Thursday, November 07, 2002

So close, but...

Eric Raymond writes an interesting post here.

But the theophobe in him will not be denied - we have to suffer this:
[Republicans have] have their own loony fringe (abortion-clinic bombers, neo-fascists like Pat Buchanan, and the Christian Coalition) to cope with
Yup, those Republicans sure couldn't win an election without the abortion clinic bomber vote, now could they? Surely he knows Pat Buchanan has bolted the Republican Party, and IMO the door was locked behind him. And the Christian Coalition - horror of horrors!

In my experience Christians don't have a tremendous appetite for politics - they enter only when extremely provoked. And about anywhere you look you can see gratuitous provocations for Christians and other believers. So it's no surprise that some are politically active. Anyone who finds that scary can simply quit provoking them. That they don't suggests that the provocateurs either are stupid, or that they know very well that nothing is going to happen.

Christians certainly don't agree with each other on everything. No single group has enough clout to impose its own will, and the others will oppose any attempt to do so. So they'll always cancel each other out on all but the broadest issues, and IMO they really don't ask for much.

In short, don't fall for the Democrat propaganda - you'll never see a theocracy in the US. It wouldn't even have happened in Afghanistan without massive outside interference, and that's with a different religion that inherently fails to separate church and state.

Then there's this:
Right-wing statism is not an improvement on left-wing statism; a smug and dominant GOP could easily become captive to theocrats and know-nothings, a very bad thing for our nation and the world
It appears that Mr. Raymond believes that the theocrats are already in the Republican Party. And IMO it's pretty clear that the Republicans can't impose "right-wing statism" or "theocracy" without getting more votes than they're getting now. Alright so far?

Well, the only way for the Republicans to get those extra votes they need to impose their will is to absorb a lot of people who are not theocrats or right-wing statists. In fact, expanding the Republican "big tent" can only dilute the influence of the theocrats (such few as might exist). So if you want to reduce the influence of theocrats, you might well have more influence working with the Republicans than working against them.

It's a shame these blemishes had to occur in an otherwise excellent post.

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