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Bush is a victim of America’s political civil war

Gerard Jackson

Monday 13 March 2006

The Bush presidency has revealed the enormous ideological rift that has been developing for more than forty years in America, and yet the vast majority of Americans are still not fully aware of it even though there has probably been nothing like it since the civil war.

On one side of the political gulf there are the fanatical win-at-all-costs Democrats whose vital ideological core does not believe in the legitimacy of the Republican Party just as abolitionists didn’t believe in the legitimacy of slavery and the Southern Democrats in the legitimacy of Lincoln’s presidency.

To these Democrats, the Gores, Hillarys, Reids, Jesse Jacksons, Streisands, etc., the Republicans are the equivalent of nineteenth century slave owners. The irony of which is completely lost on these fanatics considering that those slave owners were Democrats

These comments are not mere speculation. About six years ago Curtis Cans, head of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, pointed out that political inspired hatred has been building up for some thirty years, blaming television for this phenomenon. But 1972 was the year that the radicals captured the Democratic Party. From that moment the Democrats’ ruthless urge win began to be transformed into a policy of political extermination.

These radicals brought with them the disease of the crusading spirit of intolerance. Firm in the righteousness of their cause (however incoherent at times), convinced that America was built on injustice, exploitation and oppression they have waged an unconditional war against the infidel, the barbarian conservative, the enemy of all that is good and just. That the Republican Party was formed on an anti-slavery platform is something these dangerous fanatics have tried to write out of history, just as they try to suppress anything that contradicts their Orwellian views

Much of the last century’s politics remind me of the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries where the battleground was doctrine and the object the saving of souls. Heretics, on both sides, who refused to recant frequently met a fiery end at the stake. Although it is true that Martin Luther did not, unlike the lovely Mr Alec Baldwin, did not favour putting to death those who disagreed with him.

But fanaticism has a price and that price is the abandonment of reason and tolerance. That is why some Dems feel free to accuse Bush of being evil and wanting to reintroduce slavery. We see the same thing in Hollywood where, for example, a huge Hollywood crowd gave a Streisand a rousing reception when she called on it to vote for Gore because he will stack the Supreme Court with ‘judges’ who will twist the Constitution to fit their ideological agenda. (So much for the separation of the powers)

According to this deep Hollywood thinker the 1999 election was “a war against bigotry, against discrimination of any kind, racial, religious or sexual orientation.” To her and the rest of “Hollywood’s celluloid intellectuals,” Republicans are the forces of Darkness while the Democrats are the forces of Light. This feeling is genuine, pervasive and dangerous and it is poisoning the whole of the body politic, eating away at civil political discourse.

How did these Democrats arrive at such a risible and contemptible view of conservatives, or anyone else who disagrees with them? Having convinced themselves that they alone are concerned with social justice and oppression, and only they care about the poor and the underprivileged it is but a short step to assume that anyone who questions their vision or so-called remedies must be stupid or malevolent.

Just as religious fanatics from centuries past could not tolerate the existence of those who questioned their theology and so could only ascribe to these critics a devilish malevolence, neither can our “new Democrats” tolerate any who challenge their sacred political doctrines.

Gerard Jackson is Brookes’ economics editor

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