30 November 2012

Sympathy for the devil (and relief at its defeat)

Daniel Nichols writes (and I agree, mostly):
As a Catholic radical, one who is religiously and morally ”conservative” but deeply concerned about the concentration of wealth and power and the steady erosion of the working class, President Obama’s reelection is a mixed bag. Yes, he is no friend to the unborn, to understate it, though in the news today I saw that abortion is at an all time low since legalization. And no, he is no friend to religious liberty, however hypocritical many Catholic institutions have been in protesting his policies; you know, like the Catholic hospitals who do sterilizations or the Catholic colleges that dispense birth control to students. And he has reversed himself and now endorses the metaphysical impossibility of gay marriage. And he has continued Bush’s policies in concentrating presidential power.

On the other hand, he is taking baby steps against the thirty years of policies that favor corporations and the rich; nothing radical mind you, but a far cry from the attack on workers and the poor that a Romney administration would almost certainly have launched. And there is no reason to believe that a Romney presidency would in any way affect the status quo regarding abortion, except perhaps to increase the number of abortions as social programs were slashed.

But I was thinking yesterday about those who are both religiously conservative and economically “conservative”; ie, classically liberal.

To them there is nothing redeemable in the President’s reelection. It is all bleak. While it is hard for me to imagine that many sincerely believe that deregulating finance and industry and lowering taxes for the wealthy really would bring about prosperity for all, despite the results of doing just that for thirty years, let us give them the huge benefit of the doubt.

Blindsided and bewildered, there is wailing and gnashing of teeth on the right. And finger-pointing, lots of finger-pointing.

The world must appear bleak and hopeless. Despair must eat at them like a worm in a tomato.

I can’t help feeling a little sorry for them. Really, I do, however deluded they are.

Which does not in the least diminish my relief at their defeat.


  1. Hi Matt.

    Thanks for your reply to my last message. It is good to hear from you about Mr. Dart.

    I have to say I'm kind of surprised at your reply concerning the Southern black communities. Could you clarify further about the "crassly-consumerist garbage" aspect of these communities and any further reservations? Surely this has nothing to do with BET?

    And as for the excerpt above, well they are indeed a pitiable lot.

    1. Hi idrian! Thanks for the comment!

      I must confess that it has quite a bit to do with BET (were you being sarcastic, by the by?). But then, I am rather heavily influenced by Aaron McGruder and The Boondocks as well as by, say, Bill Cosby. Mr McGruder is not the greatest fan of BET either...

      For me, the temptation to schadenfreude at the Republicans' expense is pretty great - it is as much an exercise to resist that temptation as to resist the anger I felt at Bush (and continue to feel at the continuation of his policies under Obama).

      All the best,

  2. Mr. Cooper:

    Thnx for the reply. Well, I guess that my idea of a Southern black community that might be acceptable to the conservative is one of sharecropping, black spirituals and, if I'm not mistaken, community self-help and the desire for racial justice. I read an online article by Anthony Samad about Mr Cosby and BET and, well, he does not agree with it being "black culture" for one thing. And no, there was not any idea of sarcasm with my previous reply.

    Thanks also for the message about your "pretty great" temptation...