The good old days of American politics

Man, how I yearn for the good old days of American politics, back when pandering to piety wasn’t a requirement of all candidates. Think Robert Ingersoll could be nearly as successful today? He was politically active for decades, yet gave huge speeches in nearly every city of America deriding religion. He was called the Great Agnostic. Yet he was respected for his views, and an adviser to presidents and candidates alike. His presence was highly desired on the campaign trail.

If you think nothing like this could happen today, you’re probably right. Religion has taken over the public sphere a lot more since those days (despite what Christianist revisionist historians would have you believe), and now every candidate on a national level is forced to pander to all of this nonsense. Obama and McCain alike have made pilgrimages to receive the blessings of various pastors of megachurches. It’s enough to make you sick.

It’s also yet more proof that, out of all minority labels associated with a prospective candidate, “atheist” is the one most likely to dissuade the largest number of voters. That’s right, more Americans would vote for homosexuals, any given ethnic minority, Muslims, women, even felons, than atheists. And people wonder why our country is going downhill — maybe if you’d stop being as damned bigoted as our enemies then it wouldn’t be!

5 Responses to “The good old days of American politics”

  1. Ed Says:

    Pretty miserable situation you guys have there, the mistreatment of atheists is a major reason why I have never seriously considered moving to the US, despite the job offers. At least, here in the UK, 15% of people declared in the last census that they have no religion. If you include the ones that chose not to answer to this question (this is very questionable, I know…) the percentage rises to 22%. It is quite politically incorrect for a politician here to refer to religion in their speeches, if not to say he is completely impartial and will treat everyone equally once elected.
    By the way, talking about democracy… The United States president(s) consider intervention in other countries to be a correct thing to do, however, the “intervened upon” have no saying in choosing the said president(s). Extreme example: Iraq is an American occupied territory, why aren’t the Iraqis being called to vote on the next American president? (ehehehe, don’t take me too seriously on this one please.)

  2. William (green) Says:

    I bet we’re also not taxing the Iraqi people. Not to say we don’t do the whole taxation-without-representation thing (see Puerto Rico), ’cause we do.

    Cyde, your list seems a little… I dunno. It doesn’t seem right to lump homosexuals, women, and felons.
    Also, you appear to have forgotten the word “stop” in the last sentence.

  3. Cyde Weys Says:

    Ed: Conquered nations never get a say in the governance of the nations that conquered them. That’s how it’s always been throughout history, and it’s not going to change just because of this newfangled republican democracy thing. Our constitution says plain as day that only citizens living in certain specific areas are allowed to vote, and the Iraqis are neither citizens nor are they living in the allowable areas.

    William: I’m not lumping them, those are just traditionally groups of people that many voters have traditionally been unwilling to pull the lever for, though things do change over time. And yes, I’ve corrected the final sentence there.

  4. Jeff V Says:

    [On a boardwalk by the Ocean; Anywhere, USA]

    Man with American Flag Shirt: Seperation of Church and State?

    /gets out megaphone

    “THIS MAN DOES NOT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!!!!”

  5. Ed Says:

    You say “never”, but there were some notable exceptions as we can see here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Right
    Good old wikipedia never ceases to come up with answers.