The “Success” of the True Believers

The true believers in the U.S. political system are savoring their successes. They’ve furthered the ability to carry all kinds of firearms under any circumstances. They’ve arrogated, on the federal level, the near absolute right-to-life of a few cells over a woman’s personal control over her own body, and they’re aiming at enacting more absolutes into law, as well as further eroding the Constitutional separation of church and state.

While they’ve accomplished their immediate goals, citing both what the Constitution says and what it doesn’t, they’ve employed very selective readings that other scholars have disputed and ignored anything contrary to what they want to believe.

One of our great Presidents made the statement that the battle of Gettysburg was fought so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Right now, however, the true believers insist that government of the people, by the minority of the people, for the minority of the people, shall be their goal.

The majority of the people believes that some form of abortion should be legal. The majority believes that there should be some form of restriction on who should be allowed to carry firearms and under what conditions. The majority believes that the results of fair and free elections should be honored. The majority believes that the right to vote by all citizens should not be restricted.

The true believers on the right believe none of that.

That is because true believers cannot comprehend that there is any validity to anything in which they do not believe, even when the facts do not support their beliefs, and even when those beliefs are not shared by the majority of the people.

If one looks at history, societies governed by true believers have seldom endured, and when they have endured, they have become brutal tyrannies. And, interestingly enough, and contrary to both the rhetoric and beliefs of true believers, most tyrannies in history have risen out of conservatism, not liberalism, or even ultra-liberal radicalism.

And those are two other facts that the true believers on the right cannot understand or accept.

9 thoughts on “The “Success” of the True Believers”

  1. Darcherd says:

    Well, the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 was certainly a tyranny of true believers from the left, but I believe you’re correct in that most examples of religious / belief-driven tyranny throughout history has arisen from conservative viewpoints.

    1. The problem is that most people think all revolutions and tyrannies are like the Russian Revolution, and they also don’t seem to see that the current Russian regime is incredibly conservative.

      1. Darcherd says:

        I just finished an online course on Russia and Russian Culture and one of the points the professor made was that Putin is much more of a throwback to the conservative, repressive tsars than to the Bolsheviks.

        But if you look at Franco’s Spain, present day Iran, fascist Italy, and even Nazi Germany (despite the “socialist” in their party name) those were all tyrannies from the right. The only other possible exception I can think of is the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and that reign of terror lasted scarcely longer than the French Revolution.

        1. R. Hamilton says:

          No legitimate right-winger wants any kind of tyranny.

          We want to be left alone: not bossed around excessively, not stolen from to support the whiners and unproductive. And except for those disqualified by full due process (trial or at least court order, both able to be appealed), the ONLY legitimate gun control is selecting lawful targets and avoiding hitting unlawful targets.

          Don’t bring abortion into it. The only right to abortion is if it is self-defense, and IF it applies, that’s absolute. Otherwise, NOBODY knows when a blob becomes a human, so surely it’s better to err on the side of a blob being human rather than the other way around; surely a specific future human is more valuable than a year’s (if put it up for adoption immediately, and allowing some recovery time) discomfort and economic loss. The right not to be pregnant consists of the right (a) not to have sex, or (b) to use preventative measures in advance. Better yet, just don’t do it if you really don’t want to become a parent, and that goes for the guys even more, because they’re not the ones with most of the burden, so hit the deadbeat dads up for not only child support, but a year’s pain, suffering, and whatever economic loss is involved.

          Execute all violent felons including convicted rapists; and neither guns nor lack of on-demand abortion will be a major problem. And that’s not even counting all the millions of unreported cases where lawful gun owners protected themselves or others nearby often without even firing a shot.

          Criminals deserve post-birth abortion (execution), but everybody else deserves to live and demonstrate that they MIGHT be better than that.

          Anyway, throwing it back to the states means that some of them will probably be as permissive as ever, and some of them won’t. That gives people of either view a place to go, if it’s that important to them. There is not a national definition of death as far as I know, so absent a soul detection machine (if there are souls), there’s no reason to have a national definition of the beginning of life, either. On that point, I think that those conservatives or pro-life folks looking for a national “heartbeat” bill are making a mistake; they were right throwing it back to the states, but they’d be wrong redoing it even for the most high ideals as a national issue merely tilted their way.

          None of the above points, nor a number of others, actually require belief in anything supernatural, so don’t blame it all on Catholics and fundamentalists, please.

          But excessive socialism IS tyranny, and should receive maximally severe deterrence from acting on its insanity.

          1. Mayhem says:

            I don’t know why I feed the troll, but here we go again.

            Tyranny is defined as “cruel and oppressive power”, “injustice”, and “absolute rule by a single person”.

            It’s pretty hard to see how social democracy, which is pretty much the antithesis of all of that, can be described as tyranny. Rules which limit individual freedoms in exchange for collective ones are not cruel, or egregious, except through the eyes of a child. Is it crueller to let a child put their hand in a fire, or to prevent them playing with the shiny thing? Is it tyranny when they aren’t allowed to eat their fill when dinner is a short time away?
            As usual the strawman arguments presented require bending reality sideways to explain why rational behaviour is impossible in the USA when it’s pretty common elsewhere.

            Why is the potential life of a few cells deemed more valuable than the already existing life of the mother, or the now understood life of a young child? Why is a struggle to raise a child by a solo mother considered her fault, not his? “Just don’t have sex if you don’t want kids” is an idiotic argument – sex is fun, we’re generally hard wired to desire it from a surprisingly young age, and young people will do what they have always done in seeking pleasure. Unless you want to criminalise them for being young and stupid as well. Who is the Tyrant again?

            Why are second amendment enthusiasts so dismissive of suicide, which is still the leading cause of gun related deaths in the US, not homicides. Slowing down access to weapons makes that one step harder, which inherently will save lives. Or is that not manly enough?

            Why is state sponsored murder your go to for any criminal justice, instead of remediation?
            Should we murder the women who survive failing to give birth as well? After all they will be criminals as well, and violent ones by your own definitions.

            As always you bleat and bleat but your only thought is “I got mine, now go away”, the classic childish politics of selfishness. “I need to be able to kill to protect myself and my ~~possessions~~ family from the big bad world that is always taking from me.” Bah. Buy a taser if you’re that scared. Least then you can’t kill your family with it when you inevitably snap.

  2. Postagoras says:

    Yes, the Republican judicial strategy seems to be bearing fruit. But it’s a mistake to think that this is the goal. These “successes” with guns and abortion have little to do with their goal of always reducing taxes for the rich.

    The Republicans have a winning strategy of “anger farming” that keeps their base engaged and their attention away from the actual goal.

    Cory Doctorow said this much better than I, in an essay that connects the dots. It shows that this incitement of fear and hatred benefits our corporate oligarchs and the idle rich. Doctorow refers to it pithily as “How To Get The Turkeys To Vote For Christmas Dinner”.

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      The rich are NOT under-taxed!

      Rich people don’t owe a special duty to those that envy their wealth; they’re already putting plenty into the economy by their financial activity.

      The real problem is not a lack of revenue, it’s a total lack of spending discipline (at which neither party has been impressive since the Republican controlled Congress pushed back against President Clinton).

      1. Postagoras says:

        Thankfully, this is Mr. Modesitt’s blog, not yours. He’s trying in many ways to illustrate problems and suggest solutions in the real world.
        I enjoy reading his fiction and his opinions, and I’ve learned from him.
        It’s sort of interesting that Mr. Modesitt, the fantasy/sf writer, lives in the real world, whereas you live in a fantasy.
        But you just keep on being you. Keep shouting at us, it’s going to work soon.

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