A doomish title if ever I’ve penned one. As seen in the video below, a recent poll has shown a strong link between churchgoing and the approval of torture.
While this comes as no surprise to those of us who have been paying attention, I think it deserve some further scrutiny. The obvious conclusion would be that religion causes a desire to torture, but I think that may be backwards. Another recent study showed the religious as being far more likely to seek extreme life prolonging measures when deathly ill. What does all this have in common? A fear of the unknown extreme enough to lead people to oppose the values they claim to have, just to scrabble at a scrap of hope. It is religion that is an irrational safety blanket for some very rational fears, that provides the self righteousness and justification for the commission of atrocities that were already desired by those susceptible to it’s pull of absolution. It is the dichotomy of hope and fear that got both Bush and Obama elected by the same electorate. While hope and fear are polar opposites, they are two sides of the same coin.
It is as if the whole country is in a Kübler-Ross model of the political stages of grief.
- Denial: This is where we were between WWII and the Bush years. We were the greatest country on earth. It was our birthright, not just a side effect of being the last manufacturing power standing after the war due to the distance of our homes from the front lines.
- Anger: We clearly transition from denial to anger early in the Bush years. We believe all of our problems are external in nature, that it isn’t our fault. The Axis of Evil is the source of our pain. Wars ensue on multiple fronts.
- Bargaining: Hope. Perhaps if we elect a Democrat, they will fix everything. We will give the banks whatever they want, bail out the manufacturing industry, borrow money, whatever it takes. The final days of Bush and the first 100 days of Obama.
- Depression: This is where we are now. consumer confidence is low, the parties are fragmented, the future unclear.
- Acceptance: This is where we are going. We need to accept that our problems are fundamental and widespread, that the middle east won’t have peace, China isn’t going away, and the Dollar isn’t intrinsically strong. Our economy isn’t in a downturn, it has seen a correction, and we aren’t going back to the golden age of the 1950’s any time soon. It is time to pick up the pieces, make some hard choices, and begin to move forward.
We are a government of the people, by the people. It hasn’t led us here, we have led it here. We can take it back, but we can’t do it without a majority. Our next president should be a Ron Paul.
Update: Are we seeing the final stage of the political stages of grief in the 2016 election? Trump certainly embodies acceptance as I laid it out. Hillary seems to me to represent the opposite form of acceptance. Voting for someone you know represents just living with the worsening problem rather than going through the pain of rehab, chemo, or bankruptcy.