Having spent a few years in the Midwest recently the problem is much more complex than mere politics. While the denizens there enjoy all the modern amenities of technology: cell phones, computers, cars, television etc., their world view is still very much centered on an intractable and widely-shared fundamental belief that this “6,000 year old” planet was created by an invisible theocrat whose principal adversary works through science, progress, intelligence, education, reason, culture, and, yes, even women’s reproductive organs to undermine, thwart and depose His absolute authority and dominion over all.
While there are many denominations and subtle differences between these closed doxastic cults, the underlying mind-set for the majority of these fellaheen is that this life, our deaths and afterlife will continue on into a Manichaeans structured tyranny for eternity.
If you have even a modest understanding of history, government and politics, Heaven and Hell pretty much host the same type of slavery and uniformity — only in different climates.
Essentially, this parochial worldview has been nurtured, accredited, cultivated, promoted and institutionalized on every church corner and religious school in every tiny village throughout the country for centuries.
Moreover, anyone who tries to intervene is demonized, ostracized and must be shunned, because they have socially and individually immunized themselves from reasonable argument and logic. They will not, cannot, nor even approach an ideological detente with us, because to do so severely threatens their entire personal identity, as well as their social standing from here to eternity. It would be existential suicide.
Ultimately, this is what we’re up against when we propose repairing the divide. It won’t happen and can never happen until we asseverate and demand that the freedom to practice religion is not an absolute right to legislate and instruct ignorance, intolerance or an ideology or spiritual slavery that is antithetical to our country’s founding principles.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov
The dark rigidity of fundamentalist rural America: a view from the inside