14 Jul 2011

Dr. King Is Needed In China, Though His Work Isn’t Done in America

??? At first glance, Martin Luther King and China don’t appear to belong together in the same sentence.  For myself—as a student of Asia, civil rights and international human rights— the combination makes perfect sense.  And if you look more closely, it should become obvious to you as well. As

07 Jul 2011

At What Point Does the GOP Become a Hate Group?

Here is an issue that deserves some attention.

Commentators have had some harsh things to say about the Republican Party of late, what it has become, and the direction in which it is heading. One observer, a clinical psychologist, characterized the GOP as the mainstreaming of political paranoia, with politicians who invent their own reality. The New York Times’ resident conservative said “the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.” And a Washington Post columnist called the party a cult, a “virtual political Jonestown” of intellectual stringency on issues such as taxes and abortion.

We came unarmed [this time]Now, these three writers said nothing within the realm of the unreasonable. Their indictment is warranted. There is no question, based on the evidence, that the GOP is that peculiar institution in which people thrive based on an alternate set of facts, divorced from reality. To say, for example, that climate change does not exist, or that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression, is to operate under one’s own set of facts. Further, believing it is a good thing, even desirable, to allow the U.S. to default on its debt obligations— and that all tax cuts are and no revenue increases are good—is not the mark of an organization that should be anywhere near the reins of power. And there can be no denying that twisted ideas such as criminalizing miscarriage and forcing rape and incest victims to give birth are the stuff of Kool-aid drinkers.

But can we take this a step further and ask whether the Republican Party is a hate group? If not, does it run the risk of becoming one? First, we need a working definition.