The absolutist mistake in the Bill of Rights

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
06 Mar 2003 10:59:20 -0800


On Thu, 2003-03-06 at 06:49, Russell Turpin wrote:
> Even as the US has
> become more conservative and religious in its
> outlook...


Actually, even in my relatively short lifetime the US has become more
secular in my experience.  Now, you could be referring to the current
administration, but I'd disagree with that as well.  Half a century ago,
both parties were religious and conservative by today's standards. 
Ironically, there is a strong case to be made that Democrats were the
bible thumpers throughout most of the 20th century.

I think any apparent "religious" and "conservative" characteristics of
the current administration are only noticed because US society has
become more secular, not because it is extreme compared to historical
administrations of the 20th century. People are just noticing the higher
contrast.  Policy-wise and ideologically, the current administration is
more of a 1950s Democrat really, which worked very well as a platform in
the US for a good portion of the 20th century no matter which party was
selling it.  The Democrats started losing ground in recent years when
they ceded that tried and true platform to the Republicans.  The
traditionally libertarian position of the Republicans disappeared ages
ago, though it occasionally rears its head in some form (e.g. Reagan),
and seems to be making a comeback within that party.

It is interesting how fluid the party platforms and ideologies actually
are.  Which just underscores that these parties are not ideological,
merely competing power structures.

Cheers,

-James Rogers
 jamesr@best.com