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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 
The Politics Business

Writing about this morning's very creepy article about the new evangelical Christian training for conservative aides on capitol hill (which he points out should hardly be necessary since there already exist a ton of institutions for that purpose called ... "church") Jesse notices something that I think is quite important:

There are times where I really wonder if there's any such thing as grassroots conservatism anymore. Conservatives seem to be intent on making any expression of conservative belief little more than the assembly of an out-of-the-box movement. You want to start a petition for intelligent design in your school district? Here's the talking points, magazines, a list of local experts and the e-mail for your very own Discovery Institute scientist.

The modern Republican Party isn't just antipathetic to democracy - it seems to be doing everything within its power to convert it into a sham of itself, all the benefits of democracy without any of the actual practice or participation. You can be a principled Christian conservative for $345, with free lunch! For an extra $50, learn how to dress your spouse to communicate that they're not Hillary!

For all the talk of the conservative philosophical backbone, modern conservatism is little more than a paint-by-numbers affair, with doting teachers standing over you making sure that #3 is red and not green, because that might otherwise send the wrong message. It appropriates the rhetoric of soul-saving while remaining entirely soulless itself.


I think that its soullessness may be due to the fact that movement conservatism is now a business. So is the Christian Right. The "Republican industry" has become a livlihood for a whole lot of people who are not directly involved in the political process or the typical televangelist ministries. Somebody has to provide all those "paint-by-numbers" petition kits and out of the box local candidate blow-up dolls. We need to start seeing them through this prism.

The question is what kind of a business model are they using? (It may or may not be relevant that one of the biggest funders of conservative causes in the nation is the DeVos family --- of Amway fame.)



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