Originally I rejected the following comment because it is snarky and anonymous:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Stop the Bailout: Three Links”:
hmmm… now, who is threatening to socialize this country the most right now? we better watch out for those faith-based groups forming during this time of economic turmoil!!
Yet the comment does raise a serious point, so I will offer a serious answer.
Is the threat coming from the religious right or the socialist left? The answer is both. I fear both sides, both Democrats and Republicans, right and left. However, I continue to hold that today’s major threat is the faith-based politics of the right.
Which would most negatively impact my life: implementation of the bailout, or implementation of Amendment 48? There is no question that Amendment 48, the darling of the religious right, would be much more disastrous for my life and the lives of most Coloradans.
But there is a deeper issue here. There is no direct connection between the bailout and faith-based politics. But there is an indirect connection. Increasingly the religious right is apathetic or outright hostile toward free markets. George W. Bush, who has made faith-based politics a centerpiece of his presidency, has led the country into deeper deficits, dramatically more state spending, and entitlements that are spinning out of control. And, notably, who is pushing the bailout? George W. Bush. “Who is threatening to socialize this country the most right now?” It is indeed our faith-based president, who holds nothing but contempt for free markets and economic liberty. With his faith-based welfare, Bush has brought the religious right onto the welfare-state gravy train.
And where is John McCain, who pandered to the religious right with his selection of Sarah Palin? Oh, right — he’s pushing the bailout proposal, too. Where’s Sarah Palin? Where is this Pitbull with Lipstick? Is she standing with the American people against the bailout? Hell, no. If she becomes vice president or president, is she going to stand up for economic liberty in the White House? Hell, no. She has talked about simultaneously cutting taxes and balancing the budget, but without a serious commitment to spending cuts, her talk is just fantasy.
Bush has expressed a view uncomfortably close to a doctrine of divine command. Palin has praised a witch-hunting minister who prayed to God for her political success. In general, people who believe they’re in power by God’s authority cannot be trusted to govern according to the principles of individual rights and free-market economics.
To invoke Ayn Rand’s phrasing, we are faced by the duel threat of the mystics of muscle — the socialist left — and the mystics of spirit — the religious right. The most frightening (but unsurprising) trend is the merging of the two.