Thursday, June 08, 2006

Young Ideologues

Brandi Swindell has posted some quotes of comments about one of her speeches, given to Cole Valley Christian High School students. Here are a few excerpts that jumped out at me.
“It is nice to see that not all Christians are standing on the sidelines while evil makes itself prevalent in America.”

“the relentless liberal agenda of some politicians”

“She said that judicial activism has increased hugely in the past few years…More and more often, it seems, judges have begun to take away our civil rights.”

I try to understand the thinking of conservatives when I can, and I think these are helpful. What I get out of all the above is that these students feel they are under attack, or at least their value system is under attack. I know that many progressives feel the same way.

Our President is a conservative Republican and both houses of Congress are controlled by conservative Republicans, and have been for years. They have been pretty successful in promoting their agenda, more on fiscal issues than on social issues, but they have not passed any progressive social legislation I can think of. I think conservatives have done nicely, thank you very much, while these kids have been getting their education.

So where does this feeling of attack come from? I suspect that the conservative media (Fox, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, et al) has succeeded in polarizing our country. Objective reporting isn’t exciting and doesn’t stir ratings. Shouting and extreme statements are exciting and do stir ratings, but they polarize the listeners.

Certainly these conservative students have not been a liberal agenda advanced in Idaho. What would they say, I wonder, if you asked them to name some liberal social issue advancement that specifically affected them? Taking the Ten Commandments monument out of the Boise city park and moving it a short distance to private property? How did this actually affect them? How does it impact their lives that some women are having abortions? Are some of them fathers of children that the women are aborting against the father’s will? If a gay couple gets the same legal rights as a married couple, what change will be wrought upon these students?

These students, and it seems many social conservatives, are fired up over ideology, not over things that affect their day-to-day lives. Dems can’t win in Idaho talking about ideology. We can’t change minds. We can show that we are concerned with making life better. A living wage and accessible health care, for example.

I'd suggest that Dem candidate wade right into places like Cole Valley Christian High School and show kids, future voters, that Dem values are their values. Democrats are the party of compassion, the party that tries to help the poor. That message should resonate in a Christian school.


etbnc said...

Looks like you're contributing worthy effort to a worthy cause here. Thanks for that!

I sensed an implicit question when you wrote, "I try to understand the thinking of conservatives when I can..."

For years I was not only annoyed but baffled by political idealogy. Then a couple of years ago I read some spot-on insight from George Lakoff. I think you'll find great value in his book, Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think

Run, don't walk, to get a copy of that book. Reading it offered me many Aha! moments.

There's a brief overview at the web site of the Rockridge Institute (neocon worldview summarized). But do read the book. The details are helpful.

I'm still annoyed, of course. But at least I'm no longer baffled.



My blue puzzle piece
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Adam Graham said...

Yes, go into the schools with a smug, condescending attitude as shown on this blog and simplify the Christian faith to a cliche, "we care about the poor."

If you're going to argue that abortion doesn't affect the students, if you're going to argue that ten commandments and gay marriage don't effect students, so they don't care. What about poverty? People who go to Private School aren't poor. They can only care the same way they care about the unborn.

The Democratic Party's plans for poverty has had 40 years and they've only perpetuated poverty.