IT’S NO SECRET FOX NEWS VIEWERS ARE HAVING TROUBLE digesting the unpalatable electoral results of this past week. In days leading up to actual voting they were hearing from all corners of the conservative world that Romney and Ryan were going to chalk up a truly historic win. The American people were going to rise up and repudiate the Kenyan-in-Chief.
It was bad when that didn’t happen.
It was worse when conservatives running for seats in the U. S. Senate got almost universally torched.
It was ugly when voters in four states registered approval of gay marriage and pot was legalized in two more.
When final votes were tallied in Florida and it became clear yesterday that Alan West had suffered defeat in a race to be returned to the U. S. House of Representatives, you could hear Sean Hannity weeping softly in the background. West, you may recall, won right-wing acclaim when he insisted that several dozen members of Congress were actually communists and won Tea Party adulation when he suggested that President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi should “get the hell out of the United States.” (Was this what Mitt Romney meant when he mentioned “self-deportation?”)
How to explain it? That was the right-wing dilemma of the moment. And in a segment last night called “Is Traditional America Gone?” Bill O’Reilly answered that…it was. The moral fabric of the country was unraveling. His pal, Dennis Miller, warned that the old America of his youth had been “vaporized.” A guest, pedaling a book called The Entitlement Class (something like that) insisted single women on welfare were getting all their “candy” from Obama and couldn’t help themselves if they wanted more.
STILL, IF CONSERVATIVES WANTED SOLACE, it’s worth asking why they don’t just dig a little deeper into America’s grand and glorious past. We know they love the Founding Fathers because they always tell us so. Why not, then, go back a bit farther? We’ve seen this kind of moral unraveling before and yet the American people have survived and even thrived. So, Bill and Dennis and Allen, let’s go back to 1692.
The good old days.
Massachusetts wasn’t a blue state yet. (It wasn’t even a state). But old-fashioned morals were already under serious attack. We survived. The Thirteen Colonies prospered. The Founding Fathers did some founding and America became a better place. In other words, it’s going to be okay. Just calm down and look at a little history.
In those halcyon days the Puritans ruled Massachusetts, true religious folk who knew their Bibles, chapter and verse. There was no gay marriage. Oh no, none of that! In 1692, our ancestors held to their convictions and on occasion proved it by hanging homosexuals. The law also allowed for execution in cases of adultery–which might have given someone like General Petraeus reason for pause.
There was none of this modern liberal fascination with so-called science, either! In 1692, the good people of the world understood that lightning was a punishment from God and so rang church bells whenever storms approached. You know: show God they were His loyal followers. We don’t do that much these days. Abortion? None of that! In fact, if a couple had sex before marriage then church and government leaders (who were pretty much the same people) could require them to marry. Sunday was a real day of rest. You couldn’t travel on the Sabbath, unless you were headed for church (attendance mandatory, by the way). The Puritans didn’t think you should cook on Sunday, or have sex that day, either, and everyone knew life began at conception. The Puritans also knew if a baby was born on Sunday that the baby had been conceived on Sunday and so the couple had committed a punishable offense.
Yep. The good old days.
MAYBE BILL O’REILLY AND THE FOX FAITHFUL would like to take us all back. Perhaps we could return to 1960: when a black man couldn’t vote in any of the reddest of today’s red states, let alone run for president. And win! Maybe to 1931: when pot was illegal and you couldn’t buy a beer or drink a shot of bourbon without violating the law and the moral fiber of our nation was still strong. Maybe 1791, when most states refused to let poor white men vote…that lazy pioneer “entitlement class” near-do-wells like Thomas Lincoln and Daniel Boone.
Still, 1692 is probably the best of times if you like a healthy mix of religion with your politics. Our ancestors in those days feared God, detested sin, and followed the Bible with zeal. Massachusetts was like Texas today; a criminal could be sure he or she was going to get the death penalty when he or she deserved it.
When Reverend Increase Mather warned that God was punishing the people of the colony for their sins, sending storms and Indian attacks against them, people actually listened. None of this modern global warming and evolution crap. Just good Bible truth. When a man stole a sheep and denied it and then a minister reported “a Horn growing out of one corner of his Mouth” and said the victim had had to cut “seventeen Inches” from it to keep it from “growing up to his eye,” Reverend Mather understood that it was “evidence that there is a God, who judgeth in the Earth.” (See: Hurricane Sandy as punishment from God for America’s support of gay marriage.)
Yep. The good old days. And when witches began to appear in Salem in 1692, the God-fearing people of that time, the moral majority of a better era, rose up in righteous anger and hanged a few.
Oh, if only we could go back. Not just to November 5, when Mitt and all the boys really seemed to have a chance to win.
No. Way, way, way back.