Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What year is this, anyway?

I can't decide if I'm living in the USSR, Czarist Russia, North Korea, Medieval Europe, or some combination thereof.  Or at least in a developing something the designers can't make up their minds where they're going with it all.

It's bad enough that Dominionists have been trying to remake American History to show the US as a Christian country.  But now, Oklahoma's legislature is trying to ban AP American History and replace it with some crackpot version of a perfect Christian America.

It seems they object to the technique of learning from the past by pointing out where we went wrong so future generations won't make the same mistakes.

I can understand how seeing your most cherished values being pointed out in school as mistakes and wrong might be upsetting.  But as a past (but reformed) Republican, I can testify from personal experience that one can learn from one's past and one can move on to a better way of thinking.

It really doesn't hurt at all.  It's kind of liberating, in fact.  Oh, sure, one does get the odd pang of regret if current events smack you in the face with something you used to think was cool but was really harmful.  But I see those as reinforcing the initial lesson.  Kind of like reminders:  "See?  Weren't you stupid then?  But you're smarter now!"  In the end, they remind you that you've come a long way, baby!

But I guess some folks just can't get past it.

I can understand that, really I can.

What I can't understand is why you'd want to paint over those past mistakes by turning our lovely country into a totalitarian nightmare.  Remaking the past is something we accused the Soviets and the Maoists of doing.  You know, those dirty commies who painted out the totalitarian rulers of their countries' past and replaced them with monsters to contrast with their own "perfect" replacement?

In our case, the Dominionists want to replace the very real monsters on our own past with visions of lollypops, candy canes and unicorns farting rainbows so their kids will never question Jesus.

Probably because they want to keep making the same mistakes and call them "family values".  Or whatever.

But in so doing, they are destroying what they claim to love about our country.  Its liberty.  Its freedom.  Whatever happened to "Truth, Justice, and the American way"?  Somewhere, on the way to the forum, it got lost.  Or waylaid, or mugged or something.  Probably something, because it sure ain't what I was taught it was supposed to be when I went to school.

Nobody taught me that it was Ok to lie, cheat, and steal your way into office, and when we learned about politicians who did, it was never presented as an honorable way to act.

The one thing Conservatives always forget in their zeal to protect their way of life is that all things come to an end.  People change.  Countries change.  Societies change, often rapidly.  The one thing about American Destiny that Conservatives always are proud of (and justifiably so) is the huge number of technological changes America was responsible for in the 19th century.  We were instrumental in an extremely rapid advancement of humanity out of the horse and buggy days and the days of direct fire based energy into the 20th century where our transportation methods were advanced by hundreds of years in just a few decades, and we marched into the age of electricity almost overnight.

The problem for Conservatives is that such technological changes always - always - bring social changes as well.  Old technologies die.  Remember the old buggy whipmaker example?  As I typed that, Autocorrect wanted to change it to "chipmaker".  So old professions die, too.

A few hundred years ago, the very best swords you could ask for were made with Damascus steel.  A decade or so ago, some guys trying to relearn the old ways of the blacksmiths realized that the techniques for making Damascus steel had been lost.  Nobody knows today how those swords were made.  We have made guesses, but we don't know.  Not for sure.  We may never know for sure.

That's because we can kill people faster, better and from farther away with weapons using gunpowder.  You don't win a war by showing up with Damascus steel swords.  That's how you die.

These changes are not made in a vacuum.  The social changes that come from dying professions, new classifications of devices, better and faster ways of doing things are and have been immense and have caused the old comfortable Patriarchy to be shaken to its foundations.

Young people in America today are overwhelmingly progressive.  They accept and think little about the homosexual issues of the day and are accepting a more equal role for women in jobs, marriage, and politics.  Demographically, the old Conservative way of thinking is dying, and probably won't survive more than another decade or two.

Dominionists and Conservatives (especially the ones who are both) know this, and are doing all they can to stretch out the days before they lose power.  Education of one of their best efforts.

Unfortunately, their efforts are unAmerican and damaging to our democracy to an extreme degree.

We shouldn't really let them get away with it.