I believe in Good and Evil. I believe that the forces of darkness are locked in a struggle with the forces of enlightenment. But my view is diametrically opposed to the apocalyptic vision of so-called Christians like those gathered in Washington DC for the Conservative Political Action Conference. Those people believe that the dark side includes Socialism, taxes and big government, and that President Obama represents all three.
Obama will impose world Socialism, they say. That will bring on the devastation of Armageddon. At least that’s what I gathered from watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC last night. Rachel showed some bizarre clips from the conference, including a sound bite from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann shouting out to the new chair of the Republican National Committee (who happens to be African-American): “Michael Steele, you be da man! You be da man!”
Rachel then showed a brief interview with authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, who have sold some 65 million books in their “Left Behind” series. The books depict in detail how the world will end. The authors base their theories on the Book of Revelation in the Bible, which describes a final battle between Good and Evil. I gathered from Rachel’s TV show that in CPAC’s view, Obama is a standard bearer for the dark side. After him comes the apocalypse.
In my much more prosaic vision of the world, the struggle between Good and Evil is already taking place and Obama is on the side of justice and enlightenment. On the side of corruption and oppression are entrenched special interests, some of them criminal. They are represented by a cadre of skilled political manipulators known as lobbyists.
I think America is the only developed country that allows lobbying. Apparently the tradition is based on a Constitutional provision giving citizens the right “to petition the government.” Somewhere back along the way, this right was extended to corporations as well as individuals.
Now, every special interest – good or bad – has lobbyists. Apparently, even municipalities and charities must employ lobbyists to present their case to politicians. The bad lobbyists represent the forces of Evil. Funded by the deep pockets of drug lords (legal and illicit), oil barons and financial crooks, they have managed to skew America’s political system so that it has enriched the wealthy, and brought war, pestillence and poverty to the rest of the population.
America’s new President is taking them on. In his weekly radio address today, he declared: “The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don’t. I work for the American people.”
The President said his proposed budget will be enacted only if Congress overcomes resistance from powerful lobbyists. “I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight,” he said.”My message to them is this: So am I.”