I’m not religious, let’s just get that out of the way. But in the US religion and politics are intertwined very closely. It’s just one of the peculiarities of the the political process here – unless you are a believer or pretend to be – forget about a career in politics. That is unfortunate, but it surely can be used to our advantage. Sorry, Bill Maher, we just gonna have to learn to swallow this bitter medicine if we are to live in this country. Watchya gonna do – organize atheists? Have you ever tried herding cats? But to be honest, I do secretly hope that the majority on the Left is faking their religiosity.
Anyway, I find it strange that Democrats and the Left in general have allowed the Right to hijack Jesus and Christianity. Just think what kind of rhetorical skills the Right had to possess in order to justify the marriage of Christian principles and corporate capitalism. It’s like mixing oil and water but nonetheless they were quite successful in linking these two together. The message was simple: you work hard, play by the rules and then one day, maybe, you too will achieve the American dream. This way they kill two birds with one stone: First, if you fail you only have yourself to blame, probably because you didn’t work hard enough and second, this rat race keeps you occupied for the rest of your life. It’s an enviable arrangement for those in power and Republicans seized on it many years ago. But it is understood that this arrangement is applicable to the little guy, since corporation have their own rules and privileges. But I digress, corporate welfare should be a subject of another post.
Religious people, and that’s about 85-90% of the population in this country claim that religion helps them in their everyday lives. They think of themselves as good people, good Christians, they believe they will most likely go to Heaven when they die, etc. But for some reason, the Right’s version of Christianity is very Old Testamenty – full of revenge, punishment, anger and all sorts of repression. Due to the subscription to that kind of values conservatives can’t really enjoy their lives and they hate to see others who can. That’s where Democrats come in! That’s where they start talking about the loving God, helping thy neighbor, feeding the hungry, caring about the environment – insert any liberal cause. You know, play on people’s positive traits. I mean Jesus was a hippie after all. No one thinks of himself as a vengeful or mean person. Deep down, even the worst criminal knows himself as kind, generous, just and humane person. That’s the kind of feelings that Democrats have to stir and capitalize on. Let Republicans own anger and resentment.
The Left also have to be mindful of the growing Hispanic population. I heard one Republican strategist saying that Hispanics are natural conservatives: they are religious and they have a strong work ethic. So they are already setting eyes on the new target, since relying on white southern men is no longer a viable strategy. Dems should not let this one slide.