America’s Future: The Worst Possible Scenario

NO, we’re not thinking about military defeat, followed by the nightmare of a foreign-imposed Taliban-like caliphate. We’ll avoid that. Our greatest danger arises out of current domestic trends. (And yes, if you bear with us, you’ll see that this really is related to the evolution-creationism controversy.)

We’ve written before of our acute discomfort with political developments in the US, with one party favoring a socialist, protectionist, redistributionist welfare state, while the other party is increasingly creationist, sanctimonious and theocratic. See: American Politics: The Lady or the Tiger? and also: The Curmudgeon at Wit’s End, or “The Crisis”.

But we haven’t said it all. Not yet. Brace yourself, because your Curmudgeon will now reveal the full extent of his paranoia. Maybe it’s because we’ve had too much exposure to the mendacity of creationists, and we need a vacation. Or maybe all of that exposure has opened our eyes. Judge for yourself. The scenario we’re about to describe may never happen; but if it does — and it could — then we’d be faced with a far worse situation than the dreary one with which we are now confronted. Here it comes:

What if America’s two political parties merged? That is, what if the socialist Democrat party — to avoid competition — reaches out to the creationists who now run the Republican party? Don’t let the rhetoric on both sides mislead you into thinking this is impossible.

To the socialists, it’s irrelevant whether the population runs around worshiping Noah’s Ark, the Golden Calf, or Mother Earth. They don’t care, as long as they wield absolute power. Acceding to the religious demands of the opposing party would be a trivial concession. Rulers have always regarded religion as a useful tool, as long as the clergy are cooperative.

Although we can see the advantages for the socialists, why would the creationists go for such a scheme? For one thing, until recently they’ve had a long history of being fiercely loyal to the democrat party, so there are really no obstacles to a rapprochement that couldn’t be overcome. For another thing — the most important thing — the creationists would get a seat at the table. For theocrats, power is what they want. The creationist clergy would leap at the opportunity. Of course, that kind of opportunism requires a peculiar kind of clergyman. There are plenty of them out there.

The most financially successful and politically powerful religions are not those whose adherents have found contentment and skip around all day singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (here it is on YouTube: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah). It’s much more rewarding for an ambitious and unprincipled preacher to exploit something like the perpetual war in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Such churches thrive on conflict. It doesn’t really matter who the enemy is. Historically it’s been heretics, witches, a foreign foe in the Crusades, or if nothing else was handy, the Devil himself. Lately it’s been poor ol’ Charles Darwin. But they always need an enemy to motivate the faithful; and when they’re in power they’ll have plenty of enemies — and the freedom to smite them. It would be a theocrat’s dream come true.

Both sides will have to make some accommodations to achieve their common purpose. Each can give in on non-essential points. It’s doubtful that the socialists will abandon their anti-scientific objections to nuclear power, the space program, weapons research, oil-drilling, or anything else that conflicts with their environmentalism. Somehow all of that is necessary for their control of the economy. But in the interest of medical progress, which is desirable for all, they may insist on some relaxation of the creationists’ objections to biology — perhaps even requiring that the creationists give up their opposition to evolution.

The creationists can do it. They’ve already brushed aside scriptural objections to the shape of the earth, the value of pi, and the solar system. Most mainstream denominations have already accepted evolution (see: Statements from Religious Organizations), and the creationists can do likewise — if they need to. Maybe no such concession will be required and the socialists will tolerate creationism; but we think that’s unlikely. Dictators always want the best available medical treatments, so they’ll insist on the science that makes such things possible. These details are difficult to predict. Each side will do whatever is necessary in order to advance its own interests.

So don’t be surprised if you wake up one day to discover that the very worst elements within the creationist-social conservative-family values crowd have joined with the socialists to form a united front. When that happens, you’ll know it’s time to get out — if by then it isn’t already too late.

Will it happen? Maybe not. But one thing is certain: If you were hoping that the opposition political party would improve things, your hopes may be misplaced. It’s no longer Eisenhower’s Republican party — or even Ronald Reagan’s. The GOP is run by creationists, and they’d sell you out in a second.

You can’t depend on creationist “leaders” to look out for you or your country’s interests. They only thing they care about is power.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “America’s Future: The Worst Possible Scenario

  1. That would truly suck – but – as you may well have heard … atheists are the only group that has risen in population in all 50 states.

    It is my belief that the louder the creationists get – the more that people will awaken from their brain washing.

    So, even though it’s painful to listen to – it’s probably a good thing that they have become so vocal.

    Relax and get a good nights sleep.

  2. Stacy says: “Relax and get a good nights sleep.”

    That might help.

  3. It can’t happen here.

  4. Do you know any socialists? I do. They are not into “absolute power” and they are not anti-scientific. Remember who put the first man in space? If you want anti-science, listen to the global warming deniers.

  5. The Curmudgeon asks

    What if America’s two political parties merged?

    Jeepers, I thought they already had, and long ago.

  6. I still have a little faith in Le Chatelier’s principle (generalized version, per “Systemantics”), but it might be waning, as I am finding it harder to fight thoughts like yours.

    Google “self-gov.org” to see a picture worth 1000 words. Their model may not be perfect, but it’s the best I have seen. On my bad days I see both parties, and the public as well, slouching toward the “authoritarian” bottom from both sides.

  7. Frank J says: “… I am finding it harder to fight thoughts like yours.”

    That’s my problem too. Scary, isn’t it?

  8. As an aside, I think your concern over socialism and linking it to the democratic party are both a bit alarmist. Last year the U.S. spent about 1.5 trillion out of 2.5 trillion on welfare and medicare. This was under Bush, but pointing fingers is really not the issue; neither party has made any serious motion to reduce either program in years. We’ve spent well over half our total federal tax income on social programs for decades, under both republican and democratic presidents.

    With the arguments over healthcare and other Obama policies you need to remember that, combined, these programs barely make a blip on the economic radar. The mandatory and military spending swamp everything else (and the mandatory spending swamps the military spending). You’re effectively arguing that the party wanting to spend 68% of our total income on social programs is “socialist,” while the party wanting to spend 66% of our income on those same programs is not. Which, as I said at the beginning, is probably a bit alarmist.

    Or, maybe this data supports your ‘what if?’ scenario, and we are already in a situation of voting Kang vs. Kodos every four years. 🙂

  9. eric, check out the graph here: U.S. Federal Spending – FY 2007. That shows military spending at 21% of the federal budget. Arguably some of the “discretionary” stuff could be added to that, but you get the picture. I could go on about this, but there’s really no need. We’re drowning in debt because of social spending.

  10. No disagreement with either your military numbers or debt comment. I was only pointing out that it is somewhat odd that you consider one party “socialist” and the other party not, given their social program spending is nearly identical in both amount and program choice.

  11. eric says:

    … it is somewhat odd that you consider one party “socialist” and the other party not …

    When one of these programs gets started, it tends to endure. And grow. Congress creates these things, and also passes the budget. Both parties have a hand in it, that’s true, but it’s difficult to deny that the dems push this stuff far more than the GOP — except for the prescription drug program launched by Bush the Younger. I agree that at this point they’re all in it together, because that’s where the votes are.

  12. Dear Mentor;

    Ever since I (foolishly) clicked on a link in the Sensuous Curmudgeon’s excellent blog, I have had the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah lodged in my brain.

    It is driving me insane.

    Will it drive me to change my religious affiliation, or maybe even into the clutches of some hideous underground white supremacist militia?

    Short of a lobotomy, is there anything I can do to get this infernal tune and inane lyrics out of my cortex, and Mr. Bluebird off my shoulder?

    Thank you for your consideration , O Wise Mentor!

    Megalonyx

  13. Great Claw says:

    Ever since I (foolishly) clicked on a link in the Sensuous Curmudgeon’s excellent blog, I have had the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah lodged in my brain.

    It’s part of the Curmudgeonly mind-control program. Glad to see it’s working. You will soon be receiving your instructions.

  14. “But in the interest of medical progress, which is desirable for all, they may insist on some relaxation of the creationists’ objections to biology — perhaps even requiring that the creationists give up their opposition to evolution.”

    That is where the esteemed Curmudgeon and I part company in all this (in the congenial spirit of lively but amicable debate). Opposition to evolution is written into the DNA of Creationists. It’s the very core of their identity. Any Creationist group whose leaders cynically signed off on a deal to abandon opposition to evolution would be torn apart by schism; at the very least, there would be some new leaders. The Creationists cant – won’t – would never give up opposition to evolution. IT’S WHO THEY *ARE!*

    That said… Creationists have made a huge concession with their acceptance of what they call “microevolution.” It’s such a concession that I wonder why they keep making Darwin a super-villain responsible for all that is evil in the world, since once they’ve accepted that life forms can change over time and adapt to the environment, there isn’t a whole lot left. But I suspect the rank and file still have no idea how much of the farm the leaders gave away with that, and they still claim to be against evil, atheistic evolution in any event. They *can’t* concede much more.

  15. You may be right, Deklane. So we’d have a socialist-creationist dictatorship. Hey, it’s the best of both worlds!

  16. retiredsciguy

    Megalonyx writes,
    “Ever since I (foolishly) clicked on a link in the Sensuous Curmudgeon’s excellent blog, I have had the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah lodged in my brain.”
    Funny — same thing happened to me. So I took a walk down a long and winding road, but I couldn’t get no satisfaction, so I went to my neighbor and cried, “Help me, Rhonda! Help, help me, Rhonda!”
    Inexplicably, she said, “Take my hand, I’m a stranger in paradise!” Meanwhile, ten thousand chipmunks circled around us chanting, “We shall overcome!”
    Moral of the story — be happy with the song you have. It could be worse.

  17. retiredsciguy says:

    … so I went to my neighbor and cried, “Help me, Rhonda! Help, help me, Rhonda!”

    Ronda Storms is your neighbor?

  18. retiredsciguy

    No, my neighbor spells her name “Rhonda”, as does the Rhonda immortalized by the Beachboys.
    Ronda Storms, being the perfect Christian, got the “h” out of there.

  19. That shows military spending at 21% of the federal budget. Arguably some of the “discretionary” stuff could be added to that, but you get the picture. I could go on about this, but there’s really no need. We’re drowning in debt because of social spending.

    According to the Wikipedia page you linked, spending on Afghanistan and Iraq is not included in the budget. What percent of total spending would be all military?

    If all social programs were canceled what would you do with all the people relying on them? Ignore them?

  20. Tundra Boy asks: “If all social programs were canceled what would you do with all the people relying on them? Ignore them?”

    Thanks for asking such an easy question. If taxes were cut — at least 50% — the economy would grow. No issue there, right? So lots of people would be able to find jobs. That’s better than food stamps. Again, no issue. A growing economy solves a lot of problems.

    As for those who are unwilling to work — they’re not my concern. You want ’em? You got ’em. Then there are those who are unable to work. In a prosperous economy, their families or charities would fill the need. Okay?

  21. As for those who are unwilling to work — they’re not my concern.

    Nor are they mine. I wasn’t talking about dead beats.

    What’s the likelihood of 0% unemployment (or close?)

    Then there are those who are unable to work. In a prosperous economy, their families or charities would fill the need.

    Huh? In what reality?

    In an ideal world maybe everyone looking after their own best interests will benefit society and/or the economy but I’m afraid that doesn’t take into account human psychology.

    In your opinion, which authors should I read to learn more about your economic philosophy?

  22. Tundra Boy asks: “In your opinion, which authors should I read to learn more about your economic philosophy?”

    Milton Friedman is good. So is Thomas Sowell.

  23. Thanks SC, I’ll pop over to the library.