Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Voting for Satan

I want to point you to two Salon articles that are worth watching the ad for. The first is by Michael Scherer and is about Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his Mormonism. Basically it tells us what we already know; a lot of conservatives aren't comfortable with his Mormonism. For a few it's a deal breaker, for others they are ok with it so long as he largely keeps it out of the campaign. Scherer explains using an interesting metaphor - Evangelicals are like Coke, Mormons are like Pepsi, and they need to team up to defeat Starbucks, i.e. secular and evil America. Many Mormons abstain from caffeinated drinks entirely, incidentally.

Those that do oppose the Romney campaign have an interesting argument; by electing him president they legitimize Mormonism, which, as a false religion, will lead more people to hell.
Keller, the televangelist, remained convinced that a Mormon president will lead to more lost souls. And his fury is no longer just directed at Romney. He calls those Christian leaders who support Romney "Judases" and clowns. "They all come back and say, we're looking for the best president. He's the commander in chief, not the pastor in chief, blah blah blah," Keller said. "What they have done is, they have totally dismissed the fact that this guy's influence is going to lead people to hell."
At any rate, I think Romney has an uphill climb in a number of ways.

The other article is an an interview with Cass Sunstein, who thinks that the internet is encouraging us to congregate with people of like minds. Liberals will hang out with liberals; conservatives will hang out with conservatives, and nobody will have their views challenged. I think there's a point to be made here, but I think he's a little too centrist here.
Liberals are sometimes defined as people who can't take their own side in an argument. I actually don't think there's a difference, though. I would say that there are many liberals who think that, in the last few elections, to vote for a Republican presidential candidate is just mindless, that there's no rational reason that people would vote Republican. If liberals are thinking that, there's probably a problem. I think many liberals think that to vote for Bush, some part of their brain is on fire and the rest of it isn't functioning, or that they've been fooled in some way, or that they're not paying attention. So I think that a lot of liberals are in an echo chamber where they share a set of views, some of which are probably wrong.
Obviously there is an element of truth in this; but and this is a big but, Conservative ideologues tolerance for different ideas is still much much less than that of Liberals. Take Rush Limbaugh, for example. He's made a mint off of telling conservatives that they are right and allowing no differing positions; and he hasn't needed the internet to do it.

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