The plague of pol­i­tics of the right so nasty

Bray People - - OPINION -

US Se­na­tor John McCain cut a no­ble fig­ure last Tues­day when he re­turned to Wash­ing­ton to vote in the Se­nate on a health bill. The 80-year-old Repub­li­can Se­na­tor from Ari­zona made some pow­er­ful re­marks on the floor of the US Se­nate just a few short days from surgery hav­ing been di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour. At the end of his talk he quipped that he was go­ing home for a while to treat his ill­ness but that he had every in­ten­tion of re­turn­ing to the Se­nate and ‘giv­ing many of you cause to re­gret all the nice things you said about me’. The thrust of his speech was on the im­por­tance of co­op­er­at­ing and trust­ing one an­other, no mat­ter what one’s pol­i­tics or be­liefs are.

‘I hope we can again rely on hu­mil­ity, on our need to co­op­er­ate, on our de­pen­dence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so do­ing bet­ter serve the peo­ple who elected us. Stop lis­ten­ing to the bom­bas­tic loud­mouths on the ra­dio and tele­vi­sion and the in­ter­net. To hell with them. They don’t want any­thing done for the public good. Our in­ca­pac­ity is their liveli­hood.

‘Let’s trust each other. Let’s re­turn to reg­u­lar or­der. We’ve been spin­ning our wheels on too many im­por­tant is­sues be­cause we keep try­ing to find a way to win with­out help from across the aisle. That’s an ap­proach that’s been em­ployed by both sides, man­dat­ing leg­is­la­tion from the top down, with­out any sup­port from the other side, with all the par­lia­men­tary ma­noeu­vres that re­quires.’

I’m sure I stated it here be­fore that I bought my­self an in­ter­net ra­dio and came across a US sta­tion called ‘Pa­triot Ra­dio’. It is al­most im­pos­si­ble to de­scribe it. It is wall-to-wall scream­ing and roar­ing. A non-stop bar­rage at ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing that is not in agree­ment with its right-wing phi­los­o­phy. The night that Trump won the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion I stopped lis­ten­ing to it but just last week I tuned in again.

Ac­cord­ing to ‘Pa­triot Ra­dio’ ev­ery­thing that Trump says is cor­rect and ev­ery­one who dis­agrees with him is a source of ridicule, laugh­ter and fun. It is shock­ing stuff and ex­actly the sort of ‘ bom­bas­tic ra­dio’ that John McCain crit­i­cised last week. It is sneer­ing and nasty and has some weird abil­ity of giv­ing the im­pres­sion that it is tak­ing the moral high ground. It re­ally is crazy ra­dio but it has high lis­ten­er­ship rat­ings in the US.

There seems to be some­thing about the ul­tra right-wing that gives peo­ple the im­pres­sion that they are talk­ing in the name of jus­tice and right, that they are ac­tu­ally the mouth­piece of all that is cor­rect. Alas, noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Maybe I am be­ing some­what bi­ased but I can’t help but be­lieve that ex­treme right-wing pol­i­tics and re­li­gion ex­press the nas­ti­est and most in­sid­i­ous ideas that plague the earth. It’s a phi­los­o­phy or way of think­ing that is mer­ci­less.

It is a mood or a trend that is cur­rently gain­ing as­cen­dancy within dif­fer­ent be­lief sys­tems, in­clud­ing the Chris­tian churches. At the best of times churches tend to be right-wing. God pro­tect us from fur­ther lurches to the right. It would be in­ter­est­ing to know ex­actly what Pope Fran­cis thinks of so much of the right-wing think­ing and prac­tices that go on within the Catholic Church.

Fr Michael Com­mane

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