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← Republicans insane; want to establish theocracy

Cartomancer's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Cartomancer

The very fact that the prayers and jingoistic effrontery at the beginning last for thirty-six minutes should be enough to confirm how insane these people are. Thirty-six minutes! Anywhere else people would think it had gone on for far too long if it hit three...

But I ask myself - how did this happen? America wasn't always like this. The founding fathers were highly educated secular rationalists, deep thinkers and sophisticated intellectuals. They had a profound commitment to equality and justice and inquiry and all the values of the European Enlightenment. Yes, there were plenty of religious zealots in the early years too, and yes they weren't great on issues like slavery and gender equality, but the political classes were men of vision and foresight and a commitment to human flourishing.

And we don't even have to go back that far. Even in the middle years of the twentieth century you had a thriving culture of civil rights progress and technological optimism. You came up with the space programme and put people on the moon.

What went wrong? And, more importantly, how are we going to set it right again? Carl Sagan, in the mid 90s, seemed to think this sort of thing was an inevitable consequence of declining educational standards in American schooling.

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:51:10 UTC | #892254