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Politics as religion

October 08, 2009

Re "Armageddon politics," Opinion, Oct. 2

Although Neal Gabler's Op-Ed article is both accurate and insightful, it seems to imply that political fundamentalism is some kind of spontaneous eruption of popular insanity.

The truth is that the Republican Party and powerful interest groups have encouraged and funded this pseudo-populist trend. Millions of Americans have been persuaded to betray their own interests and display the kind of ugly behavior they wouldn't permit in their own children.

This year we saw the arrival of HD television and HD politics -- not high-definition but hate-and-destroy.

Marvin A. Gluck



Gabler could use some Prozac. I agreed with everything he wrote except his abysmal conclusion.

Enlightenment has always defeated the forces of ignorance and darkness, and this time is no exception. Despair is our enemy, and it is exactly what the opposition would like us to succumb to. We won't.

So buck up, Neal. In the battle of wits, our enemy is only half-armed.

Larry Mason

Santa Barbara


So there's a "right-wing media drumbeat," eh? And conservatives are simply religious zealots immune to rational arguments?

Let's not bother to test that one against what liberals believe to be sacred: abortion rights. Instead, let's look at the new liberal religion, a belief in man-made global warming that's about to destroy the planet.

Whenever a skeptic asks a question like, "How can carbon dioxide, the primary essential for plant life, be a threat?" he's immediately labeled a "doubter" and reminded that the science is long ago settled. When he tries to show that climate patterns are much more closely correlated with solar activity than changes in so-called greenhouse gases, he's dismissed as a heretic.

Tell me again, just who are the religious zealots here?

William Bradshaw

San Diego


Gabler has accurately described the frightening state of politics in our country.

When legislators make decisions on issues such as abortion, gay rights and end-of-life choices on the basis of what the Bible says instead of what is logical and real, I have a great deal of trouble believing that they are likely to make logical decisions on other issues.

Bill LeBoeuf

Huntington Beach


I'd like to extend a hearty thank you, congratulations and kudos to Gabler for his excellent analysis of the political landscape and what has happened to conservatism in America the last 30 years.

I applaud and agree with everything he says, itemizes and dissects in his analysis. And I also hope and pray that he might be wrong in his conclusion.

Perhaps one day, hopefully in this lifetime, America will come to its senses.

Dan Pellow



Gabler has hit on a very important point about the role of fundamentalism in politics. It is part of what keeps California from starting to solve its problems.

We need to calm the rhetoric from both the right and left fringes. Rude behavior needs to be stigmatized and made unacceptable. Let us solve problems, not demonize people with different opinions.

Bob Sutter

Corona del Mar


To complete the circle left open by Gabler's fatalistic notion that nothing can be done about right-wing zealotry -- plenty can, and should, be done.

For starters, the media must shed more light on falsehoods and irrational arguments. Liberals should fight back hard. Boycotting the "Gospel" preachers of the right would be a good start. Missionary efforts toward reasonable occupants of the center-right would help marginalize the zealots.

The ability of government to bring about positive change hangs in the balance.

Jon Thingvold

Murrieta, Calif.


Thank you, Neal Gabler, for a splendid article on what is wrong with the current state of our politics.

You have identified the core problem with the "summer of discontent" protests, which make me so very uneasy about solving the serious issues we currently face -- whether it be healthcare, global warming or dysfunctional political bodies.

I am always astonished that so many high-profile people espousing religious values can be so mean-spirited toward their fellow man. Isn't it supposed to be just the opposite?

Joyce White

Simi Valley


I had to chuckle in disbelief at Gabler's article in which he despaired over "terrifying" conservatives who have "nothing but contempt for opposing viewpoints."

I abhor behavior such as shouting out "you lie" at the president during his speech, but people on the left are hardly in a position to criticize after the ugly and uncivil behavior they engaged in toward George W. Bush.

Democrats and Obama supporters, with your record, you look pretty silly scolding your opponents.

Anne Kaufman

Los Angeles

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