While Mitt Romney criticizes President Barack Obama for failing to bring people of different perspectives together in a more functional relationship (and claiming he’s the man to do it right), Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is warning folks that if Obama is re-elected, “Judeo-Christian values” could be in jeopardy.
In a phone call with the group known as the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ryan claimed that Obama’s plans for America “restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values…”
He also got more specific, claiming that so-called “Obamacare” was “President Obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion.”
Ironically, such inflammatory claims are an assault on the very notion of unity the GOP claims they can bring back to the executive branch. Further, to imply that Obama, himself a devout Christian, is waging war on religion as a whole in the U.S., and more specifically on Jews and Christians is simply baseless and divisive.
I recognize that the less noble tasks of going on the offensive and pandering to party bases has become an important job of vice presidential candidates, but these tactics, rather than pointing in a refreshing, new direction, simply reveal that we’re in for more of the same, regardless of who is in office.
Still wondering why Americans are cynical about politics?
Yes, negative ads are effective, and fear is a potent elixir in short-term situations when one must mobilize their base to action. But the collateral damage renders the spoils greatly compromised, offering a pyrrhic victory at best to the ones who somehow endure the attacks.
And now the situation is made worse by PACs who are allowed to spend unlimited sums of money promotin claims that often are found to be baseless, but only after their effects have been felt. Thank you, Supreme Court, for your sage decision to let such groups commandeer our political process, while also giving corporations the rights we humans enjoy. Nicely done.
I will be the first to admit that much of the “Chicken Little” sensationalism I hear about Mitt Romney seems greatly overblown. Aside from my differences with him on a number of economic and social issues, it seems to me that, rather than being the ideological firebrand some with to make him out to be, his greatest flaw is being boring.
Yes, such a judgment points to the cult of personality in which our political system is ensnared, but when so much of the time, energy and money on either side tends to focus on personality and character of the candidates, it’s hard not to consider how like-able the guy is.
Do I think Mitt Romney plans to fulfill the Mormon White Horse Prophecy if elected president? No. Do I believe that Paul Ryan will suddenly have more sway in the executive branch than the vast majority of his predecessors? No. But what I do see is a political machine bent on winning at all costs, and though this particular claim of Ryan’s is the most recent, the blade cuts both ways. Both major parties are equally guilty.
There is a battle underway, and it has been brewing for some decades now. But it’s not an attack on our faith; it’s an offensive against the very principles of government put into place by the authors of the constitution. We can blame the ads, the PACs and pundit media talking heads for denigrating the process, but it’s the greater “win at any cost” ethos that drives our political machinery, and which continues to be tolerated by our citizenry, that poses the greatest threat.
Like the Crusades and other religious wars like it, our politics become complicit weapons of violence when the value of the spoils is held above the people they are meant to serve. And it’s a battle whose end does not seem to be anywhere in sight.