Categorized | National, Opinion, Politics

The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’

 

(A Disaster for Women and the Environment)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

By Dr. Joseph A Palermo
Professor, Historian, Author

JosephAPalermo.com

 

In Texas, Governor Rick Perry, the Religious Right, and their Republican allies, following Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis’s courageous filibuster last week, are literally working overtime to criminalize women’s reproductive rights.  

The state that purports to be so “pro-life” it must kneecap women also happens to be the repository of the most efficient and voluminous state-sanctioned killing machine.  There have been 500 executions (and counting) in the Lone Star State since 1982.

Like Texas, Republican-controlled states simply cannot contain their misogyny and have launched crusades to curtail women’s reproductive rights.  In the so-called red states, the GOP, responding to the clout of the Religious Right, is hell bent on rolling back rights that a generation of women struggled for decades to win.

There’s plenty of blatant hypocrisy to point out with these moves — the most glaring, of course, being the political party that claims to be against “big government” wants the government to control as many uteruses as possible — but what is often most irksome about these right-wingers is the patina of religiosity they ascribe to their assaults on both women and LGBT people.

 

A Brief History Lesson

Ronald Reagan did the nation a lasting disservice by bringing into our politics the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of this world.

The GOP of the Reagan era looked to the Religious Right as a counterweight to the role labor unions played in the Democratic Party.  Someone had to lick all those envelopes and knock on all those doors. It didn’t take long to understand that along with a veiled “Southern strategy” of racial politics, being anti-abortion and anti-gay reaped political dividends.

Thirty years later this Reagan coalition is still going strong. You can see it in the House of Representatives, the states, and elsewhere, hammering away at the same misogynistic and gay-bashing agenda.  

That was pretty much Reagan’s strategy in 1980 and 1984– and it worked like a charm in 2004, giving the nation four more glorious years of the worst president in American history.

 

The Flat-Earth Society

There are other areas where the rise of the Religious Right and the Republican politicians it elects means pending disaster.

They never seem to tire of lecturing us about how abortion and gay marriage are against the laws of nature and God.  Yet I never hear them utter a word about Monsanto and other poison/food corporations routinely ripping apart the DNA of plants and animals to create life forms that never could emerge in the known Universe.

If there exists an issue that deserves the wrath of those believers, I would think that corporations contaminating the DNA of the world’s food supply without giving a shit about the potential long-term consequences should raise a little alarm normally aimed at women and gays.

Isn’t screwing around with combining the genes of a flounder with a tomato, or a bacterium with corn, an “abomination?”  The world’s wheat supply might be succumbing to irreversible genetic pollution as Monsanto’s executives boost their bottom line through increasingly reckless actions.

Like it our not, we’re about to have the long-term “study” about whether these new Franken-crops are “safe” for the environment and for people — studies the corporate food sector has avoided or quashed.  The only problem is that by the time we understand the long-term effects of this genetic contamination it will be too late to do anything about it.

Super weeds, super insects, super bacteria and other “super” organisms which have adapted to genetically modified plants will grow stronger than ever and are starting to crop up.  The nice folks at Monsanto are absolutely giddy about the prospect of selling more herbicides and insecticides to deal with the resilient critters they’ve unleashed.

Like the fossil fuel industry and global warming, or Wall Street and the “real” economy, it’s a perfect example of corporate power and the maniacal drive for profits destroying the society they tell us they care so much about.

And the Religious Right apparently believes all of this unnatural destruction of God’s good earth is fine– so long as the women folk know their place and them gays can’t get hitched.

The Republican majority of the Supreme Court, seeing that demography is working against its ideological brethren, legitimized voter suppression laws that everyone knows will adversely affect Latinos, African Americans, young people, and the working class.

When coupled with the January 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened up the floodgates to campaign slush funds and unlimited corporate money to flow into our already money-drenched politics, the Shelby County decision fits Citizens United like a tight bookend.  Both these egregious decisions will make it more difficult to dislodge the Bible thumpers from wielding political power.

 

The Road Forward

Whenever the Roberts Court presides over a case that pits corporations against consumers, workers, or environmentalists, you can bet that most of the time the corporations will come out on top.

In working to stop Monsanto, or the fossil fuel corporations, or Wall Street from pursuing short-term profits against the long-term interests of planet Earth and its inhabitants, the courts in the United States, at this juncture, seem to be rendered useless.

With giant, immortal corporations capturing regulatory agencies, our politics, and the judicial system, the only alternative is vigorous and prolonged citizen action against them.

People who care about the planet are going to have to redouble their efforts, organize and demand that people and institutions divest their holdings from Monsanto, ExxonMobil, and other death-defying monsters.

It will be a long and tough fight but there really is no alternative.  The mobilization of people against the new attacks on women’s rights, like we have seen in Texas recently, points the way forward.

 

…This article has been abridged with pithy pics added.  You can read Dr. Palermo’s full piece here.

 

The Humboldt Sentinel appreciates Dr. Palermo sharing his article with our readers.

Before earning a Master’s degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and his Master’s degree in History from San Jose State University.

 

eighties-150x150An Associate Professor of History at California State University–Sacramento, Professor Palermo’s most recent book is The Eighties.

He’s written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy; and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism.

rfkAppearing on radio, television, and panel forums, he was given an oddly prominent jab by none other than conservative commentator Glenn Beck.  Mr. Beck lost his show, Dr. Palermo came out remarkably unscathed, and the rest is history.
 
He currently writes for the Huffington Post, LA Progressive, his website, and other publications.
 
* * * * * * * * *
 

Please spread the Hum-word.  Share our posts with others, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.  We could use your push. 

 

2 Responses to “The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’”

  1. Jason says:

    I just wish the feds would stop printing money and people and industry pick back up.

  2. toucan says:

    Thanks for the sharing,I appreciate this.keep up the good work.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Furthermore. . .
    Marijuana legalization didn't eliminate racial disparities in Colorado's pot arrests It's OK to leak government secrets - as long as it benefits politiciansChris Hedges  Here's an oldie. "Friendly Fascism" by Bertram Gross (1980). Basically, every prediction in this book came true. Seymour Hersh returns to My Lai, forty-seven ye […]
  • Things that suggest to TSA that you may be a terrorist
     82 other TSA tips discovered by the patriots at Intercept […]
  • US takes ownership of a new Iraq war
    Daily Beast - Don’t hold your breath for a formal announcement, but the U.S. just declared ownership over the war in Iraq. The newest round of airstrikes take American military power out of a supporting role and into the lead.Wednesday’s Pentagon statement that the U.S. would begin conducting airstrikes to support an Iraqi military campaign was a high-water […]
  • Two of the most misguided men in America trade ideas
    Via Eric Margolis […]
  • Hipsters; The dead end of western civilization
    Douglas Haddow, Adbusters - Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and c […]
  • Indiana governor signs bill legalizing discrimination against gays
    Huffington Post - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) quietly signed legislation Thursday that could legalize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow any individual or corporation to cite its religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party. But many opponents of the bill, […]
  • Walker in trouble
    Crooks & Liars - Last year, court documents revealed that prosecutors said that Scott Walker was at the heart of a "criminal scheme," in which he, his campaign and top lieutenants were trying to skirt campaign finance and election laws. The gist of the scheme was that Walker would help raise funds for conservative groups, especially Wisconsin C […]
  • Why the right is so powerful in Israel
    Daniel Kurtzer, Foreign Affairs - Benjamin Netanyahu's victory in Israel’s election last week has been declared a triumph of security over economics. Netanyahu exploited Israelis’ fears about terrorism and regional instability, virtually ignoring the growing economic and social problems in the country. His opponent, Isaac Herzog, fashioned himself as th […]
  • Cities have a tough time in state legislatures
    Governing - Big cities have long had a hard time getting their way in state legislatures. But in a more partisan era, the lobbying job for mayors has gotten even harder.The reason is that partisan divisions have become more aligned with regional ones. Most urban delegations are dominated by Democrats, while most rural and many suburban representatives are Re […]
  • Atlantic City in deep financial trouble
    Governing - Financially beleaguered Atlantic City is at risk of defaulting on millions in debt, a new credit analysis warned. The city faces a $40 million loan repayment at the end of March and needs access to the credit market to refinance that loan. Its credit rating is at junk status, which will make it difficult for the city to find reasonable refinancin […]
  • Obituary of the day
    Homer Tribune - Captain Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60, died Feb. 28, 2015, nestled in the bosom of his family, while smoking, drinking whiskey and telling lies. He died from complications resulting from being stubborn, refusing to go to the doctor, and raising hell for six decades. Stomach cancer also played a minor role in his demise.  Don cherished fami […]
  • Links; Women
    Women's news   MEDIA MS MAGAZINE WOMEN'S E-NEWS WOMEN'S REVIEW OF BOOKS SINGLE WOMEN MS MAGAZINE WOMEN'S E-NEWS FEMINIST NEWS Groups FEMINIST ACTIVISM FEMINIST ECONOMICS FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION INTNL ASSN FOR FEMINIST ECONOMICS MS FOUNDATION NARAL NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER NOW UN DEVELOPM […]
  • Word
    Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable - John Kenneth Galbraith […]
  • Just a suggestion: Texas license plates
    Sam Smith - My right of free speech does not allow me to put a political sticker on my neighbor's car. It does not allow me use a portable microphone in the balcony of the Senate or the House during a session of Congress. I can't scream my free speech into my neighbor's window at 2 am. Most people would accept that.So why is it necessary, or e […]
  • Obama suggests mandatory voting
    Christian Science Monitor -  During a town hall meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, President Barack Obama floated the idea of making voting in America compulsory. Mr. Obama suggested compulsory voting in the context of speaking about ways to counteract the role of money in politics."It would be transformative if everybody voted," Obama said."That wou […]