let's face it, the highly religious, the ones we here have the biggest problem with, is the base of the Republican Party. given this, news of its imminent demise should thrill most Atheists. and make no mistake, barring a gargantuan shift in policies and rhetoric, they are absolutely on the path towards extinction.
it's common knowledge that the GOP is an old, white party. while not an absolute, that is an accurate enough description of the Republican Party today. two trends to keep in mind here. one, old people tend to die at a faster rate than young people. two, white people are shrinking as a percentage of the electorate. they are running out of supporters, and it's happening quicker than many thought.
take yesterday's election. President Obama won over 90% of the black vote and 70% of the latino and asian vote. Romney did well with seniors and whites overall. meanwhile, the country is getting browner. the GOP may end up becoming a whites only club, a nativist and pale collection of isolationists who choose to ignore the changing demographics of the country. worse, they may choose to keep it this way. if they choose this path, their extinction is all but guaranteed. their option would be to abandon their social issues, immigration policies, and economic austery programs and to open up their tent through real policy change.
anyone wanna bet which way they go?
for Atheists, either way is a win. if the GOP becomes irrelevant then the power of the religious right goes with it. if they truly make changes to make more people inclusive and begin to part with their religious base Atheists will celebrate. yesterday's election is better for Atheists than most people would think.
i had alabama in mind when i was writing this :)
love love love this!!
One day ... and soon, I hope ... Barack Obama will come out as an atheist. Maybe after his second term, maybe before then. Maybe he can admit to using religious language as a means to maintain his own credibility in a nation which largely cannot accept a person in a position of power without it, then to denounce religious language as the specious and non-functional bullshit that it is. Maybe he could throw down a challenge to American politics and its incessant pandering to god and Jebus and say in so many words, "Whom did you think you were kidding with that crap?" More importantly, he could restate that the US is not only NOT a christian nation but not even a nation exclusively OF CHRISTIANS, and that indeed, the count of christians in the US is dwindling, even as we speak.
It would be a significant event, to be sure, a slap in the face, a wake-up call, and one the US badly needs, for all its sturm und drang about religion and politics. I don't know that it'll ever happen, but I'll be damned glad when it does.
I am sure you are correct. He learned his politics from the Chicago machine. He will say just about anything to get elected and to maintain power, including stating that he is a devout Christian when he is nothing of the sort. It will be interesting to learn his true convictions in a 2nd term, as if we don't know already. I believe he let it slip in the last few days of the election with the "vote for revenge" comment. I have always felt that wealth redistribution was his major driving principle (off scripted comments have confirmed this), and that the health of the economy is less important to him - obviously, he thinks the "private sector is doing fine" with 2% growth and 7.8% unemployment. I am know I am in the minority here, but I am glad he does not control all the levers of power in this country. The working poor and elderly (fixed pensions and zero interest rates) are the ones that suffer most in a bad economy. The ultra rich will do just fine.
the idea of wealth redistribution is so poorly misunderstood. first, it's important to recognize the problem. wealth disparity has gotten out of hand. it's been a decades long trend and is only getting worse. so unless you believe that a true plutocracy is good for america then something needs to give.
second, all presidents redistribute wealth. that's what raising and lowering taxes is all about. so unless you think that a president shouldn't be involved in setting fiscal policy then you are being disingenous.
finally, taxes are at ALL TIME LOWS. was it socialism when Reagan took office and the top rates were early 80%? our tax policy has favored the wealthy a bit too much, and the results have been felt by the middle class.
I agree that most government programs redistribute wealth - social security, medicare, income tax. I am OK with a progressive system. I am in favor of tax reform - put a cap on deductions, etc. We need to find a way to split out small business from the individual rate. Both candidates agreed that we need to lower tax rates on businesses so we can better compete with other countries (Canada has a much lower rate). The problem is we have a high tax RATE on business, but then the politicians play favorites and give out deductions that benefit some industries but not others. An important point though - is you must have a healthy economy to effectively redistribute wealth. (Yes we used to have higher rates under Reagan, but also more deductions. The tax system - looking at revenues - is even more progressive now than it was then).
I am also OK with raising even more tax revenue from the wealthy compared to the less wealthy, but NOT until they find an effective way of putting a cap on spending, example linking spending to percent of GDP. Otherwise it is like giving crack to an addict. Politicians are not able to limit spending without a hard cap - sequestration is such a cap. It is just too hard for any politician to say NO. I like many of the ideas of Bowles/Simpson and we need to revisit their work. Note - Republicans should have found a way to support the concepts without necessarily totally endosing all the details. Likewise the President made a huge mistake (for the country) by not taking that report and using it effectively. Perhaps he will be a more effective Leader in his 2nd term, since he does not have to run again. My concern is that he has no experience in negotiation (not trying to be a political partisan here but it is true). LBJ, Clinton, Reagan were masterful negotiators. Bush was effective in the early part of his 1st term, not so effective when he tried to negotiate immigration reform.
Obama would have been better served if he had to negotiate in the 1st two years of his term. He did not need to negotiate because he had majorities in both houses of Congress, eventually a filibuster proof majority in the Senate until the mid-terms (actually until Scott Brown replaced Kennedy). He could have easily pealed off moderate Republicans early in his first term, he chose not to. He actually united the Republicans who were at the time in some disarray. I fault his leadership more than the opposition. The opposition is always going to be resistant and whiny. Now - since he lost the House he HAS to negotiate or he/we will get nothing but more of the same.
agreed. and i think spending will get fixed. i'm just glad that it's the dems who can set the pace and amount of cuts. the wholesale and massive cuts proposed by house reps would have been crippling. let's do it smartly and humanely. hell, if the economy has improved as much as obama is telling us then we shouldn't need all this entitlement spending, right?
Right - get the economy growing and we won't need so much entitlement spending. That was my point about pursuing wealth redistribution without also having a healthy economy. It will lead to a train wreck.
Jim, if I hadn't just found this thread I would have replied sooner.
If you're thinking wealth redistribution is the major driving principle of only the Dem Party, you haven't paying attention.
Both parties see taxpayers as a huge piggie bank and they both redistribute to their campaign contributors.
Without campaign finance reform, the Greens and other small parties, if given power, will do the same.
great question. i think they're more scared of atheists, but just barely. at least muslims believe in some of their supernatural nonsense. they just picked wrong. we reject their whole premise, which is terrifying to them.
booklover, a recent poster at Think Atheist says a survey has shown that religious people trust atheists and rapists the least.
I think what REALLY scares them is that errant thought in the back of their head, telling them that they've been HAD, that it's all a con game that never quite made sense, but that they swallowed because of the fear of death, of hell, of the disapproval of their fellows. I suspect that at some level they've recognize that they've been faking it, but can't own up to that.
These are people who have an exceptionally difficult time dealing with OTHERS, someone not like them, different background, culture, religion, at least in part because there were never any OTHERS around them growing up, and they lived in a culture which said that their culture was IT, that it was the best, that everyone else were a bunch of heathens or savages, not good enough for THEIR culture.
They are developmentally and culturally STUNTED ... and in the immortal words of West Side Story, "depraved on account of they're deprived."