I AM ENJOYING THIS BOOK
I picked this up as a "book on CD" (unabridged on 15 discs). I'm not very far into it yet, but so far it is striking a mighty chord with me. Author Kevin Phillips, who used to be a Republican in the days of Goldwater and Nixon, is explaining the dangers of "radical religion, oil and borrowed money in the 21st century" in ways that I find insightful and understandable, and he expresses thoughts I haven't been able to find adequate words for for the last ten or fifteen years. He talks of how those three major things (in bold print above) have gradually become part of the GOP (with the help of Bushes in high places during the last 30 years), and how the ascendance of religious fundamentalism, our dependence on (and control of) oil and our horrendous deficit spending and national debt pose the greatest dangers to our nation. Phillips asks us if war and terror should be included there, and he says yes, they are important but they are basically an outgrowth of his three major factors. He also blames the Democratic party and "secular liberals" for angering the fundamentalists by trying to get Christianity "out of the public square" in the 60s and 70s, causing a movement that resulted in a fundamentalist revival of sorts... he thinks the Democrats' aimlessness (and the attitude of a few athiest lefties which has become blown out of proportion to supposedly represent the views of the entire Democratic party) have contributed to the impossible happening: the Republican party has become the nation's first religious political party.
If I find more things in this book which I feel like sharing as I make my way through the CDs, I will blog more about it. So far, it's wonderful listening!
From the New York Times, via Wikipedia, about "American Theocracy":
"He identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration's policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country's immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future."
(For a dissenting view on Phillips, Slate offers this cranky item from Jacob Weisberg:
Also, this item re. Kevin Phillips and his current assertions is FUN! It's from http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/21/1418243 :
Cleveland, Ohio - March 20, 2006:
Q: Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. President, and to the City Club. My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, American Theocracy, discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?
THE PRESIDENT: The answer is -- I haven't really thought of it that way. (Laughter.) Here's how I think of it. The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow. I vowed after September the 11th, that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And my attitude, of course, was affected by the attacks. I knew we were at war. I knew that the enemy, obviously, had to be sophisticated and lethal to fly hijacked airplanes into facilities that would be killing thousands of people, innocent people, doing nothing, just sitting there going to work.
SNAVE'S NOTE: I think the president's response to the question is mostly BULLSHIT in regard to giving an honest answer. "I haven't really thought of it that way"??!?! For heaven's sake, "Left Behind" series author Tim LaHaye is a close friend and spiritual adviser to Bush. Would that influence Bush? Ya think? This is from a fun article from Salon, in 2002, called "Fundamentally Unsound", at
"After all, Tim LaHaye isn't merely a fringe figure like Hal Lindsey, the former king of the genre, whose 1970 Christian end-times book "The Late Great Planet Earth" was the bestseller of that decade. The former co-chairman of Jack Kemp's presidential campaign, LaHaye was a member of the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy, which ABCNews.com has called "the most powerful conservative organization in America you've never heard of" and whose membership has included John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson and Oliver North. George W. Bush is still refusing to release a tape of a speech he gave to the group in 1999."
I'd like to hear what he had to say to that group, wouldn't you?
And what the heck IS this group? Find out a bit more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_National_Policy .
"It has been described as the "club of the most powerful" and "the genuine leaders of the Republican Party" by the New York Times, and it is widely believed to coordinate and develop strategy for the entire conservative movement." Membership is by invitation only... meetings are secret, held behind closed doors.
I looked it up, and I found that some of its members in 1998 were Dick Armey, Gary Bauer, Larry Burkett, Rep. Dan Burton, Rep. Tom DeLay, Rich DeVos (AmWay), James Dobson, Rep. John Doolittle, Bob Dornan, Sen. Lauch Faircloth, Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sen. Jesse Helms, Rep. Ernest Istook, Bob Jones III, Jack Kemp, Alan Keyes, Sen. John Kyl, Tim LaHaye, Sen. Trent Lott, Lon Mabon (an Oregon crank who has managed to get some anti-gay measures onto the state ballot in the past), Edwin Meese, Sen. Don Nickles, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, R.J. Rushdoony (prominent Christian Reconstructivist), Phyllis Schlafly, several folks with the last name Coors, etc. ICK.
SO, is Bush the Antichrist? Probably not... he's probably nothing but a callous dickhead... but this is a fun article for you: