March 25, 2012

Obama and Oklahoma

We all know that Oklahoma is the reddest of the red states.  Not one county voted for Obama in 2008, and that is unlikely to change in this election.

So this past week, Obama visited the state to speak for improving our oil distribution.  But not one of the State's Republican leaders was there to welcome him.  Not one.  And here is the sad part.  They won't suffer politically.  In fact, one could argue that the demonization of Obama and liberals is so fierce here in Oklahoma, that Mary Fallin or other Republicans would have been politically harmed had they done as much as greet the President with a cordial handshake.

What does that say about our political discourse?  I am not sure.  I don't recall the opposite happening with Bush and our former Democratic Governor, Brad Henry, either with a snub, nor with a political cost to the governor for being seen with Bush.

This is another example of how things are worse on the right than on the left.  The Tea Party and talk radio have pushed a degree of incivility that has become accepted by people who, as this editorial suggests, were "raised better than that."

4 comments:

Monk-in-Training said...

I get so tired of this. You would think some of my Pastor friends who have studied the Scriptures would be more knowledgeable on this topic.

I understand frustration with political differences, but I believe the Scriptures transcends petty American politics. God has given us timeless truth in His Word, that we need to heed more than transitory politics.

I am also certain that whatever my politics, the Scriptures tell us about the importance of showing respect for our leaders and their need for our prayers.

In Romans 13:1, God tells us that all authority has been instituted by God Himself. In 1 Samuel 24:5-6 and 1 Samuel 26:9, we see David's (a man after God's own heart) respect for a leader who was conspiring against him personally.

Very specifically Paul commands us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 "...urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions..."

I also think Christians should be leaders in respectful conversation about politics and leaders of our Nation. It saddens me when Christians, esp. Pastors and Leaders of either side speaks so disrespectfully of our National leaders.

Cold In Laramie said...

Streak,

You have raised similar issues on this blog, but the question I have is why? Why has the level of political civility apparently declined? Why is there such an attack on women's rights, people of color, etc. as we have seen in places like Arizona?

I wonder if it is not two issues. First, and I think you have disagreed with me about this before, I think that the United States is more of a conservative-leaning nation. That when pressed, the nation has not pushed social reform issues further than it could have because of inherent conservative tendencies. I think of Gordon Wood's discussion of the Constitution, Eric Foner's work on Recontruction, historians who assess the impact of the Progressive movement and the Great Depression.

Second, I wonder how the frontier mythology on which the nation is contracted is partly at play here as well. In other words, I trace much of the current retrenchment, xenophobia and the like to 9/11. Turner argued that the "consolidating agent" on the frontier was the fear of Indian attack. So, in this way, 9/11 resembles the colonists' and nation's response to things like the Pequot War or Pearl Harbor. Rather than bringing out the best in people, there is a backlash - sending Pequots into slavery in the Caribbean, interning Japanese American citizens, endorsing torture.

My thoughts are not as fully formed here as I would like, but maybe they will generate some discussion.

Streak said...

Very interesting, CIL. I am going to repost this on the main page, because I think there is something there.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.