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January 02, 2009

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The scandal of religious zealotry is not that people might play with snakes or promise damnation to those outside the fold. Rather, it's the insidious "belief creep" that infects society as a whole. If faith is immunized against any and all scrutiny, then the democracy of belief systems makes everything equal. To deny the equivalence of faith to reason is tantamount to bigotry.

Republicans started with cynicism - Nixon's co-opting of Wallace voters - and have arrived at an endpoint where nothing really matters because anything is believable. The science behind global warming is no more credible that the bloviations of Rush Limbaugh. In fact, it may be less believable for being nuanced and logical. Assertion is not only tantamount to fact, it's the liberation of proof from logic.

Free-market fundamentalism is a God that failed. But for True Believers, actual evidence is irrelevant. Since the validity of faith is whether it changes your life, there is no fact or logical system that can't dispute it. True, the economy might lie in shambles but there's also a place better than this one where angels not only sing but reap double-digit returns on their investments. Republican nirvana is that place where white skin, easy wealth, and American exceptionalism blenderize away discordant reality.

A very nice piece, Mr. Talton. Nobody bats 1,000 all of the time, but this kind of writing is a palpable reminder of why I come here.

I find myself wondering how the Republican Party got to this point? They didn't start out with the idea of complete disregard for the well being of the common man. So how did they get here? Was there a turning point? Was there more than one? I can think of a few names in more recent history that might have forced a shift if public perception, Nixon, McCarthy, Rove, but how did Conservatives get from John C. Fremont to George W. Bush?

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