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