Chronicle of a (Political) Death Foretold, or Do We Really Want an Exorcist in the White House?

Bobby Jindal, once touted as the Great White Brown Hope of the GOP, seems to have fizzled out and lost his mojo in advance of the 2016 primaries, not only for alienating the Tea Party right for his "stop being stupid" remarks but also because most of the programs he tried to push through the Louisiana legislature came to naught. There is an objective,non-partisan chronicle of his rise and fall in the new Mother Jones (March/April, 2014) by Tim Murphy called "The Agony of Bobby Jindal," a piece that traces his early years as the son of Indian Hindu immigrants to Rhodes Scholar to Catholic convert to the state's governor's mansion. He had everything going for him until he met resistence in his own statehouse to some major programs, ironically not unlike the current occupant of the White House.

But if Jindal's conservative politics is troubling to liberals and progressives, his religious beliefs are downright frightening. For one thing, during his college years at the prestigious Brown University, he assisted in an exorcism. Having jettisoned his parents' Hindu faith because, in Murphy's words, he found it "lacking in absolutes," Jindal wrote of a friend's "possession" and his attempts one day to drive the devil out of her: "Kneeling on the ground, my friends were chanting 'Satan, I command you to leave this woman. Others exhorted all 'demons to leave in the name of Christ.'" The "spirit" was finally sent packing when another student arrived with a crucifix. The article does not say whether the students had watched the famous William Friedkin movie that week and simply mistook the young woman, Susan, for Linda Blair. Yet they proved adept at playing the Max von Sydow role of Father Merrin. Later, in an account Jindal wrote for This Rock, "a conservative Catholic journal," he prudently changed her name to Agnes. Like Jindal, Susan converted to the Roman faith after her exorcism.

I don't know about you, but the idea of such a person as Bobby Jindal leading "the most powerful nation in the world," having a red phone and a "nucular" button in his Oval Room desk, is not exactly my notion of peace-of-mind. What if Jindal decided, say, that Vladimir Putin was Satan and it was time to nuke his nation of demons back to the Stone Age? Jindal tows the Catholic line. At Oxford on the Rhodes scholarship, he was "outspoken in his conservatism, inviting friends over to his apartment to make pizza and talk about abortion." Worse, as governor, Jindal signed a 2008 bill known as the Louisiana Science Education Act, allowing public schools to teach creationism. As a result,Murphy writes, "thousands of high school students, especially in the state's Baptist and evangelical north," were instructed that the Loch Ness monster is proof that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. Yes, and God put fossils in the earth to fool the Darwinists, and Bigfoot is the missing link.

Despite his Rhodes credentials and Brown education, Jindal is a deluded fool. Murphy quotes one Jindal watcher as saying the governor is "smart"; after all, he once had a chance to attend the Harvard Medical School. But the same person told Murphy, "I can't believe he believes in creationism." The speaker was Jindal's youthful nemesis, a 20-year-old named Zack Kopplin, now famous in freethinker circles for having  talked dozens of Nobel prize winners into signing a letter opposing the creationism legislation. Jindal's favoritism toward religious institutions -- to hell with the wall of separation! -- was made clear when he pushed a voucher program that siphoned off $4 million in taxpayer monies for religious organizations, including some with strict discriminatory policies. No gays allowed. He also does favors for big campaign contributors. Sound familiar? Yes, of course: a typical Republitard with theocractic and oligarchic ideals. I should think he is the LAST person we want in the White House. Fortunately, Murphy concludes that the genius of Jindal lies in the fact he made us think he was a potential candidate.

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Jindal is clearly not a person I want to lead my country for all the reasons you reported; because of his statements and his policies. We need someone who can be a leader of all our people, without infection of religion. A concerted effort to separate church and state needs to occur. Someone who recognizes the income gap that splits our country into rich and poor is simply evidence that our policies are wrong. 

Who do you see as viable candidates for POTUS? 

Hillary might be fine, but she voted for the Iraq incursion and that is against progressive principles. She is also pro-corporation and benefitted from D.C. insider trading (something the rest of us would be put in prison for) when she made a killing on the commodities market. But who can the Republitards put up? Ayn Rand Paul? Get serious. They will have the usual clown posse in the primaries, and if they allow them too many debates they will kill each other off. Remember the debate where all of them were asked if they believed in evolution and all said no except John McCain, and he waffled by adding, "But I also love the glory of a sunset," &c. as if saying he believes in God as well. Psssst, John, nobody can believe in both evolution AND God.

Hillary has not stood up in support of those rendered poor because of NAFTA and other policies that favored the rich. I don't know her rationale for staying with a man who so flagrantly couldn't control his zipper; she took a terrible dive in my opinion of her when she made the choice she did. She does stand strongly for women's right to an abortion, but many other women and men support that issue; a very important one for me. 

Ayn Rand Paul. Hahaha. No way!

John McCain has dirty fingers as well, and he is a war monger, even if he was a tortured prisoner. 

Elizabeth Warren has the guts to call out the crooks and liars; she would take a terrible beating from the Koch brothers and their minions. She says "No!"

Bernie Sanders would champion the working men and women, but he would have to deal with Congress and who knows where that will go? 

Jill Stein, Green Party, has no chance. 

I guess, James, that leaves you to carry the banner and lead us out of this mess. 

Don't look at me. I couldn't survive the scrutiny for hire as Commissioner of the Sewers.

Jindal is exactly the kind of person Bill Maher was referring to when he made his closing remarks in the movie, Religulous.  Indeed, the very beginning and end of his statement says it all:

The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live ... If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let's remember what the real problem was that we learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That's it. Grow up or die.
-- Bill Maher

For anyone who is curious, the rest may be found here.

A sense of melancholy floats across my being as I realize that I lived through the tipping point of life on Earth and we will likely never see such magnificence again. The Great Depression, WW II, and then a great awakening of compassion developed as laws challenged residual slavery of blacks, the emergence of women as partners in life and commerce, wage workers gained influence in the political arena, the welcoming of the poor and disenfranchised of the world as we rebuilt our nation's infrastructure, the vast improvement of health for rich and poor, a reduction of experimentation on sentient beings, the reduction of poverty, the explosion of scientific knowledge even to the point of going into space, and we sent probes into the universe. 

In 1975, the laws began to revert back to create a spreading of an income gap between rich and poor, labor laws disappeared from the legal books, hate groups attacked opportunities for blacks to advance, attempts to control women's bodies rose, hatred of immigrants grew like yeast in a rich environment of growing hate perpetrated by growing religious fervor.  

The next generation grows in an environment of "us vs. other". Growing hunger and homelessness, accompany joblessness as jobs go overseas to utilize near slave labor with poor working conditions, few health and retirement benefits and inferior products made of unsafe materials for the benefit of self-righteous and greedy men and women. 

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd C. Blankfein, defended the size of its staff bonuses, saying he believed banks serve a social purpose and are “doing God’s work.” He wasn't even embarrassed to make such a statement. 

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor,  defended the firm he once ran, alleging that as "the leader of the industry," Goldman is "vulnerable" to "envy":

"When you're successful it brings envy...These things are at a time when people are extremely sensitive -- and the other issue is that people are broadly frustrated with the financial institutions, and since it is the leader of the industry and has shown great success over a long period of time, I think it's more vulnerable."

Yes, people feel frustrated that wealthy suck money out of the accounts of working people for the benefit of wealth, especially as the working class carries the heavy load of paying for wars that benefit others, even as they kill, maim, destroy and decimate whole cultures. 

His Former Holiness Joseph Ratzinger confirmed Goldman Sachs indeed does god's work by sanctioning the unsolicited hostile takeover. He verified total control of the popular religion is   transferred to Goldman Sachs and His New Holiness Lloyd Blankfein. Ratzinger added, since they now own the place, they should be doing the work.

The collaboration of wealth with religion have a deaf ear to those who cry and will not be heard. 




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