Republican Party Bashing
by: Thomas Abshier

—- Original Message —–
From: John K.
To: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Sent: Saturday, October 23, 2004 3:01 PM
Subject: Garrison Keillor “We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore”

Dear Thomas,
I found the following article on the following article by Garrison Keillor rebuking the Republican Party: “We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore”.
What do you think?

From: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
To: John
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2004 4:00 PM Subject:
Garrison Keillor “We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore”

Dear John,
When confronted with such a torrent of Bush bashing and anti-Republican railing, I am tempted to respond in detail with an extensive philosophical and factual examination. But to do so in its completeness would require a life filled with little else but researching, reasoning and rebutting accusations and charges. The issues are all familiar: the diminution of Bush’s mental abilities, going to war in Iraq based on lies, giving tax breaks to the rich, the violation of women’s rights in denying their “choice” to kill their unborn babies, and the “injustice” of preventing same-sex lovers from marrying. This litany has been an endless drone from the Cable & Network News, Book TV, NPR, Air America, and liberal websites for the past year.
If we trace back some of the history of the rise of the united Democratic Party, we see that it was Howard Dean that made it fashionable to depreciate the sacrifice of our men in Iraq. We were attacked, lost 3000 innocent lives, and the Democrats used that tragedy to criticize the fact that we have defended the country. They have mischaracterized Bush’s motives and appealed to our visceral repulsion to killing and maiming that is inherent to war. We have mounted a credible force that could stem the flow of Militant Muslim terror and tyranny that is attempting to spread itself throughout the world. But, it appears that the same spirit that possessed the radical activists of the ’60s has taken hold of a segment of the population. That generation rejected God, embraced drugs and sex, and redirected their passions for making a difference in life toward ending the Vietnam War.
I believe all such efforts to depreciate the value and valor of fighting against the forces of decay, destruction, and oppression are ultimately supported by the supernatural forces of evil. So, ultimately our battle is with the powers, thrones, principalities and spiritual forces. But, the battle must be waged here in the flesh too. I believe the war in Vietnam was fought for the purposes of stemming the tide of oppression and Communism. But, our efforts were characterized by the radical left as colonialism or motivated by the riches of oil to be found in SE Asia.
The vitriol was high against the military who was acting as a defender of the free world, and the man who was at the center of this pivotal point in history was John Kerry. In “Stolen Honor” his role is documented as the man who single-handedly defamed the reputation of every man who served in Vietnam; proclaiming them to be war criminals, rapists, murderers, and pillagers. His gift of majestic declarative invocation of truth was used to give credence to fabrications that appear to be generated more from a think tank than from recollection of horrors and atrocities witnessed in the battlefield.
The Left claims that the Right has sold its principles out to Big Business; that the environment has been sacrificed, and the middle class and poor and their jobs have been sold out to Big Oil, Agribusiness, and the Military-Industrial Complex. But, the Democrats who cry foul at the donations the Republicans have collected will find that their donors will demand a similar pound of flesh in return for their investment. The amount of money spent by the Democrats is similar to the amount being spent by the Republicans. Thus, the amount of government the investors have bought is approximately the same. Thus, the question is only “who are the investors?”
Let’s just assume for the sake of clarity that there are no big donors contributing to the Democratic cause; no industry whatsoever giving money to the Kerry campaign. In that case, it would appear that the Kerry campaign might be selling their soul to the homosexual lobby, the anti-God alliance, and the globalists who want to bring America down to the level of another impotent player in the international community.
America is the world’s one shining city on a hill. Our blessings have come from God, and this may be because of our Godly heritage. We have our faults and failures, and by no means are we homogeneous in our righteousness or obedience to His way. But, I believe the founding principles of the country are closer to those that please His heart than any other nation has ever been. But, just as God’s chosen people, the children of Israel were separated from Him because of their stiff-necked disobedience, so too we can lose our blessing and grace. We clearly risk this fate when we embrace the practice of sodomy and protect it by law and justify it as “tolerance” and “equality”. We drive the nails in our own coffin and shut off the waters that nourish our national soul when we pass laws that authorize infanticide and offer that sacrifice up to the gods of “choice.”
It appears that the Left has a will to endlessly repeat their mantras of condemnation about Bush, Republicans, Conservatives, and Christians. Either they are telling lies, exaggerating the truth, mischaracterizing the facts, or telling the truth. It is impossible to know the absolute truth without a perspective equivalent to the Mind of God, but even though I don’t have that lofty view and intimate knowledge of every man’s heart, I do know that all this indignant outraged rhetoric feels like someone is telling me the big lie. It feels like I’m being given an emotional sales job by someone telling me in the most egregious emotional terms about all of the violations by the Republican rogues. These attackers use their position on their self-proclaimed moral high ground to invoke outrage and action against the evil Republican perpetrators, who are then equated with the moral bigots, the hateful Christian homophobes, and small-minded conservative zealots.
I heard Garrison Keillor talk on Book TV a few weeks ago. His presentation was wonderful. He has such a soft-spoken demeanor, wry wit, and intellect that seemingly towers above the normal man. He gives the impression of someone who can be trusted to see the hypocrisy of life and expose it for us. When confronted with such homespun humility, it is easy to get sucked into believing he speaks the objective truth in his sincere cynical berating of the Bush-Republican-Conservative-Christian position.
The one unifying factor that I can extract from this exercise in enrollment of the human will is that we are being set up for the kill. The Judeo-Christian worldview appears hateful and narrow from his perspective.
It appears to me that people such as Garrison Keillor fall into a genre, a class, or group of those who hate God’s restrictions on the expression of sexuality and the regulation of their lives by a higher standard. The issues of concern to this sub-group broaden out to include issues of defense, environment, culture, and economy. The platform of the Left appears to include many of the following social and economic platform planks: pass stringent environmental regulations on all industry; preserve untouched as much original landscape as possible; protect every species regardless of its significance in the ecosphere; provide almost unlimited money, drugs, and medical care to the sick, elderly, poor, and unemployed; apply forceful intervention in foreign affairs only when the global community agrees; legislate a level economic playing field for every country in the world; and tax only the rich to pay for all the programs of social welfare and governmental regulation.
Such a policy would certainly be wonderful, and we would all like to see it implemented, but it feels unrealistic to me. I think the Republican Right may tolerate progress that is slower than would be possible, and the Democratic Left may speak too aggressively against the slow progress. I think the one thing that will produce a real change in the cultural industrial paradigm will be when we have freed ourselves from the grasp of oil. I believe it is possible now with the alternative energy technologies to implement them on a larger scale than the niche market they now occupy. But, it will probably take a disaster of some magnitude to change the momentum of the market. Given the tensions that are being generated in the Mid East, and the dependence America has on foreign oil, it is easy to see how a disaster could arise.
I continue to be amazed at how the religious Right is characterized with such venom, and men of faith are seen as hypocritical, shallow believers, and pawns of industry. This characterization of Christendom strikes me as a huge disparity between what I see in my own personal experience and interactions with this cultural sub-group. The Left sees Christians as evil, while my own perception of the Christian, conservative Right-wing demographic seems to be gentle, caring, compassionate and practical.
As a result of this extreme disparity between my perception and the characterizations of the Left, I’m left with wondering if I’m missing something. Is there an inside view of a deep dark machinery of an agri-medical-military-techno-finance-government culture of which I am totally unaware? I suppose it’s possible. I know that in my experiences at the periphery of the world of administrative law, lobbying, and professional associations, there has always seemed to be another layer, something operating behind the scenes. I’m assuming a layer of secrecy and covert self-serving activity could be operating behind the scenes of everything. But, it’s hard to identify it clearly. It is possible that the elite governmental authorities could be creating an alliance with industry that benefits the capitalists more than the people. But, given the requirements for campaign cash in modern times, I doubt that the liberal Left will remove themselves entirely from this gravy train of donations and apply the ax of regulation to their donors.
In short, I’m not convinced by the facts or rhetoric to switch sides. If everything they said was true and right, we would be foolish to oppose them. Somewhere there is a disconnect in either facts or judgment.
God Bless,

From: John To:
Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2004 2:05 PM
Subject: Rebutal: Garrison Keillor “We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore”

Bravo! You are brilliant! I love your rebuttal. You grasped and captured it all.
I have enjoyed listening to Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” on NPR. Garrison is a great humorist and storyteller on rural Minnesota. His stories sound so very respectful of the Catholics versus the Lutherans. I am quite surprised to hear this hatred of the religious right. I agree with you; I do not see what he sees. The USA is a strangely split nation between two major parties. The religious right has great influence on the Republican Party. Every small splinter group has collectively controlled the Democratic party. Christians do not condone or support everything the Republicans have on their platform. Christ does not fit clearly in either camp. There are some aspects of care for the poor that our Lord might possibly laud of the liberals. But, I agree with you that Garrison comes at life with a very different filter and focus than we conservatives have.
I am glad that you ran for Senate. There are people out there (22%) that agree with you.
Thanks for writing back.
God bless,

Text of Article:
We’re not in Lake Wobegon Anymore
By: Garrison Keillor

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned-and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s. Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor. In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, took a pass and made training films in Long Beach. The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy. The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous. Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace. Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy-the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully. The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good. Our beloved land has been fogged with fear-fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich. There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time. Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term. This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm. The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them. This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger. Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.