Email to Siblings, 10/5/2004: Fritz Re- Evangelical Right and the Election/ Reaction 11/7/2012

November 7, 2012

Some years ago I saved emails considered important or interesting.  Recently curiosity led me to open a number of saved email discs. Among them I opened the disc with the email sent to my siblings the day after George George W. Bush’  rather narrow reelection in opposition to John Kerry on November 4, 2004. With sad nostalgia  I observe four of my five siblings have no further need to vote as they are safely “on another shore and in a greater light”.  But their brother still has vital interest in matters political and the anxiety, yea –  even angst, associated with Presidential election results.

“A daily morning ritual of mine is to bring up the New York Times and Washington Post and read the op-ed and editorials. Regarding Bush’s election I have made my peace with that as one must. But a mandate as Cheney states and the President Elect seem to hold is not accurate. In any case the emergence of the Christian Evangelical Right as a key to his election is most unsettling.  Attached are yesterday’s NYT op-eds that address this. If inclined “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest”. Feels to me like the McCarthy Era revisited. – the same underlying fears. Remember, as well,  Agnew and Nixon and the Moral Majority business. (the op-ed that contrasts faith with fact is not in opposition to faith but when faith trumps fact in the secular you are treading on dangerous ground). Note – I support the President Elect as long as his leadership allows, i.e. BRING US TOGETHER with true “Passionate Conservatism”.  Ist dass moeglich – hoffentlich. (German – “Is that possible – hopefully”). So now off to the golf course on a nice mid-forties sunny day. As Martin Pfotenhauer always stated at the California Frey reunion – ALLES GUTES (everything well, or best wishes). Fritz”

(11-04-04 NYTimes_com Article_Op-Ed Columnist_Two Nations Under God.eml; 11-04-05 NYTimes_com Article_Op-Ed Contributor_The Day the Enlightenment Went Out.eml)

My political stance moderately left of center finds my “anxiety, yea, even angst” allayed this morning.  What I stated in my email 10/5/2004 the morning after the reelection of President Bush, namely, “the emergence of the Christian Evangelical Right as a key to his election is most unsettling “, seems particularly relevant this morning.  One headline has it: “MSN ‘opinion:  Romney couldn’t separate himself from the GOP extremists'”.  Another op.ed. makes analysis of Romney’s electoral loss: “A former Massachusetts governor with a moderate record, Romney concluded he had to woo the evangelical voters and anti-tax  Tea Party activists with hard-line positions on immigration, taxes, and abortion.”  My Email to Siblings, 10/5/2004 stating: “”when faith trumps fact in the secular you are treading on dangerous ground”  is born out , not only theologically, but politically as well.

With a divided electorate right-left the political extremes hopefully will moderate moving more to the center replacing gridlock with cooperation.  This is the stance David Brooks, the moderate conservative  NY Times op. ed. commentator,  advocated during the GOP primary campaign. Much impressed with his balanced approach I recorded an outline of his argument. His op.ed was titled:  A NEW SOCIAL AGENDA.  Brook’s rejected what he called “Manichaean political rhetoric” resulting from the cultural wars fought between “God-fearing conservatives and narcissistic liberals”.  The culture war rhetorical language is, in his view,  absurd.  Brooks advocates a “moral materialism” that blends social values with economic ambition.  “It takes a family” and social relationships and  not just naked individualism for  a successful society. Radical individualism should be opposed, Brooks suggests,  with the reconstruction of values joining together capital with economic, social, moral, cultural, and intellectual values. In order to build “healthy communities”, Brook concludes, there still is a role for Washington’s governmental role but always at  a moderate level.

Published by profbartling1

Retired professor Concordia University, St. Paul, Mn. Taught mainly American History. Also taught in other areas of history, philosophy, and theology,

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