I have absolutely had it with the 2012 political scene. Yeah, okay, the President isn't everything we hoped. We had such high hopes, it's not surprise he couldn't deliver on all of them.
But the alternative? If the alternative doesn't scare you to death, you must be a lunatic.
Why? I'll tell you. Strap in.
Rick Santorum and the other current Republican Presidential candidates are the American Taliban.
If you really listen to what they say, their beliefs and policies are not all that dissimilar from the Taliban:
1) THEIR radical form of conservative Christianity and no other morality should dictate our lives just as the Taliban believe that radical conservative Muslim principles should dictate;
2) Women are second class citizens who should exercise no - or at best a tiny token - control over their bodies and destiny just as the Taliban restrict and control women's mode of behavior, dress and education;
3) Higher education should be discouraged just as the Taliban discourage "secular" education, particularly among women and the other dispossessed;
4) Gays and lesbians are the ultimate sinners and not worthy of human or civil rights just as the Taliban refuse to acknowledge existence of gays/lesbians. To be fair, the GOP candidates to my knowledge don't advocate imprisoning and executing people based on their sexuality.
Santorum, Gingrich, Romney and even Paul are always preaching religious tolerance and freedom yet where were they when an American Muslim group wanted to build a community center a few blocks from Ground Zero? They all were vehemently opposed to it. Where was their stalwart support of religious freedom and tolerance then?
You see, it's only their version of religion that they want to impose on everyone else. You, me, everyone: Americans will only be "free" to practice their version of religion and morality. They want to do whatever they please, and be damned to everyone else.
Am I the only person who can spot the double standard and hypocrisy here? On one side of his face, the GOP candidate will advocate less-intrusive, smaller government. Out the other side, he - or, more alarmingly, she - will advocate governmental intrusion into your home, your morals, your ethics, hell, even your body.
At best this is lame inconsistency. At worst, it's in insidious invasion of America by totalitarians because we, the electorate, are too stupid or lazy to denounce. And the masses rise up to shrilly bleat their support for them, in rallies and self-congratulatory frenzies. While I hesitate to use the term "fascist", as an historian I am painfully aware of the very close comparison which can be made between the fascist movements of the 1930s and now. The GOP candidates are pandering to their base, with the assistance of a sophisticated, powerful propaganda machine, a machine which is so finely tuned that it can convince people hovering near the poverty line to denounce those protesting against the 1%. It can convince people that the Founding Fathers, who risked everything to throw off tyranny, want us to impose tyranny on ourselves. There is always someone to blame - welfare cheats, Obamacare, the list goes on - while behind the obfuscation the oligarchs line their pockets and chip ever more merrily away at individual freedoms.
I'm sick and tired of it. I know I'm not the only one who sees this bullshit happening. But I feel like I'm trying to stop the tide with a teaspoon; I'm teetering on the brink of despair at the very good chance our country - my country - might slide into a 21st century religio-fascist dictatorship.