In part one Laying the groundwork for the Fascist takeover of America, part two Creating an internal enemy and part three Creating a Gulag we saw how the government from Reagan to Obama has created internal and external enemies with several phony wars. Further we explored how the United States has prosecuted and imprisoned millions of enemy combatants aka American Citizens. In this installment we will look at the thug caste created to intimidate people and smother any protest before it even gets started.
Despots have long recognized the necessity of controlling the press. Some would argue it is not possible in a free society but not only is it possible it is an accomplished fact. Later in this series we will have a more in depth discussion of how a few companies control the press but for now be aware the two go hand in hand – control of the press and a thug caste.
Two unlikely allies, political conservatives and fundamental Christians have formed the American thug caste. Not the political conservatism championed by Barry Goldwater but Ronald Reagan’s corruption of it, nor the open forgiving religion of Billy Graham but the aberration preached by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
It was after Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980 that the fundamentalist Christian groups were to join the crusade in earnest. Ronald Reagan began his political career as a thug; stating in his 1966 California gubernatorial campaign he would “send the welfare bums back to work,”. The California Highway Patrol were ordered by Reagan to quell the protests at Berkley’s People’s Park in 1969. An innocent bystander was killed and another blinded by the police. Reagan then called out 2,200 state National Guard troops to occupy the city of Berkeley for two weeks in order to crack down on the protesters. Hardly the actions of a ‘hero’, the term Jerry Falwell used to describe Reagan.
One would think a Baptist minister in particular and good Christian people in general would reject someone who could be so callous towards other human beings but Reagan knew how and which buttons to push. Abortion was a big issue and one Reagan used to his advantage. He was seen as a savior for the pro-life movement even though in 1967 for no other reason than political expediency then Governor Reagan signed California’s Therapeutic Abortion Act, which led to an explosion of abortions in the state of California.
The Republican conservative movement needed numbers and the leaders of the religious right saw an opportunity for a big political club to help them advance their agenda so some minor imperfections were overlooked. Fundamentalist Christians were largely responsible for electing Reagan to the presidency in 1980 who in turn used the presidential pulpit to advance religious agendas.
When Bill Clinton became president in 1992 on the surface it appeared his democratic administration was at odds with the religious right. The perceived Clinton atheist threat did have its benefits; the conservative Christian movement was galvanized around a common enemy. By this time right wing Republicans and Christians had melded together so closely an insult to one was an insult to the other. So Clinton’s opposition to the Vietnam War thirty years earlier was seen as proof of his godliness.
Recently however Hillary Clinton’s membership in the Family (also known as The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, or The International Foundation) has come to light. The Family is an anti-Communist, anti-Union right wing Christian organization in Washington DC. It would be hard to believe Hillary’s ties to the group had no effect upon then President Clinton.
In 2000 the army of God was once again called on to get the vote out for their candidate. The first year of George W. Bush’s presidency was relatively calm. He did pay back his wealthy donors with a huge tax cut but mostly he napped and watched baseball. Then came 911 and everything changed. Overnight the compassionate conservative was gone and in his place came the avenging angel of God.
Nationalism constructed not only of loyalty to country but to God Himself spread across the land like hungry locusts devouring all who would disagree. Opponents were quickly silenced and the unholy marriage of mean spirited capitalism and religious intolerance was consummated. It is a situation that frightens true Christian conservatives.
Chuck Baldwin writes in his article: I Am A Conservative Christian, And The Religious Right Scares Me, Too
Therefore, no longer does the Religious Right represent conservative, Christian values. Instead, they represent their own self-serving interests at the expense of those values.
It also appears painfully obvious to me that in order to sit at the king’s table, the Religious Right is willing to compromise any principle, no matter how sacred. As such, it has become a hollow movement. Sadly, the Religious Right is now a movement without a cause, except the cause of advancing the Republican Party.
Beyond that, the Religious Right is actively assisting those who would destroy our freedoms. On the whole, the Religious Right comports with those within the Bush administration and within the Republican Party who, in the name of “fighting terrorism,” are actually terrorizing constitutional protections of our liberties.
The question many ask is will things get better under Obama? The answer would be no. David Kuo, the former second-in-command at George W. Bush’s faith-based office wrote in his recent book Tempting Faith, “there is one camp [in Evangelicalism] who truly want to follow Jesus, and another, much narrower, the Christian political power brokers, who want to follow conservative politics.”
There was considerable fallout when Pastor Rick Warren invited then presidential hopeful Barrack Obama to speak at Warren’s aid conference, even more when Warren gave the prayer at Obama’s inauguration. It seems once again the thugs on the right are in a holding pattern, waiting only for the right moment to reenter the fray. Or perhaps create the circumstances themselves.