#0016 Trickledown theology (conclusion)
When you start to take inventory of the issues that the right-wingers support, you can get a better understanding that the problem isn’t in the individual items on the list it’s in their thoughts and feelings about them. What is the backstory behind the why of their beliefs and the reasons for them being so passionate about these issues—even to the point of anger over some of them? If we can start getting at this backstory then we might be able to bring some light into the room. A really good illustration of what I’m referring to is exampled in the most recent development around the Confederate flag. On June 17, 2015 a disturbed young man came into a Wednesday evening prayer service in Charleston, SC and shot and killed 9 of the worshippers there; all of whom were African Americans. Numbered among those who were killed was the church’s pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/us/charleston-south-carolina-shooting/ It was determined relatively early on that this was a hate crime based on pictures and other postings found on the shooter’s website. On this site there were several pictures of the shooter posing with the Confederate flag; it is assumed that he chose the flag because of its long-established use as an iconic representation of southern white supremacy. The flag being used this way has become common knowledge in the Deep South and elsewhere inside the U.S.
Since its return to the public eye in the 60s, Southern politicians have been successful in their efforts to dress up the flag in political rhetoric making it out to be a harmless or even a positive historical symbol. These right-winged, self-righteous politicians have been so successful at this that the confederate flag—this symbol of racism and hate—has been flying over, in official capacity, mind you, the South Carolina state capitol building since 1961. It wasn’t until this racially motivated massacre brought the hate that this symbol inspired to become a flesh and blood and bone reality. On many a given Sundays at NASCAR tracks all across America, hundreds of 1,000s of redneck fans stand to pledge allegiance or sing the national anthem as a heartfelt tribute to the stars and stripes our nation’s flag. Until July 10, 2015, in South Carolina this same sort of demonstration of respect had been afforded the Confederate Flag, an icon of racial hate. No longer. http://abcnews.go.com/US/confederate-flag-state-capitol-south-carolina/story?id=32354059
I wanted to use this as an example of how entrenched in ideologies people can become. The reason I chose this particular example is because the Civil War concluded in 1865—over 150 years ago. A century and a half later and it’s still making headlines. The backstory here isn’t in the history of the Civil war, which side won, etc. It’s about using an event to stoke the embers of resentment and hatred over an issue of cultural pride and a bruised collective ego. This wound was reopened in the 60s when the Johnson administration pushed through the Civil Rights Act and equal rights for black s became the law of the land. Early on there was civil, non-compliant resistance to the law by local and state authorities in places like Selma, Birmington, and Montgomery, Alabama; but in the end the southern states were compelled to comply. It was in this interim that some of the state capitols in the south began to fly the Confederate flag in an attempt to reestablish some of its southern pride. To this I would like only to add…what about the wounded pride of all our black brothers and sisters, et AL who had to endure the seeming celebration of the enslavement of their own ancestral families this flag represents?! Defending one’s cultural heritage becomes obscene and wrong when in doing it you are commemorating a mistake and it is done at the expense of others with whom you share that cultural heritage. Those who think that they are more deserving of special considerations—for whatever reason—are sitting in the lap of self-righteousness. Doesn’t matter if those expounding their case believe that God is most definitely on their side; doesn’t matter if they can quote the Bible chapter and verse explaining their views: doesn’t matter if their whole, entire culture thinks and believes exactly the same way they do…self-righteous isn’t synonymous with righteous; in fact it’s the opposite.
Presently, in the year 2015, not just in the south, but all over the United States, there’s a growing movement of destructive-thinking and backwards-talking energy coming out of the conservative, ego-fracas circus also known as the GOP. Usually referred to (by me) as Group Of Pr*#ks, (knowing full well it’s not a nice thing to say); these guys have risen to new heights of audacity and overt politically engineered campaigns against those whom I listed in the closing of my last post. I said overt campaigns because unlike the good ole days of the Nixon regime with their expertise in covert operations throughout the Watergate fiasco; today every-thing is right out in the open and every-one is fair game. Compared to things back then, the Grand Ole Party is barely recognizable anymore—even to them. They do have that same attitude swagger radiating off their personas as they enter a room, though; and it still seems to exude that same air which says that everything they stand for and say is right and true and if you fail to see that about them—you must be pathetic losers.
In the matter of the Confederate flag we saw Southern conservatives rallying around a pride-based ideology and the flag that represented it—a flag of a nonexistent nation, the Confederacy. It begs the question…if these conservatives could muster so much zeal and passion over this issue while completely blotting out the feelings of the millions of people outside their own circles; then should we be surprised as we watch them line up behind their current 2016 campaign docket of issues of similar self-centered and self-righteous issues? Just like the Confederate flag thing, the talking points they throw around relative to each of these new issues score equally high in their ability to ignore, disempower and otherwise do injury to non-essential Americans: women, members/supporters of LGBT communities; poor people; seniors; Latinos and other non-whites; people who look like they’re of a Middle Eastern persuasion: liberals; and pretty much anyone not just like them.
Today’s talk has been about why they do what they do and hopefully this discourse has provided you with some insight into the topic…Trickledown theology. This theology is at the heart of the self-righteous perspectives all the conservatives have in common and it’s what causes them to identify with the ideologies of the party in the 1st place. At the heart of this theology is their God who’s laid out his policies in a book written thousands of years ago and was published and edited by other politically-minded guys who are just like them. The book of course is the Bible and even though it’s a compilation piece which has been so divisive that wars have been waged over its meaning for millennia—they have somehow been able to milk from it its ultimate truths while at the same time are easily able to tie it in to their own political agendas. This God blesses people according to their beliefs and behaviors; therefore they and their right-minded cronies with their oodles of money and trucks-and-trucks full of stuff must (no doubt) be favored in His eyes. Being so highly favored in God’s eyes, rich people are the most apt and best qualified to serve in political office or alternatively are best suited to discern the ones who are right for those high political positions. And truth and understanding and wisdom will keep flowing down upon these, if not righteous then self-righteous divine agents of political policies and the fruits of their great wisdom and understandings will continue to trickle down upon all those of us fortunate little people here below.