Persuasion Isn’t the Goal

Daniel Larison, disapproving of one of the Romney brood calling it “un-American” to bring up his dad’s religion, argues that people’s religious views have some bearing on their political views.  “It also implies that the content of a religion is ultimately irrelevant to public life, and that the price of pluralism is the devaluing of truth.  Those assumptions are themselves extremely dangerous to a healthy religious pluralism in a free society.” Which is wise and reasonable enough, though it does require some difficult  line-drawing— which policies are justifiable by democratic theory, and which are an out-of-bounds attempt to “impose one’s own views”?

Larison also argues that the statement is inadvisable because “berating people for being bad Americans is not a terribly good way of persuading them.”  I don’t think that the Romney camp wants to persuade anyone, though, it just wants people talking about their religion in anything but the blandest terms to stop it.  Theirs is a very conventional, poll- and consultant-driven campaign.  And it’s much more by the book these days to praise faith generally, eschewing specifics, than it is to have a serious conversation about how a politician’s religious convictions impact, and do not impact, his governance.

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One Response to “Persuasion Isn’t the Goal”

  1. southernvoice Says:

    I don’t think Romney’s religion affected the outcome of the race between him and John McCain. I believe that the media chose to discuss it in order to stir up opposition to him among those who base forming opinions and choosing candidates on just such non-issues. I understand why Romney would not want to have to deal with that issue in place of others that affect the general welfare and are more relevant.

    The question is, would Romney and others of his religion persue their own religious interests at the expense of the general welfare. I see no indication whatsoever that Romney and those of his religion have failed to assimlate and consider themselvse and their interests to be apart from those of other Americans.

    In a country where the percentage of Christians has mostly been in the 90s throughout our history then America must be considered a Christian nation. The interests of christians therefore represents the interests of traditional American values. WASPs have always represented the ruling class.

    When there is diversity then there must be a group such as WASPs that hold the country together. This is true in every nation. Serbia is an example because it has been held together until recently and there was an outcry of foul when Kosovo became independent. Iraq’s different religious sects were kept together by Saddam. sometimes it is tyrants that hold a country together.

    A country’s definition can change based upon which ethnic or religious group controls the government. I don’t think Romney would have changed the definition of traditional America or our values.

    The ruling Jewish neocons in the Bush adm have changed us into a warmongering terrorist state. We have become a rouge superpower run amuck. A dangerous and threatening country that the world fears and doesn’t know who we are going to attack next. We are now international war criminals who are committing a holocaust in the middle east. We have rounded up Isarel’s enemies and locked them away at Gitmo without due process and tortured them. We are trashing the Consitution and rule of law. We are losing our American rights.

    It is in the Jew’s interests to keep us a country of various groups with each seeking its own interests. The WASPs held America together for the common good and general welfare. Although there were times when there were exceptions of course.

    Barack Obama cannot hold the country together because blacks insist that their rights and interests are speical and apart from those of other Americans just like the Jews do.

    Ralph Nader is not Christian or white anglo saxon but he supports American interests. He believes that we have a right to look out for our own economic interests and not Mexico’s or Israel’s or any other foreign country. He believes in upholding American tradtions and the Constitution. He believes in justice and fairness for all people. Therefore he could and would bring America together and support the general welfare.

    Nader doesn’t take special interests money but Obama, Clinton and McCain depend upon it and have changed stated opinions about the middle east to get speical interest money from those ethnic groups whose interests differ from that of the rest of America.

    Plurality only works when we keep people out of government whose interests are not the same as that of the general population and American traditions.

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