Radical Leftist Lee Atwater on Mark 8:36-37

Radical Leftist Lee Atwater on Mark 8:36-37 December 17, 2013

My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.

That it is now controversial for the pope to observe things very much like this demonstrates how badly this pope is needed.

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  • john smith

    ” I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”

    Well, this line certainly elicits a bitter, mirthless chuckle. Because that sure didn’t happen.

  • Andrew Simons

    Mark, I assume the “leftist” term is used ironically? Atwater was as red as an 80’s power tie: He advised Reagan and Bush 1, and was the head of the RNC through the Dukakis campaign. He endorsed the odious Republican “southern strategy” of appealing to racists with terms like “states’ rights” and “forced busing.” He had a conversion of sorts before he died, but the damage he helped cause was real and lasting.

    • chezami

      Yup. Tongue in cheek.

    • MM

      As opposed to the damage that a Carter, Mondale, or Dukakis could have done? Or the damage being done by the current administration? Atwater was a nasty piece of work in his time, no doubt – the kind our national politicians always seem to attract. But I would rather have the men he worked for in charge than the people who gave us the Abortionpalooza of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

    • Steve P

      So bizarre that the colors keep switching meanings… “Red” used to MEAN “Radical Leftist” in the twentieth century.

      • Dan C

        Exactly! We also have changed definitions of what constitutes a “leftist.” Now, Obama, drone aggressor and Wall Street bail-out enabler is a “socialist” and radical leftist. Obama is to the right of Richard Nixon, creator of the EPA and signer of the Endangered Species Act, however, he is a “radical socialist.”


      what is a conversion of sorts ? he was brought in the One Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church by Father John Hardon S.J.

  • Joe

    The “radical leftist” part of the title caught me off guard when I read the wikipedia article. Thank you for mocking small-minded, ideological conservatives.

  • peggy

    There are many people who put fame and fortune before God. It is not a unique call of “evil capitalists.” Atwater is right of course, in the end. Sad that his awakenings came so late for him. May God have mercy on his soul.

    The Holy Father said something different, however. He discussed the merits of certain economic systems, in addition to his discussions of the human soul and the various economic temptations that lie before us. His discussions of what he saw as the merits, or lack thereof, of certain economic systems is what has raised questions for many with great experience and knowledge of economic matters.

    • The problem that – I think – the Holy Father has with certain economic systems is that we’ve chosen to abdicate our responsibility to use the laws of economics intelligently to achieve certain just outcomes.

      Instead, we’re often content to say: this is an (economic) law of nature, and therefore whatever happens in this system is probably the best we can expect. Good heavens, we say, we certainly wouldn’t want to in any way fool with such a complex system and end up with any of those stupid “unintended consequences” upon which John Stossel’s career has been built.

      In effect, because the iron law of liberalism has paralyzed us – socially, morally, and economically – we have decided to let the market (free or otherwise) have ultimate authority over distributive justice. Who are we, after all, to question its decrees? I think this is what Pope Francis means by money being a master rather than a servant. We already know what money should do at least in part. We should at least try to make sure it does it.

      [edit] I’m extrapolating this from Chesterton’s Outline of Sanity.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    This isn’t rocket surgery. Even punk rockers can grasp this very basic truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlUrQ6NiaDE

  • Chesire11

    When I hear people dismiss what Francis is saying in Evagelii Gaudium by explaining how he clearly doesn’t have a very good grasp of economics, it makes me think of a driver speeding toward a cliff smugly ignoring warnings of impending doom on the basis that his “critics” aren’t very good auto mechanics.

    • ivan_the_mad

      When I hear people treating economic laws as if they are possessed of the same general power and purpose as the laws of physics, along with the implicit assumption that a mechanical order underlies economic activity (as if economics is anything more than personal relationships and moral choices in the aggregate), I worry for humanity and thank God for the Church and this pope.

  • Paxton Reis

    “I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”

    The spiritual vacuum and tumor of the soul is well ingrained in our lifestyle.

    great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the
    desolation and an­guish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish
    pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. “