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Thread: Has the Republican Party become a cult?

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    Stephen Best barts's Avatar
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    Has the Republican Party become a cult?

    Has the Republican Party become a cult? In my view, the answer is "yes".

    There's much to recommend a true conservative party that is informed by the principles and values enumerated by Russell Kirk in Ten Conservative Principles. These principles are central to most of the contributors and editors at The American Conservative. Ironically, many of these principles are expressed by the Blue Dog Coalition of the Democratic Party.

    In the past, the Republican Party was a true conservative party. That cannot be said, in my view, of the Republican Party today. None of the Republican Party's past Presidents since the Second World War--Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, H. W. Bush, or W. Bush--would be extreme enough for today's Republican Party.

    The notion that the Republican Party has become a cult is not a conceit of this thread. In the "Grand Old Cult", Richard Cohen writes,
    Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult...

    This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult. It is a redoubt of certainty over reason ...
    In "Has the GOP become a cult?", Deborah Small writes,
    I’m just one of the millions of “brainwashed” black people Herman Cain (aka Uncle Ruckus) likes to deride. But I did have a certain grudging respect for the Republican Party – it’s ability to maintain discipline, articulate a clear message with conviction and stick with an issue – however unpopular – until it gained legitimacy in the political mainstream (e.g. school vouchers, prison privatization, HMOs, etc.). Lately that grudging respect has turned into terror.

    When I look at the Republican Party today, the cartoonish cast of characters that purport to be its leaders (either as presidential candidates or legislative officials), the hateful and ignorant rhetoric that substitutes for substantive policy analysis and the slavish devotion to positions that make no sense (e.g. rejection of climate change, the so-called ‘birther’ controversy, supply-side economics) it occurs to me the GOP has morphed from a legitimate political party into something that resembles a modern day cults.

    In, Ex-GOP Congressional Staffer: Republicans 'Becoming an Apocalyptic Cult', Mike Lofgren, a former GOP Congressional analyst, said,
    I left the party because it was becoming an apocalyptic cult. Because you cannot govern a country of 310 million people that is the greatest economic power on earth and the greatest military power on earth as if it's a banana republic. You can't govern it with people who think that Obama was born overseas or who believe in all manner of nonsense about climate change. They don't even know, apparently, where babies come from, if we're to believe Todd Akin.
    Over and over again, and, it seems, with increasing frequency the words "Republican" and "cult" are linked.

    Of course it sounds over the top to charge that the Republican Party has become a cult. But, what other conclusion can be drawn? Given the utter irrationality of the party's leaders, the strange, other-world proclamation of so many of its followers, the disconnect between internal cant and dogma and the real world, there is no other rational conclusion. The Republican Party of 2012 is, in fact, a cult.
    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd - Voltaire

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    Glitch! Senor Hoint's Avatar
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    Barts, I gotta confess that I love your thread names.
    And when this new star was seen at evening, Maedhros spoke to Maglor his brother, and he said: 'Surely that is a Silmaril that shines now in the West?'
    Then the Elves looked up, and despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt.

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    Elemental RedDaze's Avatar
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    And this is why I love Volconvo. Cutting-edge analysis with thought-provoking conclusions; I would have never thought to consider the Republican party a cult, but I find myself happily agreeing.

    I still can't get over idiots like Akins: "the female body has mechanisms to shut that kind of thing down."

    Who in the hell makes that kind of claim? How do these imbeciles even earn their degrees? I'm not sure whether the R.P. legitimately believes its own garbage or is just so bold as to test the bounds on what kind of things it can say and still earn votes.
    There is no can or can't, some things in life we just do.

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Of course it sounds over the top to charge that the Republican Party has become a cult. But, what other conclusion can be drawn?
    Try a "non-over-the-top" conclusion. Usually that works when attempting to circumvent the charge of being over the top. If you need help, perhaps you should simply respect them for their views and point out why they're wrong instead of insisting that they're cultists, evil, conniving, corrupt, purposefully misleading, etc as you're wont to do.
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."


    -- Stephen Crane

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: RedDaze View Post
    And this is why I love Volconvo. Cutting-edge analysis with thought-provoking conclusions; I would have never thought to consider the Republican party a cult, but I find myself happily agreeing.

    I still can't get over idiots like Akins: "the female body has mechanisms to shut that kind of thing down."

    Who in the hell makes that kind of claim? How do these imbeciles even earn their degrees? I'm not sure whether the R.P. legitimately believes its own garbage or is just so bold as to test the bounds on what kind of things it can say and still earn votes.
    And within hours, most of the Republican Party had cut off funding and support for him. "Cutting edge analysis" - buddy, don't use big words you don't understand.
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."


    -- Stephen Crane

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    Glitch! Senor Hoint's Avatar
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    That's not because they think he's an idiot, it's because they know most of the electorate will see him as an idiot.
    And when this new star was seen at evening, Maedhros spoke to Maglor his brother, and he said: 'Surely that is a Silmaril that shines now in the West?'
    Then the Elves looked up, and despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt.

    Aim fire holla 'bout a dollar nothin' is sacred
    We gon' pimp the shit outta nature
    ~Black Thought

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Senor Hoint View Post
    That's not because they think he's an idiot, it's because they know most of the electorate will see him as an idiot.
    Riiiight. Because surely everyone in the Republican Party thinks that women can't be impregnated via rape.

    Why doesn't everyone just grow the fuck up already and stop this senseless, mindless, utterly barbaric verbal warfare? Is it really so hard to believe that the other side is just like you but with a very slightly different emphasis on what they consider valuable? Most people on the Republican side only value individual liberty more than collective liberty, and freedoms to rather than freedoms from. Is that really so evil that you have to charge them as "idiotic" and "corrupt" and "cult-like"?

    On abortion, they believe that these things growing inside women's wombs are real, living, honest-to-god people with as much of a right to live as you or I. Just where do we draw that line in the sand between "person" and "fetus"? You might say "at birth", but why? Why at birth? Why not six months down the line from birth? The main arguments used, such as "fetuses don't exhibit human traits like empathy or compassion or memory or intelligence", are easily applied to six month olds. If you folks don't see why some people just prefer to draw the line at conception, then you folks need a reality check and a dose of humility. You may think everything you advocate is the absolute unequivocal truth, but it's almost certainly not. Consider the slightest possibility that you're wrong, and maybe, just maybe, everyone will mature enough to engage in a legitimate political discussion without the need to claim the other side is fundamentally and personally defective in some way.

    /rant
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."


    -- Stephen Crane

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    Glitch! Senor Hoint's Avatar
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    Riiiight. Because surely everyone in the Republican Party thinks that women can't be impregnated via rape.
    That's certainly not true. It's just the the people who matter in the Republican Party don't care about whatever batshit insane stuff their guys believe as long as they believe that the top marginal income tax rate can't budge above 36%.


    Why doesn't everyone just grow the fuck up already and stop this senseless, mindless, utterly barbaric verbal warfare? Is it really so hard to believe that the other side is just like you but with a very slightly different emphasis on what they consider valuable? Most people on the Republican side only value individual liberty more than collective liberty, and freedoms to rather than freedoms from. Is that really so evil that you have to charge them as "idiotic" and "corrupt" and "cult-like"?
    Very nice, but unfortunately you are talking to the wrong person, as if you look carefully you will not see me agreeing with barts or demonizing Republicans in any way. I only said that they don't think Todd Akin is an idiot for his idiotic comments.

    On abortion, they believe that these things growing inside women's wombs are real, living, honest-to-god people with as much of a right to live as you or I. Just where do we draw that line in the sand between "person" and "fetus"? You might say "at birth", but why? Why at birth? Why not six months down the line from birth? The main arguments used, such as "fetuses don't exhibit human traits like empathy or compassion or memory or intelligence", are easily applied to six month olds. If you folks don't see why some people just prefer to draw the line at conception, then you folks need a reality check and a dose of humility. You may think everything you advocate is the absolute unequivocal truth, but it's almost certainly not. Consider the slightest possibility that you're wrong, and maybe, just maybe, everyone will mature enough to engage in a legitimate political discussion without the need to claim the other side is fundamentally and personally defective in some way.
    Now you've really stuck your dick in the meat grinder. Please, point out where I demonized Republicans? Where I claimed that they are fundamentally and personally defective? I do believe that Republican ideology is fundamentally defective. The thing is, the true face of the Republican party is people like Tom DeLay. The leaders and intellectual elite of the Republican Party are about one thing, and one thing only, and that is the welfare of their rich cronies. They don't care about destroying the environment so long as they can profit from doing so. They care less about how many children are shot than about how much money gun manufacturers make. They don't care about anything, except profiting. And the sad fact is, most of the people who they've gotten to go along for the ride, do not grasp this. They fixate on something stupid, like abortion or gay marriage, without realizing that the wealthy people who are the true drivers of Republican policy do. Not. Care. They don't care if ten million babies are aborted every day, as long as the federal income tax rates are kept low, as long as their business practices stay deregulated, as long as they don't have to fulfill any social responsibilities whatsoever.

    The funny thing is, I don't even know what I think about abortion. I think there are compelling arguments on both sides...but it is obvious that from a utilitarian perspective, that legal abortions are superior policy. Like drugs, the way to combat abortion while respecting human dignity is to combat social problems that are the underlying cause of abortion.
    And when this new star was seen at evening, Maedhros spoke to Maglor his brother, and he said: 'Surely that is a Silmaril that shines now in the West?'
    Then the Elves looked up, and despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt.

    Aim fire holla 'bout a dollar nothin' is sacred
    We gon' pimp the shit outta nature
    ~Black Thought

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Now you've really stuck your dick in the meat grinder. Please, point out where I demonized Republicans?
    That was actually applicable to everyone on this board who insists that Democrats are the spawn of Satan and Republicans are an R-rated Monty Burns. But regardless, in this thread alone, you claim you "love" barts' highly inflammatory, partisan thread titles, which tells me you agree with him. The comment was aimed at people like barts and the people like our former resident Libhater who hate the other side so passionately that I fear it's what's wrong with modern politics. The screaming petulant left versus the whining tantrum-throwing right. Guys in the middle just wanna whack them all with a really big stick.

    That's certainly not true. It's just the the people who matter in the Republican Party don't care about whatever batshit insane stuff their guys believe as long as they believe that the top marginal income tax rate can't budge above 36%.
    Really? I don't see all that much funding going towards Akin. There was an intense campaign on both sides to ask him to drop out of the rate. In fact, the first person to call for him to drop out was Senator Brown from Massachusetts - a Republican. Now, you can claim it's political prudence, but I ask you: what would it look like if it were legitimate disgust? Would a bunch of Republicans be calling for and supporting his political demise the same as they are now? Yep. What else would they do? Not much. In other words, it'd look exactly as it is now. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're human instead of a bunch of women-hating ogres? Why the rhetoric?
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."


    -- Stephen Crane

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    Male Lesbian ruksak's Avatar
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    Has the Republican Party become a cult?

    With Romney it likely will turn in that direction. You Mormons is scary.

    What a terrible Republican candidate. The way I see it, Obama is a stone-cold lead pipe lock.
    ATTENTION! Due to recent cut backs, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

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    Glitch! Senor Hoint's Avatar
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    you claim you "love" barts' highly inflammatory, partisan thread titles, which tells me you agree with him
    Funny, I phrased it as a "confession" precisely because I don't particularly agree with him here. His practice of making extremely controversial thread titles to stir up debate is amusing to me, though, yes. The Republican party is not a cult, though some events in the primaries seem to reveal some disturbingly Stalinist tendencies and a slight obsession with ideological purity.

    I am not into party-based partisanship. Ideologically, I am extremely partisan.

    Really? I don't see all that much funding going towards Akin. There was an intense campaign on both sides to ask him to drop out of the rate. In fact, the first person to call for him to drop out was Senator Brown from Massachusetts - a Republican. Now, you can claim it's political prudence, but I ask you: what would it look like if it were legitimate disgust? Would a bunch of Republicans be calling for and supporting his political demise the same as they are now? Yep. What else would they do? Not much. In other words, it'd look exactly as it is now. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're human instead of a bunch of women-hating ogres? Why the rhetoric?
    Look, I really don't care about it. I don't care that Todd Akin is a retard, and I don't care whether the other Republican elites agree with him in his retardation. Their stances on economics and policy are abhorrent, and so they are assholes. It is that simple.
    And when this new star was seen at evening, Maedhros spoke to Maglor his brother, and he said: 'Surely that is a Silmaril that shines now in the West?'
    Then the Elves looked up, and despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt.

    Aim fire holla 'bout a dollar nothin' is sacred
    We gon' pimp the shit outta nature
    ~Black Thought

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    Male Lesbian ruksak's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Senor Hoint View Post
    Funny, I phrased it as a "confession" precisely because I don't particularly agree with him here. His practice of making extremely controversial thread titles to stir up debate is amusing to me...
    Same here. Though I tend to completely disagree, I find it amusing. There's nothing wrong with having a little fun with thread titles.
    ATTENTION! Due to recent cut backs, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

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