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This Is Not a Test - Comments

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 1 by Gymnopedie

He's no theocrat, he just wants a theocracy! Duh...

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:37:00 UTC | #95206

hayesky's Avatar Comment 2 by hayesky

Congrats Christopher, again. I cant see how anyone could vote for this Huckabee guy or Romney!!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:38:00 UTC | #95207

hayesky's Avatar Comment 3 by hayesky

The question is who can we vote for? They all seem so boring.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:41:00 UTC | #95208

Alex Malecki's Avatar Comment 4 by Alex Malecki

Brilliant as always, Christopher.

Gymnopedie, you too hit it on the head. "He's no theocrat, he just wants a theocracy!"

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:55:00 UTC | #95219

STLstrike3's Avatar Comment 5 by STLstrike3

Reading pieces like this make me want to take my religious friends, strap them into a chair, read it aloud to them word by word, and make them respond to it.

Christopher is so devastatingly rational in his deconstruction of the media circus surrounding these candidates, that it makes the questions the moderators ask them seem hollow.

Why, oh why, can't we choke real answers out of these pandering fools!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:02:00 UTC | #95222

sillysighbean's Avatar Comment 6 by sillysighbean

I enjoy reading Mr. Hitchens, his caustic, incisive wit must really make the zealots gnash their teeth. "Smirking Hick"...it has such a nice ring to it.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:23:00 UTC | #95226

quill's Avatar Comment 7 by quill

When I first heard Huckabee's name, I laughed.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:24:00 UTC | #95227

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 8 by Cook@Tahiti

3. Comment #99789 by hayesky

>The question is who can we vote for? They all seem so boring.

Doesn't seem like you get much choice over there. The political spectrum goes all the way from far right to centre right. 10,000 flavours of drink in your supermarket aisles and only 'Dumb' and 'Dumber' on the ballot.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:35:00 UTC | #95232

jdb's Avatar Comment 9 by jdb

'His slogan is "Faith, Family, Freedom," which Huckabee ... wrote himself.'

'Can it really be true that ... Huckabee wrote that whole slogan all by himself? While you ponder this massively impressive claim...'

Genius, pure genius.
Thank you Hitch, I needed to laugh today.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:44:00 UTC | #95234

Arcturus's Avatar Comment 10 by Arcturus

When will a secular humanist, openly agnostic or atheist ever try to run for office? What happened to educated people running for office. What about scientists?

Hitchens is right, but this will go both ways. Religious people will not elect godless people because of their religion and vice-versa.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:45:00 UTC | #95235

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 11 by Cook@Tahiti

10. Comment #99816 by Arcturus

>When will a secular humanist, openly agnostic or atheist ever try to run for office?

The third candidate the last two elections was a scientifically literate agnostic/atheist, Ralph Nader and next to no-one voted for him and he was vilified for even running. Dawkins estimates that there are about 30 million American atheists and Ralph Nader received less than a million votes in the last election.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:49:00 UTC | #95236

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 12 by Gymnopedie

If you care about secularism and maintaining the Constitution, then vote your secularism. The democrats, however boring, won't put nutjob theocrats in the supreme court and won't automatically vote down everything that promotes science.

I'll say it again: Vote Your Secularism!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:51:00 UTC | #95237

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 13 by DalaiDrivel

"It's not that we want to impose our religion on anybody... it's that we want to shape the culture and the laws using a worldview we feel has value."

I think this makes me cringe the most. "We" does not mean the American public as a whole, as some of you here will certainly attest... And the "shaping of culture and laws" can only mean imposition on a national level, naturally, in a presidential campaign, which this is.

I simultaneously admire- because it after all takes an enormous deal of psychological conditioning and fucked-upedness- and despise the way in which evangelicals can shiny-faced, without any reticence, declare that what they believe is good and true and what they intend to do "for" us, especially politically, is good and true.

It seems politics are the only politically correct means to conduct ideological genocide these days...

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:53:00 UTC | #95238

fatcitymax's Avatar Comment 15 by fatcitymax

Get used to it Hitch, this is America. There were Elmer Gantrys and their dupes long before Huck and Mitt, and there will be plenty long afterwards. Just consider, there are people who actually think America's intervention in Iraq was justified!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:54:00 UTC | #95241

jdb's Avatar Comment 14 by jdb

also see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLXRVvA6T9k

at around time 9:00/24:08

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:54:00 UTC | #95240

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 16 by Gymnopedie

No one voted for Nader because people ignore him on the ballot as they think they are "wasting" their vote on a candidate that does not have a chance. The entire voting system is due for a remake. We should either have a trickle down voting system or a ranking system. Then we no longer have the issue of "wasting" votes.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:56:00 UTC | #95242

eccles's Avatar Comment 17 by eccles

Is there any intelligent life form standing as President of the United States of America?

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:00:00 UTC | #95244

gkkalai's Avatar Comment 18 by gkkalai

As always...Classic

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:04:00 UTC | #95247

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 19 by Cook@Tahiti

16. Comment #99823 by Gymnopedie

>No one voted for Nader because people ignore him on the ballot as they think they are "wasting" their vote on a candidate that does not have a chance

That's circular reasoning isn't it? I agree, the system needs an overhaul so voters aren't always forced to choose for the "least worst" candidate - a terrible corruption of democracy.

In Australia, you can put a first preference, and then second preference and so on.

In the USA, it seems the system is geared to ratchet to the right as left wing voters are 'forced' to choose candidates with right wing policies. In hindsight, Richard Nixon's policies were pretty progressive, although at the time he was an arch-conservative. In the future, George W Bush may look like a bleeding heart liberal, if the political system continues to track to the right.

In any case, in what sense are voters discriminating between candidates' actual policies (as opposed to personalities)?

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:04:00 UTC | #95248

ricey's Avatar Comment 20 by ricey

I admire the US Constitution. Surely it's the most rational and logical of all democratic constitutions; yet it's so often abused.

The founding fathers tried to encourage an enlightened and secular state. What would they make of the result?

Where did these "gawd" assholes spring from? (TexASS?.) Why weren't the views of the original, rational and inspirational founding fathers respected?

Religious nut-jobs are scewing up the fine fabric created by the educated and intelligent founders. Educated Americans should be concerned. Don't stand for this bronze-age inspired shit any more.

You know better than me that if it looks, smells and sounds like bullshit ... it's bullshit!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:09:00 UTC | #95250

notsobad's Avatar Comment 21 by notsobad

Kucinich is the best one there (along with Gravel, but he has no choice).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Dennis_Kucinich

All other democrats and republicans will just keep the old bullshit rolling.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:49:00 UTC | #95253

Farooq's Avatar Comment 22 by Farooq

It is people like Hithcens and Dawkins that I need in my country to take on the faith-based bulleying that goes on everyday. But I am so surprised that in this day in age (about 150 years after Darwin), so many people will still give any credibility to any faith especially in a country like USA which has been one of the leaders in the research and developments in almost all the scientific disciplines.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:54:00 UTC | #95257

hmj's Avatar Comment 23 by hmj

Chuck Norris seems to be supporting the campaign of Mike Huckabee. Beware.
More info on BBC Radio 4 : Friday Night Comedy : The Now Show. (2007-12-15, Pod cast download)

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:08:00 UTC | #95261

kevin_2050's Avatar Comment 24 by kevin_2050

I love Hitchens' gloves-off, no-punches-pulled manner of expressing himself on this topic. Seeing him slam the theocrats makes me feel good. His quill is his sword.

I feel DalaiDrivel has cited the most pertinent quotes from Huckabee and his sinister supporter. The religious right want to consolidate their already excessive influence into lasting power, if not total control. A dark age is what they long for.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:14:00 UTC | #95264

foxfire's Avatar Comment 25 by foxfire

Gotta *love* that Hitch!

He says it like I feel.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 18:57:00 UTC | #95308

quill's Avatar Comment 26 by quill

notsobad said:

Kucinich is the best one there (along with Gravel, but he has no choice).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Dennis_Kucinich
With all due respect, Kucinich is a lost cause. We're two weeks away from the primaries, here. If Dennis hasn't broken out of the single digits by now, he's never going to.

I really think we need to be backing Obama. Yes, I know, he talks often about his "faith", but he doesn't seem to subscribe to any of its supernatural tenets. He's also the only viable candidate so far to have spoken favorably of nonbelievers, and the best Democratic candidate (aside from Edwards) to win a general election.

The worst thing that could happen to us would be for Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination - because if she does, the general election will almost certainly go to the Republicans - so I think it makes the most strategic sense to back the Democratic candidate most likely to beat her, and that's Obama.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 19:24:00 UTC | #95313

discipline's Avatar Comment 27 by discipline

The best thing that could happen to the US political scene is for Huckabee to get the Republican nomination. In the present climate -- ie, the failure of the W/Dick/Karl team, not to mention the rise of the "New Atheism" -- I think the Democrats would surely win.

As a "secular progressive" (to borrow Bill O'Reilly's hilarious term), I'm thinking of campaigning for Huckabee.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 19:44:00 UTC | #95318

M31's Avatar Comment 28 by M31

> No one voted for Nader because people ignore him on the ballot as they think they are "wasting" their vote on a candidate that does not have a chance.

I'm not convinced that this is true. The reason most people don't vote for Nader is because they disagree with his policies. I voted for him in 2000, but I didn't in 2004 and I wouldn't vote for him if he were running in 2008. This is not because I don't think he can be elected, or because I'm afraid of wasting my vote when I could use it toward preventing some really bad republican from getting elected. It's because I don't think he'd make a very good president, atheist/agnostic or not.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 19:47:00 UTC | #95319

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 29 by Gymnopedie

M31, I think you are right in your correction. I should have said something more along the lines of "Nader didn't get a serious amount of votes..." or "Nader didn't receive an amount of votes proportional to the general public support he receieved...". I think the point is easily taken, even if I have trouble articulating it.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 19:55:00 UTC | #95321

Circumspect's Avatar Comment 30 by Circumspect

Reverend Huckelberry could well become our next Pastor-In-Chief precisely because the 58 million dumb-asses who voted for Dubbya are still out there and know nothing except how to march to the polls and vote their religion. EVERYONE SPEAK OUT! NOW!

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 20:26:00 UTC | #95326