Saturday, December 8, 2007

Romney's Speech on Faith, At Once Brilliant and Deceitful

Romney hit a home run for a lot of folks when he made his speech on religion; those who are easily moved by his endorsement of God, motherhood, country and apple pie, and those
who believe that our president should continue to be a white male who projects a so-called presidential image.

His speech writer is brilliant, even if he wrote it himself.

Brilliant, in this case, applies to the ability of a writer to compose a speech which moves people who want to be moved, and to get the attention of those who listened from a skeptical point of view and who were impressed enough to listen for more.

I found myself in the latter group for the first part of the speech.

At some point I began to feel uneasy, as one who is beginning to wonder if he is being had, spun, blind sided.

"The Music Man" came to mind, with it's seventy-six trombones to arouse and excite positive feelings, in contrast to the "Right here in River City" warnings designed to induce fear in the townspeople.

The genius here is that, in the process of alternating the message back and forth between the positive and the negative, the hopeful and the fearful, those who are on the receiving end of such manipulations can erroneously come to think that the one who sends out these messages has their best interests at heart, and come to believe in that one as trustworthy and one they look to to lead them out of difficulty and trouble.

I began to see the unstated implications of what he was saying; how he established points of view to which almost no one would object, but followed up by ascribing and attributing the source of those virtues to God; an anthropomorphic God who is in touch with our problems and intervenes on behalf of His(note the patriarchal implications) believers, and also condemns non-believers to the eternal fires of Hell.

He did an admirable job in his efforts to do a couple of things. He made an appealing statement for the benefit of what he hopes will be his Christian, Evangelical, Right Wing, Republican base.

He made a clear distinction between those who believe in God and those who don't.

Those who need the simplicity of that view of life were applausedly happy with what he said and which they wanted to hear.

He even went so far as to say that those who don't believe in God are trying to establish another religion, a secular religion, and said, "They are wrong!" The applause meter pegged out on this one.

It matters not to him that those who think of themselves as agnostics, if not atheists, have no use for organized religion. It matters not to him that such people reject organized religion as not only troublesome to humanity, but as actual causes of war and all manner of horrors.

This is a man who wants to be president, and as he has demonstrated publicly for all to see, is willing to say anything to get his way. He has redefined flip flopping.

He is likely to get away with this pandering to the Evangelical base because most polls indicate that a large majority of Americans say they believe in God, whether or not they regularly attend places of worship. Those who respond to polls on this topic by saying they are not religious comprise a very small minority in our population, a group of voters candidates can safely ignore, or at least not need to pander to.

But in our society it's not at all cool to say that one doesn't believe in God, and it remains to be seen what comes out of the voting booths next year.

I lived in Atlanta, GA when Lester Maddox, the axe wielding racist, ran for governor and won. Funny thing was that almost no one admitted to voting for him.

It was no accident that Romney chose to make that speech at the George H.W.Bush Library at Texas A&M University. He was photographed with Bush, Senior's arm on his shoulder, with a broad grin, and Barbara Bush looking up at Romney with approving admiration. (She, the out of touch woman of privilege, who said of those who were devastated by Katrina, the huddled masses yearning to breath free in the Superdome, that "It's working for them", since what they were enduring was no worse than the quality of their lives before the storm.

One would have to be completely clueless to not understand that this was the Bush dynasty anointing Romney with its imprimatur. I suppose some might not have gotten it unless Romney made that speech from the Rose Garden.

I have a friend who is as cynical as I about this topic. He has been predicting that Dick Cheney will step down as Vice President sometime in the coming months, for health reasons, if he doesn't do the right thing by checking out before then. President George W. Bush will then appoint Mitt Romney as Vice President, thereby giving him the upper hand in the 2008 election, the Vice who should be elected president, to continue the policies, positions, and "values", if you can stand the smell, of those who worship and practice social Darwinism, the economic version of the survival of the fittest.

That's their true religion; everything else is smoke, mirrors and light shows.

As the haberdasher said to the tailor, "Get out the blue light, the man wants a blue suit".

In my naivete I continue to hope that someone, without regard to political party, will emerge who can and will grab us with her or his authenticity, who believes in and values the idea that most folks want to do their best, hope to do what they can to be independent and able to support themselves, but who understands that there will always be a need for a safety net, when the boot straps we wanted to believe in and tried to count on, break.

Lighthouse Keeper


Sheila said...

I found you via Kilroy's blog. I agree with you about authenticity, my buzzword of the week. I'm a self-admitted political junkie of the democratic variety, but I long for the candidate willing to be president for all of America. I look at Romney and see the repackaged words and ideas of George Bush. He is scary to me. Maybe we will both find what we are looking for in our candidates.

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness said...

Today's results in NH will tell us a lot.

The Voice resides on Cape Cod, so Romney is well known. When he told McCain recently that he was for change, McCain retorted, "Which one?". With that he captured Romney, like in Amber.