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What Does The Religious Right Really Want?
What does the Religious Right really want? Well, besides power, money and control, what they really want is to see a radical Right judge appointed to the Supreme Court. Why? To overturn Roe v. Wade. It really is that simple. What the Religious Right (henceforth referred to as RR) wants is to tell me, and all women, what to do with our bodies.
This has been an interesting week in American politics. The Republican Party was thwarted in its attempt to eradicate the long-held tradition of the Senate filibuster. How did the GOP, which holds a 10-seat majority in the Senate, end up in such an embarrassing position? The explanation is simple; the moderates decided it was time to be heard.
Fourteen moderate Senators, seven Republicans and seven Democrats, broke rank with their parties in a bold move to preserve the honor and integrity of Congress as an Institution by safeguarding the tradition of the filibuster. These 14 men and women held the crucial votes that would determine the result of the so-called "nuclear option" to do away with the filibuster. However, instead of playing partisan ball, they took the ball away and threw it out of the playground completely.
Protecting the Minority
These senators understand the importance of the filibuster in the democratic process in Congress. However, it should be noted that the Republicans understand its importance as well, that is exactly why they are trying to get rid of it. The filibuster, although nothing more than a legislative sit-in to protest a nominee or a proposed law, is one of the only ways to deter the majority party from proposing extreme candidates or legislation. It acts as one of the many protective measures instituted for the minority voice.
Those who would say the minority voice doesn't matter are the very same ones who would hand over democracy on a platter to the first dictator to demand their allegiance. Consider that the minority in the United States is about half of all Americans, perhaps even more when the disenfranchised groups are added in to the mix. The minority in America encompasses far too many people to refuse them a proper voice in the Senate by dissolving the filibuster.
This near-equal split has generally been the outcome of elections for several decades with the Republicans gaining extra ground during some elections and the Democrats gaining extra ground on other elections because of the Electoral College system. However, in terms of population, the line is drawn right down the middle. In reality, there is no real minority in America.
Therefore, the Republican attempt to remove the ability of minority Senators to filibuster is not only shortsighted, since they will one day be the minority voice again, but it also robs the minority of their ability to protest an issue on which they may not have enough votes to reject. It puts the country on notice that something important is being decided and shouldn't be rushed through with an "up or down" vote. This is the only deterrent the minority party has in Congress because the President and other Senators do not like any type of bad publicity.
It's Pay Back Time
Again, why would an otherwise conservative party risk so much and act so brazenly as to demand such a drastic change in the legislative process? The Grand Old Party, as well as most conservative branches of any government, is traditionally know for its desire to preserve the thoughts and ideas of yesteryear.
It is highly uncharacteristic of a conservative party to demand the complete eradication of a practice that has been a tradition for so long and has proven to be a vital part of the democratic process, even if would make life more convenient for them. They might suggest a small change here or there, but conservative parties never opt for the removal of such traditions. So why would the Republicans want this drastic change of the legislative process? Because it is pay back time.
The Republicans, Bush included, rode the backs of the RR all the way to the White House and Capitol Hill. The RR is the reason they are all in office today, and everyone involved knows it. So what does the RR stand to gain from all of their hard work? If all goes well, their main objective is to see a RR judge appointed to the Supreme Court.
In fact, many of the RR leaders have made their motives quite clear concerning the "nuclear option" in statements made since it was defused. Pat Buchanan was one of the more outspoken in an interview with Don Imus, a radio talk show host, this week. He said, "the great battle for the supreme Court was about to be won today" - except for the efforts of the "McCain Seven." In short, the RR's fight for dissolution of the filibuster was in reality a fight for the Supreme Court.
Religious Right RailRoading
It's scary to think these men are controlling the strings of our politicians - all the way to the top with the Senate and the White House. So many Americans are naïve enough to think their politicians are looking out for the good of the people, when in reality our elected officials are too often obliged to men like Buchanan who have their own selfish agenda.
The RR wants control of the Supreme Court. But to what end? There are many reasons, I am sure. However, the most obvious is the hotly debated Roe v. Wade decision, which the conservatives have been working for decades to reverse. They want to force the rest of America to submit to their religious dogma about life, women and morality. They expect us to believe like they do and act like they do and if we refuse, they will try to find another way to make us do their bidding - like make it a law to comply. They are not below using politicians and judges as tools to further their own agenda.
You may ask me how I can be so sure of what the Religious Right wants. It's because I use to be a part of the RR. I grew up in a very conservative home and attended extremely conservative churches for most of my life. The religious right has always wanted to push their morals on me. From a child I was told I should wear a dress because I'm a girl, no makeup, no jewelry. Mine was an extreme case, but most of the RR's views are very extreme.
An Archaic Belief System
These are no ordinary conservatives; they are radicals with a mission. It is more important than ever to push the RR and their ultra conservative agenda as far away from our politicians and our courts as possible. In doing so, Americans retain control of our country, preserve our constitutional rights and maintain the freedom to choose our own religious path, if we want to choose one at all.
So what made me reject the ideology of the RR? I got a conscience. Now I spend my time writing articles like this one to counteract the ongoing assault against the rights of women by the RR. My one true desire is to see my daughters grow up in a world where women are truly free and gender equality is the rule of thumb, not some allusive notion under constant attack by an archaic belief system.
About the Author: Stella Ramsaroop is a western world traveler, a life-long student, a wanna-be stargazer, and an Aquarius in all its forms (if you know what that means). Her articles emphasize the importance of the continued development and protection of gender equality in all aspects of a woman's life.
Stella is also the proud mother of four almost-grown children with her significant other Paul, whom she married almost 20 years ago.
Visit Stella's Website at http://www.newsparade.com/index.htm
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