it is due to national security at every turn. Seriously, every time his or the previous administration had been challenged in these areas they just cry national security. The secrets box has become the embarrassing secrets box and there seems to be no mechanism to fix this.

    *Supporting the assassination of a US citizen due to this persons speech (Anwar al-Awlaki). I don’t care what this guy is encouraging, he has constitutional protections and deserves his day in court.

    *Supporting the arrest and unlimited detention of an American citizen just suspected of being involved in terrorism (Jose Padilla) despite evidence so crappy it too years to charge him with anything, charges that were eventually different than the ones they nabbed him for.  Let me be clear here, my problem is not arresting and convicting someone involved in terrorism. My problem is defending the arrest and unlimited detention of someone under terrible evidence that prevented them from charging him for YEARS, detention that was so traumatizing that he is arguably insane now. Given the al-Masri stuff above why should I believe Obama would not defend this happening to an innocent person?

    *More other items that I have no time to get into now

    Obama owns this stuff now. He, Bush junior, and lots of people in their administrations are literally guilty of war crimes and should be in jail according to our laws. Obama is a fucking constitutional scholar and he is doing this! Why should I believe that a Rick Perry administration would be any worse than this slow slide towards 1984?

    At this point I am not voting for president because I can not depend on what comes out of Perry or Obama’s mouth, and can not be sure how things will end up. I am still trying to fugure out wether I would prefer a “Kick out the incumbents” campaign, a “No more Republicans or Democrats” campaign, or a “Fuck the whole system we need to trash it” campaign. The worst part is that I am thinking of those campaigns because I know that the majority of voters need simple minded sloganish bullshit like that because most people don’t actually research the people they vote for. Politics as sports.

  • JustAnother

    Ah why all the fear. Has no one studied history? Christianity rarely rises under a Christian leader. Christianity’s growth spurts and greatest time periods have nearly always come from times of persecution. 

  • http://twitter.com/thesexyatheist KTSA

    He said global warming is just a theory.

  • Ssmeier1

    Pack your bags kids, we’re moving to Canada!

    • Mgv12345

      Our PM Stephen Harper is a Christian and mentioned God in his opening address, but otherwise never brings up religious discourse in anything, including politicial argumentation. We also have the advantage that for anything to happen, a majority vote needs to go down…so there’s a safety valve there. Please, move here! :D


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