Dec 11 2008

Christian Derangement Syndrome

Category: politicsharmonicminer @ 9:32 am

Not a disease of Christians, but of those who criticize them, Christian Derangement Syndrome is a malady to which both the Left and some on the Right may fall prey. On the Left, it is recognized as bigotry towards anyone who, for religious reasons, supports the continuation of 4000 years of tradition in keeping marriage a heterosexual thing, is pro-life, etc.  On the Right, the symptoms are similar, but also involve a curious symbiosis with the Christians, because the secular Right NEEDS the Christians to have any power, but simply wants them to shut up and vote their way.  Here are some observations about Christian Derangement Syndrome on the Right:

I wish that I could say that Christian Derangement Syndrome only happens from attacks on the left, but it is evident in our own party also. Those who venture on the blogs to comment on the social issues are usually met with the word “bigot” or get accused of being “what is wrong with the party.” I’m not an expert but I’m pretty sure alienating a large part of the base is not going to fix the Republican party. The values voters get railroaded because they get the finger point of who is driving away people from the party when it was Ronald Reagan himself who invited them in. “I know you can’t endorse me, but I endorse you.” The Republican party became strong because of the Christian conservative movement.

Another Christian Derrangement Syndrome appeared in a post on Battleground Iowa that linked the Christian right to the liberals’ attacks on Mormonism.
……… (But) There have been many in the Christian conservative movement who have publicly thanked the Mormon church for their contribution to Prop 8 and think it is ludicrous at how the left is treating them.

Christian Derangement Syndrome is pathetic enough coming from the left, but it is permently destructive coming from at home on the right. The conservative movement has a lot going on this next week that will determine the future of our party and our state and this syndrome will do nothing to unite the party.

I’ll be blunter: the Republican party was going nowhere, nowhere at all, until the Christian Evangelicals came on board and essentially took over the grass roots. While they have been less successful at penetrating the stubbornly resistant Republican party elite (they of the Ivy League and Georgetown, living lives difficult to distinguish from limousine liberals), Christian evangelicals have been the reason for every electoral success since 1980, and their disenchantment with the party the cause of every electoral defeat.

Sometimes evangelicals have been less than wise in public statements about potential candidates who agree with them 80% of the time, preferring to focus too much on the 20%.  But the party elite has only itself to blame, because it is constantly looking for ways to weaken the evangelical influence on the GOP, while somehow retaining its votes.

What is needed is strong spokespersons who can hold their own in any debate and who are very well informed on a broad palette of issues, to be the representatives of the evangelicals in the party.  These need to be people who came up not from the pulpit or academe, but from hardscrabble political survival.  We need some Palins who can talk like Charles Krauthammer, and who are as well informed.  (Krauthammer, who seems to like Palin quite a bit, had one word of advice for her:  “Read.”  I agree.  She has enormous potential as the right KIND of person to lead the party, but needs to step up to the level of sophistication demanded of a presidential candidate, while retaining the essential orientation she has now.)

I have one bit of advice for those on the Right who think they can sneer at the values of “values voters”, while retaining their vote: Get ready to be in the permanent minority, in a back to the future return to 1960’s irrelevance.


8 Responses to “Christian Derangement Syndrome”

  1. Sam says:

    Let me start this by stating that I do not pretend at all to know a great deal about politics.
    But, what is the validity of a new party? It seemed in this last election in talking with fellow believers that a lot of people were torn between two candidates who got a little of it right, but still had glaring conflicts with Christian beliefs. What are the possibilities of starting a new Christian party?
    It seems that Christians today are forced to compromise at least some of their beliefs to fit into one of the big two political parties. It also seems that many times the policies of the big two parties are only formed to be contrary to each other. It’s not so much “what is best for the country” but rather “what will help us beat the other guy in the election.”
    There might be some potential in creating a party around Christian beliefs whose priorities and policies do not change with trends and see what kind of support it garners.
    Any thoughts?

  2. enharmonic says:

    Sam, I will start by saying I will do more than pretend to know a bit about politics. My husband ran for the U.S. Congress some years ago and was a Vice-Chairman of a state party for a few years. His favorite joke was one he got from Jay Lenno, “What is the definition of the word ‘politics’? Well, it comes from the latin word ‘poly’ which means many, and ‘tics’ which are blood-suckers”. This always gets a laugh because it is true.

    In 1994, two years after Bill Clinton became president, the Republicans had a landslide in which they took over Congress for the first time in 40 years. Newt Gingrich created “The Contract With America” which merely took traditional American values and made the proposal, “If you elect us, we will restore your values.” The American people raced to the polls and voted them in. Most of that “class of ’94” still sits in Washington D.C., partying with liberals and lobbyists today. They had the opportunity to live up to their promise and they failed. Newt was attacked so severely that many of those who got elected on his coattails quickly decided to join the opposition or keep a low profile. The desire to be teated like royalty (which those in congress are) is very hard to resist, much less let go of.

    With this background in mind, the idea of creating a new party has consistently been in the minds of many true conservatives for years. Here is another strategy being suggested and you might chew on this for awhile. It is time for conservative people to look at the voting and activist record of the Republicans currently sitting in Congress. If they have not voted consistently conservative and been proactive as conservatives, it is time to run true conservative Republicans against them in their own primaries. Each Congressman must endure a primary election in his own party every two years. Generally, an incumbent breezes through with no opposition at that level and often just token opposition in the general election. I am aware that the California Republican Party is currently recommending challenges to some long held Republican seats in the primary. We conservatives still have greater influence in this party than we realize. Get yourself elected or appointed to your local Republican central committee. Start by attending their meetings. Get aquainted with members and you will be a member yourself before you know it.

  3. Sam says:

    Thanks Enharmonic, that’s definitely something to think about.

    By the way, did you know that I was in the Reedley High Band 1993-1997? 🙂

  4. enharmonic says:

    What did you play? You would have been a senior my first year there.

  5. Sam says:

    Yes, I was. I played the valve trombone in marching band and the River Rats and french horn in symphonic band and orchestra! 🙂 Small world!

  6. enharmonic says:

    I think I remember you. Did you have a beautiful blond girlfriend?

  7. enharmonic says:

    You don’t have to answer that question. Sorry. Where are you now?

  8. Sam says:

    Haha, yes, I did. I’m in my eighth year teaching band in a small district down here in LA.

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