Straight Angle™: Elections and Emotions
Sunday, December 09, 2007

Elections and Emotions 

An excellent piece of editorial in NY Times, on the Mitt Romney's recent speech on his Mormonist faith. When I first read about the US election issues (may be in May 2007), in Times, the caption read "Is America ready for a Mormon President?" or something similar. That caption did more to debunk my myths about the US society, than more than a couple of You Tube videos by Richard Dawkins and his "The God Delusion".

Though, Europe was the place Secularism in its current form that we know of originated, US had been a clear adherent, with the ideal enshrined in its constitution, as the First Amendment. While, there is no denying that the undercurrent of religion is there in all Societies, it is really unfortunate that a presidential candidate would find it necessary to give a speech like this to an audience of mostly Conservative Christians.

Where this gets even more interesting is, his Republican party has a known conservative bias- what with the current incumbent's ability to speak with and hear God's voice, there is no denying that the influence is ever present. But to make a speech that doesn't clearly distance oneself from the Church and goes one step further to say,
......religion does have a place in the public domain, and that those establishing the religion of secularism are "wrong."
is definitely not something that I would expect from a Presidential hopeful from US. When the world is much less a safe place to live, nations divided on religious lines are the last thing that we would want. What we need are not assertions of religious identities- but more of Humanitarianism.

As such, there are enough issues that need urgent attention- like the Subprime mortgage woes, the Iraq War, the Iran issue, Climate Change and Global Warming- these are those things that would affect every day life of most people in the world- not just US. It is indeed disappointing to see that there are hardly much of intellectual debate or fresh thinking in any of these issues- the most debate and haggling happens on issues, which are of secondary- but highly emotional issues.

I hazard a guess, that this is the way a Democracy work- I can see similar strains in India too- in Gujarat elections- look at the issues that are being discussed- not economy, not irrigation or power or infrastructure- but "Mauth ka saudagar", "Mercy of God", "Mercy of Sonia", "Hindu Terrorists"- where does that leave us?

I am left with a feeling that elections are more an emotional issue than the cold rational thought process that are associated with choice and freedom!!

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Blogger Mouly said...

Ya, a real surprise from NYT. However Republican party itself is a conservative party which mean having ideologies based upon Christian faiths and beliefs. Not sure how this will gell with the constitution...but thats where Ron Paul steps-in - a staunch constitutionalitist...but there is no one to vote for him!!

12/21/2007 10:36 PM  
Blogger Krish said...

I think the mere fact that he is out of the mainstream- he is not even considered a probable candidate- let alone a possible candidate- that leaves me wondering about the need to have clear cut, unflinching positions on anything- just follow the crowd- I think political leaders are what their constituencies want them to be....not what they actually are- so Ron Paul isnt a politician in that sense! Just a presidential hopeful!

1/06/2008 10:19 PM  

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