Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, February 27, 2015

Who Wants A "Fundamentally Transformed" America?

Remember when some Republicans on the right went berserk when they heard President Obama say something about wanting to "fundamentally transform" America?

Yeah.  I remember how outraged and red-in-the-face angry they got when they screamed about the audacity of stating something so anti-Constitutional, so wrong! Wrong! They said America was perfect the way she was and does NOT need to be "fundamentally transformed!!!"

BTW, here’s Obama’s original statement, in an October 2008 campaign visit to Columbia, Mo:

"Now, Mizzou, I just have two words for you tonight: five days. Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. 

(Here's that awful transformation part explained!)

 "In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor."

The NERVE of him wanting to give people a chance to succeed!  How dare he?!

Those people on the right were so outraged by those lefty ideas of giving people who work hard the opportunity to get ahead that they were eaten up by their anger at Mr Obama's transformation idea--an idea that has been the bulwark of American progress since this country's beginning.

Okay.  I  just showed you how silly they were to flip out over this noncontroversial statement.

Has anyone, anywhere flipped out on this latest poll that shows Republicans wanting to "fundamentally transform" America?  Anyone?

Here it is:

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) national survey conducted between February 20th and February 22nd of Republican voters, found that an astonishing 57 percent of Republicans want to dismantle the Constitution, and establish Christianity as the official national religion. 

Only 30 percent oppose making Christianity the national religion. Although the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” GOP voters want to cast aside that provision and impose Christianity as the official American religion.

Could there be anything more fundamentally transforming than a proposal to change the Constitution and eliminate a fundamental provision of the document that they fetishize? 

 57% of Republicans want to fundamentally transform America by instituting a state religion! Those Republicans want to emulate Middle East countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia! How patriotic of them!

Compare and contrast:  Mr. Obama's "fundamental transformation" idea was to restore the American ideal of hard working Americans being able to provide life's basics:  food, shelter, education.  

The Republicans who took the poll want to fundamentally change the U.S. Constitution and disregard centuries of American law?

Think about that when you think about them having complete control of all three branches of the U.S. government.

They want to fundamentally transform America into a theocracy.


Infidel753 said...

And, of course, being oblivious to history, they've forgotten the reasons why the Founders thought it so important to forbid an official religion. When the Bill of Rights was written, the horrific bloody wars in Europe between Catholics and Protestants were still within relatively recent memory, as were the persecutions of dissident Christian sects by official state churches that forced those sects to flee and found colonies in America in the first place.

If Christianity became the official religion, an official legal definition of "Christianity" would be needed. The difficulty of that can be judged from the fact that Christians have been fighting over the definition of correct Christian belief for 1,600 years without being able to resolve the issue. Would Mormonism qualify? Would Catholicism (the biggest single sect in the US)? If Catholicism was accepted as part of the official Christianity, what about those fundamentalist sects which teach that Catholicism is the Whore of Babylon or whatever? What about churches that accept abortion or gays, the disapproval of which is fueling the support of an official religion in the first place? The biggest conflicts would arise from those Christians who found themselves subject to whatever debilitations were involved in being excluded from the official religion, and from the extremists who would still feel the official religion didn't go far enough in excluding the wicked and heretical.

Many of the more secular-minded would simply leave. I think about two million people left Iran after the Islamist regime took over in 1979, including many of the most educated and capable. Much of what made America great would flee to Canada, Australia, or other places. Science would depart as well, once research and funding were hamstrung by rules created by people like this. The "official religion" the fundamentalists want would not merely transform America, but doom it to inexorable decline.

Jerry Critter said...

I am looking forward to the constitutional amendment that allows us to establish as state religion. I hope it comes before the 2016 elections. It will be the silver bullet that kills the Republican Party.

Rational Nation USA said...

" They said America was perfect the way she was and does NOT need to be "fundamentally transformed!!!"

Those are YOUR words Shaw. I cannot recall anyone saying we are perfect as there is no such thing as perfect. Nations, like life are a work in progress and perhaps they ultimately experiences the same ending. As we fail to learn from experience I suspect it will happen that way.

The choice of words was poor, it is true we do not need to fundamentally change America. The foundation and structure remain sound. As the founders realized change was inevitable and the framework they gave us allows for change precisely so when necessary needed change could be effected.

Fundamentally is viewed by many to mean a foundation and structural change to our constitution and system of laws. While I don't think this is what Obama meant I can see how many think it does.

I have found myself wondering this as well on occasion.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, I didn't put quotes around my words, so yes I wrote them as an example of what the extremists on the right say about not wanting to fundamentally transform America.

"Conservative movement leaders are unveiling the mandate they say Republicans have heading into this new Congress, after voters gave them a majority in both the House and Senate for the first time during President Obama’s tenure.

The document, obtained exclusively by Breitbart News, details how the conservative leaders expect Republicans in Congress to “stop” Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America,” something they say the American people made clear in the 2014 midterm elections with such resounding GOP victories."

In 2012 Sarah Palin, someone still admired by the extremists on the right, said this:

On her Web site, Palin wrote: “I’ve said many times that America doesn’t need a ‘fundamental transformation,’ instead we need a restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America! So, together let’s prepare ourselves for the days ahead by reminding ourselves who we are and what Americans stand for.”

When people are against change, that means they are happy and content with the way things are.

Meanwhile, this post is about how Republicans want to fundamentally transform America by changing the Constitution.

I think you focused on my style of writing instead of the incredible hypocrisy of the Republicans who by almost 60% want to abrogate our rights that are enshrined in the Constitution.

Where is the outrage on this?

Shaw Kenawe said...

skud, this post isn't about corruption in government. This is about Republican hypocrisy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Jerry, it's not going to happen. But the numbers are astounding.

Put those folks who want this in power, and America will be fundamentally transformed. Into a theocracy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN: "Fundamentally is viewed by many to mean a foundation and structural change to our constitution and system of laws. While I don't think this is what Obama meant I can see how many think it does."

The quote in my post shows exactly what Obama was referring to in "fundamentally transforming" America. It has nothing to do with our constitutional system of laws. He said nothing about that. He talked about transformation in the social structure so that hard working Americans are able to provide for their families. He said nothing about constitutional changes.

RN: "I have found myself wondering this as well on occasion."

We now have to consider the very REAL desire by the Republicans to actually change the constitution. Almost 60% want to make Christianity a state religion.

That is an attack on the Bill of Rights. A fundamental transformation.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, how about that mandate talk...

When the Dems took the White House, gained in the House and the Senate in 2008, how come the GOP did not see that as a mandate for the policies of the Dems?

Why does the GOP only think there is a mandate when their party wins an election?

Les, you are correct, few in GOP/conservative circles said everything was perfect. Many wanted to go backwards to how "it" was before.

That's the idea of fundamental change the GOP lately has been looking for.

More and stricter religious control, a lessening of choice and individual freedoms and liberties and more restrictions on accessibility to the ballot box, even though little or no voter fraud even exists here in the US.

Ducky's here said...

I believe Infidel753 has it mapped pretty well.

I'm always dismayed by the standard meme that the Puritans came to America seeking religious freedom. Well yes, for themselves only. These refugees from Europe's religious wars but never grasped the necessity of tolerance.

RN, I have to disagree. Those pushing for a fundamentalist national religion see the founding as perfect. There is a nasty strain of neocofederatism in them.

There is a considerable sympathy for installing a benevolent dictator on one blog. Fundamentalists only need apply, I'm sure.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Right, Ducky.

The Puritans in Colonial America were extremely intolerant of any religion except theirs. They punished, tortured, and even killed those who did not conform to their religious tenets.

That almost 60% of Republicans would consider establishing a state religion is indicative of their mounting fear of what is in the future: fewer and fewer young people identify with any religion, not just Christianity. I think the poll shows how frightened they are of this.

Compare and contrast: The quality of life (especially for women) in state-enforced religious countries (Iran, Saudi Arabia) and countries where very few identify with a religion at all (Norway, Sweden).

Rational Nation USA said...

Fundamental :

noun 5)a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part:

I focused on the above. Words have meaning and for the President to say "fundamentally change" means what?

Rational Nation USA said...

And there we ave folks an example of; "the problem with communication is the belief it has been accomplished".

Dave Miller said...

History shows us that at our founding, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Catholics, etc., all considered themselves different, and the true Christians, often killing adherents of the other "religions."

Even if we all agreed to a specific religion, you can bet there would be arguments as to what views everyone should hold, lest they be regarded as a heretic.

Ducky... you've been reading Queen Z again, haven't you? And you are totally accurate... only those in lock step agreement with their viewpoints need apply...

okjimm said...

I would like to make beer the official religion of the USA. No one has every tried to kill me for my chosen brand of beer!!!!

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN wrote: "Fundamental :

noun 5)a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part:

I focused on the above. Words have meaning and for the President to say "fundamentally change" means what?"

Fundamental and "fundamentally" have two different meanings. Fundamental, a noun, means what you wrote.

Fundamentally, an adverb, means another thing. Mr. Obama did not say he would transform the "fundamentals" of America's basic principles, rule, laws or the like.

He said he said he would "fundamentally transform" the status quo, which was, in 2008, the fact that hard working Americans were not able to realize the American dream of past decades.

Here's what fundamentally means when it modifies a verb ( example: transform).

in central or primary respects.
"two fundamentally different concepts of democracy"

synonyms: essentially, in essence, basically, at heart, at bottom, deep down, au fond; More
used to make an emphatic statement about the basic truth of something.
"fundamentally, this is a matter for doctors"

Shaw Kenawe said...

okjimm, that's a beautiful religion.

Rational Nation USA said...

Sure Shaw, I read the same before my prior comment. Frankly there is little reason to discuss issue at this juncture. (O)CT(O)PUS, in his last comment on s previous thread nailed it.

Factually a large number of folks read and understood the President's comment as I outlined it. They are not all crazy. They are not all Tea-Pee'rs, and they don't all hate Obama.

Your apparent inability to allow any space for considering the concerns, and they are valid, of others is frankly troubling.

Perhaps the President should have sad; fundamentally change the way the prior administration has done business for the past eight years.

But frankly at this point I just don't give a damn my dear.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN: "Factually a large number of folks read and understood the President's comment as I outlined it. They are not all crazy. They are not all Tea-Pee'rs, and they don't all hate Obama."

Yes. I understand that. It is also true that people can misunderstand what a person is saying. That's what the first half of my opinion is about.

I write a blog that reflects my opinion. Nowhere in my comment do I imply everyone's crazy or that everyone hates Obama. I usually qualify my statements by saying "some" Republicans, or "extremists," etc.

The post is about hypocrisy. Some Republicans were really angry at Obama for saying what he said about fundamentally transforming such and such (he did not say the Constitution on which our laws are based. That would be a change to the fundamentals of our laws set out and signed in 1789.

My post is about almost 60% of Republicans wanting to fundamentally change the Constitution.

That's all this is about.

No one's trying to score points.

Sorry you took it that way.

Rational Nation USA said...

It is what it is Shaw. Or perhaps I should say it is whatever anyone WANTS it to be.

Either way there is this; "the problem with communication is the belief it has been achieved".

Or put another way; "Seek first to understand, then to be understood". Steven Covey

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

Be well Shaw.

Jerry Critter said...

"The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results."

You may be right, RN. How many bills have the house republican passed to repeal the ACA? By your definition, perhaps they are crazy.