As I promised in my last posting I’m now going to list some of the reasons I see an ongoing Sheldon Crisis.
- The similarities of the the 1850’s and the fall of the American Wigs party and now.
- The rise of religious back political action, that is the uses of religion to support political action.
- The rise of accepted corruption in the body politic
I will tackle these in reverse order. Since the turn of the 21st century the acceptance by the electorate of corrupt dealings by people in the government, either elected, appointed, or Civil Service, has been becoming more and more pronounced till we end up electing Donald J. Trump as President. Then the powers that be totally ignoring it. An I’m not just talking about the Congress. I’m also talking about the electorate, and not just in the general election. The GOP voter had an entire Primary season to put Trump in the trash, but they didn’t. (see earlier posting on my thoughts on why they did this.) Even now, almost two full years after the end of the Trump administration we have stores coming out about self-dealing of high officials and family members with little or no reaction from the self same high ethics/morality touting conservatives. The last time this happened was in the Gilded Age.
Next is the use of ones religion to justify ones political action(s). Or rather the use of religious fervor to opt-in voters for political power. This has been going on for almost 50 years now to greater and greater effect. Now, please note I am NOT talking about acting or voting based on ones religious beliefs. Nothing can be better than following your religious moral/ethical teaching when voting. I would just like to share one of the earliest bible school teaching I ever got. ”The Devil Quotes Scripture.” When I first heard this someone had the good since to ask the teacher just what that meant. She replied that you can find something in the Scriptures to just doing just about anything. That’s why you need to read not the the passage but also what came before and what comes after. When we told to go look to see if we could find a scripture that would justify staying up past bed time, or only have desert for diner, low and be hold we found quite a few. (Unfortunately all our parents had been warned about the teaching in the class, so no joy there.) It is an unfortunate truth that when people start believing that their religion justifies their doing something they, themselves, would never stand for being done to them we come to the point of doing that which we hate.
An now to the final, and most important point. Also the hardest to really understand. This is because the politics of the USA in the decade before the Civil War is both complex and little written about. It is also fragmented. We have not only the collapse of the American Wigs party and the rise of the Republican party. We have the rise of the ’Nativist’ or ’American’ political movement. Add to that both sides of the Abolition movement justified their position with bible texts.
An that leads me to this final point, a Sheldon Crisis is not simple. It is Complex, Convoluted, Hidden and Obvious. An it is dynamic and always changing. That is why it is so hard to see the answer till the ’crux’ of the crisis is reached. A lot of people will see the answer, a lot won’t, and, unfortunately too many will think they see the answer and be mistaken. These last are the most dangerous.