Thursday, May 14, 2009

Faith-Based Politics

Carpetbagger has a post discussing why Republicans seem like such "Big Babies" when they lose presidential elections, while Democrats just act like pathetic losers. But frankly, I'm not sure that there really is that much of a difference between the two sides and that, as CB suggests, the main difference is that Republicans always act like Big Babies.

But for as much as there is a difference, I think part of it is that conservatives believe firmly in a Grand Narrative, which is a morality tale based upon their own faithfulness. The righteous and pure will win and the corrupt sinners will lose. As long as you have faith and stay true, you'll prevail.

And much of this stems from the bible, which has similar tales; to the point that large sections of the Old Testament fell victim to historical revisionism to make it seem as if Israel and Judah always prospered when the people were faithful to God and suffered when they went against God's will. And in some cases, strong kings who were faithless got ignored, while weak kings who were faithful were over-hyped.

And somehow, the fact that these good and bad times had anything to do with larger historical events which were happening throughout the region is largely forgotten about. And so the rise and fall of power in Egypt, Babylon, and Rome were just background events in the morality tale told in the bible. It's as if a flea imagined that it caused a great flood just because the dog jumped into the pool. And the reality is that Israel and Judah only had "kingdoms" due to a brief power vacuum in the region, and their faith had nothing to do with it at all.

Losing the Faith

And that sort of morality tale has carried true to now, which is why so many Republicans were absolutely convinced that McCain would pull a miracle upset in November. To them, their strong faith was enough to win the election. And when they didn't win, reality just didn't make sense to them and they felt betrayed. It'd be like turning the page in your Harry Potter novel and suddenly finding yourself in the middle of War and Peace. Their Grand Narrative stopped making sense.

And now, they see this as a challenge and believe they need to work harder to smite their enemies. And if they acknowledge reality and admit that Obama is popular and they're in the minority, it'd show their lack of faith and they'd just lose more. And so their loss could only be because they didn't fight hard enough and weren't pure enough to the cause of conservativism. And they've gone as far as to rewrite history, showing their weak leader George Bush as a faithless moderate who betrayed the cause.

These people are truly small-minded and imagine that the world revolves around them and their beliefs. The tides of history are nothing compared with the demands of their bruised egos.

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