Padre Steve’s Political Commentary

left-wingers

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage

My political commentary is as widely varied as the rest of this site. That being said I try to ask hard questions that require people to think and not just respond out of gut emotionalism. It must be the duplicitous Romulan side of me that makes me do it, but what can I say?

I like raising the philosophical and ethics ethics questions inherent in any story as well as the implications for faith. I also try to see the humor in things and am not above poking fun at me or my positions

For a matter of record I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and came of political age in the 1980s. I was a Republican for many years. As a 16 year old I worked for the Presidential Campaign of Gerald Ford and I supported Ronald Reagan and George Bush. In the 1990s I wavered. I liked Bill Clinton but didn’t vote for him, going to Ross Perot in 1992. In 2000 attracted by the “compassionate conservative” moniker of George W Bush I voted for him and in 2004 I voted with him with great reservations. I wish now that I hadn’t.

In 2008 after returning from Iraq and seeing the effect of the lies of the Bush Administration in regard to the war and coming home with a severe case of PTSD I became a Democrat supporting Hillary Clinton. Since then I have been appalled by the massive influence of politically active religious fundamentalists in the GOP and how they seem to be the ones than even men that I used to respect now kiss up and snuggle for support.

In local and state politics I have always voted for the person that I thought was best for my state and community. As a result my local and state voting, including elections in the US House and US Senate races have been split, though since the 1990s I have probably voted for more Democrats and moderate to liberal Independents than Republicans.

I have a bit of a social Libertarian streak in me. I am not a fan of the Tea Party, I support the Occupy movement and distrust Wikileaks. I absolutely distrust preachers that become political partisans, especially those who determine that their faith needs to be imposed as the law of the land. I am personally against abortion but don’t feel that the Government should be deciding what a woman should do. I worry about privacy concerns especially in light of the security state that we have become. I am pro Gay rights and support equality. I support strong labor organizations and social justice. Much of this comes as a result of my faith as well as being a historian specializing in the Weimar and Nazi eras in  Germany.

In all of these things I try to see both sides of an issue and treat opponents with respect.   I try to look at history and apply its lessons in making my observations and likewise am not afraid to seek nuance and prefer principled compromise to scorched earth tactics, figuring like Spock in Star Trek that “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”

Speaking of Star Trek I find that there are a lot of great analogies in it for many of our most contentious debates and recently I have been doing a lot of my writing using examples from Star Trek the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine in my articles about national security and the recent NSA leaks.

So here are my articles related to political issues including economics, social issues and national security concerns. I am sure that everyone will find something to agree or disagree with me about but such is life and while I try to take things seriously, I try not to take disagreement personally. In fact as I looked back as I perused my writings I found some that were not what I expected. They encompass elections, political campaigns, national security and privacy, religious liberty and tolerance, gay rights, social justice, the civil rights movement and things that happen in this country and overseas, including a lot of history. Baseball finds its way into many of them too. On the whole it is an eclectic collection of thoughts, some undoubtably especially back in 2009 written late at night during the midst of my PTSD Mad Cow crisis under the effects of copious amounts of beer and sleep deprivation.

I think that ultimately my political philosophy is rooted in the quote of Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the , communist
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

Peace

 

Padre Steve+

 

“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges” Between Civil Liberties and National Security: Exploring the National Security State Through Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Never Forget, They are Not Just Names… Reflections on War, Loss and Change: Iraq, Afghanistan and Deep Space Nine

Security and Freedom the Precarious Balance: Looking at the NSA Leaks and Terrorist Threats in Light of Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Questions in Light of the NSA Leaks and More Answers from Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Some Sunday Thoughts on Freedom, Security and Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Padre Steve’s 2013 Down and Dirty Primer on the Muddle East

Things Haven’t Changed That Much: Jackie Robinson Goes to the 1964 GOP Convention and the Freedom Summer

Baptism and Water Boarding: When Professed Christians Defile Their Own Faith to Make Cheap Political Points

Living in the Chronically Offended World

I am the “L” Word…No, Not the One You Are Thinking

Sequester, Lent and Hope

Thoughts on the Coming of Sequestration

Remembering the Deal with the Devil that Has Brought us the Sequester

The Long and Slow Integration of the Major Leagues: A Reflection on Desegregation and Spring Training

An Interesting Encounter with a Political Party Campaign Staffer: Conversation, Drinks and Offers of Sex paid for by the GOP

The Painful Lessons of Looking in the Mirror of Social Media

Thoughts on the Inauguration of President Obama and the Legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Another Year: Politics as Usual but Hope Still Abounds

Fiscal Cliff Notes: There are Always Results

The Second Day of Christmas: My Wish for Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All

God and Gun Violence: Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer Mock the Gospel in Comments about the Newtown Massacre

A Cry in Newtown: Anguish after a Massacre

Remembering the Hope of John F Kennedy

A Post Election Meditation: God Loves the Real World

Remembering the Aftermath of the 2012 Election: A Time for Christian Self Reflection

The Great Evangelical Disaster: Selling the Birthright….and not Even a Bowl of Soup to Show for It

Obama Wins….Now the Real Work of Healing the Wounds Must Begin

The 2012 Election: I Hope…

The Night Before the Election to Nowhere…Or Maybe Not

Baseball Season is Over and Only 5 days until the 2016 Presidential Campaign Begins

Christian Radicalism and the Hatred of Creation

Start by Prosecuting Me: A Challenge to the Drumhead Justice of World Net Daily’s Erik Rush and Joseph Farrah

Priorities: Meaningless Debate for Decided Voters in Non Swing States or the Major League Baseball NLCS?

A Loss for the Country and the World: A War Hero and Prophet of Peace George McGovern Dead at 90

The Elevation of Capital Over People: William Jennings Bryan and the Cross of Gold

Some Thoughts on Poverty and Suffering on a Friday Night

My Goodness My Vote Almost Got Suppressed and I’m a White Guy: Not that it Will Matter Anyway…

Talking Without Listening or Understanding: American Christianity 2012

Tolerance versus Intolerance: I Despise Nazi Bullshit

It’s Not Lies It’s Bullshit: American Politics and Political Campaigns in 2012

Thoughts on the First Debate: More Reasons to Be Careful of What You Vote Against

Barry Goldwater was Right: Religious Leaders Endanger American Democracy

What to do Wednesday: Debate or Baseball? Let’s go O’s!

Padre Steve Defends Mitt Romney against Extremism Talk

A Break from Hate

Un-American Activities and Such…

Orioles Tie Yankees for First in the AL East: There is a Political Convention Going On?

Where did I Go Left?

TV Tonight: Orioles vs. White Sox or GOP Convention?

Thoughts on Choosing a President and the Results of Not Getting it Right: Lieutenant General Harold Moore at West Point

The Stupidest Person on the face of the Earth? Todd Akin Tells Mitt, Sean and Rush to Pound Sand

Be Careful of What you Vote Against: A Warning from History

Don’t go Akin my Heart: Todd Akin Earns the Ire of Mitt

Why Aren’t Any Politicians Talking About the War and Why don’t Voters Care?

Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak Leaves Swords and Diamonds: Hans-Ulrich Rudel and the Problem of Soldiers Serving Evil Governments

Wade Page Nazi Thug versus the Respectable Nazis

The Hatred of “the Other”: White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Politics and the Oak Creek Massacre

The Chicken Jihad: Chick-Fil-A and the Culture War

Days of Disastrous Decision Making: July 28th – August 4th 1914

Fear and Hate in the Name of Jesus…Man I Need a Baseball Game

The Pain of Bain Will Always be the Same

“Unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness…”: Terror and Ideology in the German Campaigns In Poland and Russia

The Miscalculations of July

Protecting the Ideal: Reflections on Gettysburg, Freedom and Why It Matters

War is a Racket: Remembering Major General Smedley Butler USMC and Why He Matters

When City Dreams Become Nightmares: Stockton California to Declare Bankruptcy

Losing Christian America One Election Campaign at a Time: How Christian Leaders are Destroying the Church in Order to Maximize Political Power

Why This? Why Me? Why Now? “Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat” by Max Holland

Armed Forces Day 2012: The Disconnection of the Military and Society and the Terrible Result

The Omega House Rules: Mitt the Bully and Other Bullies

National Teacher’s Day: Let’s Actually Start Valuing Our Teachers Again

Europe on the Edge: France and Greece Point to Dangerous Times Ahead

The Hijacking of the National Day of Prayer

Bishop Jenky’s Obama and Hitler, Stalin, Bismarck and Clemenceau Comparison: Bad History, Bad Theology and Bad Politics

Bad Blood: Romney Wins Illinois, Missouri in Chaos and GOP Rift Widens

True Grits: Santorum Sweeps South

Super Tuesday Agony: Indecisive, Inconclusive and a Portent of Things to Come

They didn’t Pray Enough: Pat Robertson’s latest “Patwah”

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word: Rush Limbaugh “Apologizes”

Romney Stops the Bleeding but Race far from Over

The War that Cannot Be Won: Afghanistan 2012

The Drudge Distort: A New Feature at Padre Steve’s World

Christian Dominionsim on Display the Return of Constantine: We Were Warned by Barry Goldwater

Religious Freedom and Religious Hypocrisy the New Improved 2012 Model

Those that Should Know Better: Judgement at Nuremberg

Groundhog Day and the 2012 Presidential Campaign

Revisiting the Gift of Religious Liberty: The Danger posed by Fanatics

Flip-Flops in Florida: Who was Before it Before they were Against it Before they said that They Weren’t? I Sure the Hell Don’t Know

How Padre Steve Survives the Election Year…and how You Can Too

The Lost Art

The Newtron Bomb Blasts Romney

Republican Versus Republican: The South Carolina Showdown

Doing the Sidestep: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and American Politics and Media

Party Like it’s 1996: Romney Wins the Granite State but…

The Heresy of Thinking and Reason in an Age of Fanaticism

Learn when you Can rather than when you Must

Iowa Caucus: Media Feeding Frenzy Looking for the Un-Mormon Anti-Mitt

Back to the Future in Iowa: A Bloom County Redux

All I want for Christmas is Christmas and Our Country Back not another Political Debate

Padre Steve Loves the MLB Winter Meetings now More than Ever, Ron Santo Elected to Hall of Fame and Happy “Repeal Day!”

Loose Thoughts on a December Saturday: I’m not a Nurse, the Great Cain Wreck, the End at Camp Victory, LSU went to Georgia and Padre Steve Discovers Twitter….

Stand up to Government Officials that Attempt to Silence Political Dissent and Criticism: Emma Sullivan Stands up for Freedom of Speech

Remembering John F Kennedy

Sex Sells the News: The Cain Scandal and what is says about Us

The Promise and Peril of Revolutionary Times: A Warning From History

The Real Danger of Revolution and Violence in our Country

The Pejorative use of the term Cult by people that should know Better: Reverend Robert Jeffress and Mitt Romney

Politics! Politics! Politics! Mel Brooks, the Roman Empire the Inquisition, the Old West and our Republic

Hank Williams Junior’s Free Speech Violated? Give me a Break… it was Business doing what is best for Business

I Don’t Like Bullies: The Troubling Trend in Conservative Politics

Yet another Meaningless Debate and Looking back to the Best Debate Parody Ever

Will we Stand? The Moral Responsibility of Christians in our Time

One Nation: Natural Disasters Show How we Swim Together or Sink Alone

A Walk off in Kinston amid Irene’s Destruction

The Oath: Reflections on the Oath of Office and 30 Years of Service

After Irene: What happens the Next Time, do we feel Lucky?

The Radical Influence of the Christian Dominionism on American Politics: It’s All Jimmy carter’s Fault….Not Really but it is a Catchy Headline

Follow the Money: The Real Motives behind those Seeking to Radically Change the Military Retirement System

Elvis is still Dead and Michelle Bachmann wants to Wish Him a Happy Birthday…I can’t make this Up

Smaller than Life: The Thin Skinned, Petty, Small Minded and Visionless Political Elite and what we can do to Change the Political Culture

Silent Witnesses

No time to Hate….Too much to Lose

The Deal is Done and are We? There are Always Results

We won’t let this Happen again….Until the Next Time

Be Careful…there is a point of no return and we may have crossed it

A Physically Painful Thursday Night in DC: Dinner with a Classmate and watching Our Government Implode

Meditations on a Wednesday Night in Washington DC

A Tuesday in DC: Lunch with a Dear Friend and a Night walk through the Monuments

Remembering the Men of the Negro Leagues: Carl Long Appreciation Day

One Small Step for Man…One Giant Step for Mankind

The Double Edged Sword of Denying Religious Rights

The Clear and Present Danger of Unrepentant Ideologues

Taking the Wrong Train

The Stab in the Back: How Historical Myths, Lies and Propaganda Destroy Nations

Thoughts on Smoke, Suicides, Gracie Jane, the Media Legal System and I guess I’m not Patriotic

Reflecting on the High Water Mark of the Confederacy and the Importance of Our Union

Why History Matters: The Disastrous Effects of Long Insurgency Campaigns on the Nations that Wage them and the Armies that Fight Them

The “Comfortable” Experts and the Real Soldiers

The Unfinished Work of Memorial Day

No Time to Be Bitter: Padre Steve takes a Lesson from Buck O’Neil

A Few Day after the Non-Rapture Thoughts

The Gift of Religious Liberty and the Real Dangers to It

Living in the Bizzaro Post Osama Bin Laden World: Another Denny Crane Moment for Padre Steve

Bin Laden Dead: Navy SEALS Kill Terrorist in Pakistan

The Disdain of American Business for Military Personnel and their Benefits

Surrendering Religious Liberty to the State for Money: The Example of Florida I n 2011

Blazing Saddles and Contemporary American Life and Politics

The Current American Crisis and Drawing Comparisons from the End of the Imperial Germany

A Portrait of America: Baseball and Budget Battles

Dumb Guy Things: The Male Hormone Causes Brain Damage….I’m Proof of It

An Unnecessary Condition of Affairs

Egads! The Whole Country is Offended by Each Other!

Putting the World back in Order: Baseball Movies Tonight

The Predictable Unpredictability of Revolution and the Christian Call to Reconciliation

Christian Radicalism?

Damned if you do…Damned if you Don’t: The Middle East Protests and U.S. Foreign Policy

A Lack of Wisdom in a Sea of Facts

Contemplating the Past, Present and Future: The Third Anniversary of Leaving Iraq

The Beginning of Chaos in Egypt: Watching and Waiting as the Situation Deteriorates

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. The Presidential Speech that Still Calls us to Better and Higher Ideals

The Message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for 2011

A Time to Heal

Loathe is Never Having to say You’re Sorry: Pundits and Politicians Point Fingers and Deny Responsibility for the Fruit of anything that they Say or the Climate that they create

The Day after the Attack on Congresswoman Giffords: Pointing the Finger of Blame without Evidence and Raising the Extremist Language to a New Level

The Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the Reality of “Weimar” America

The Coming of Orwell’s 1984 27 Years Late….So Much for Timing

Passionate Moderates Arise!

Whack them Now: Padre Steve takes Aim at Wiki Leaks

The Drumhead: A Star Trek TNG Episode that Speaks to Us Today

My God What Happened? I’ve become a Civil Rights Advocate and I know Why

Freedom willingly Surrendered is Seldom Regained

The Road to Totalitarianism is paved with Good Intentions

The War to End All Wars….and a Peace to end all Peace

I’d Like to Return…Padre Steve’s Musing on What He Would like to See

Thoughts on Baseball and the World Series in a Time of National Turmoil

The Acrid Smell of an Election is in the Air: The Toxic Politics of Mutually Assured Destruction

Laughing at Myself: This Moderate is a Liberal….Hide the Silver!

A Politician Plays at Being a Waffen SS Mann: Learning all the Wrong Lessons from History

Fighting a World Wide Insurgency: The Problem Fighting Revolutionary Terrorists and Insurgents- Part One

I Hate Appalachian Nazis: A Response to “Briar Cavendish”

My God what have we Come To?

The Great Montana Dude Ranch Sleepover: Padre Steve’s Solution to Politics as Usual

Jousting at Windmills: The Quixotesque Life of Padre Steve

Religious Freedom…Do We Really Want or Believe in It?

Padre Steve a Marxist? Oh Please Give the Padre a Break

Why Baseball Matters….There’s nothing bad that accrues from baseball

The Last Week of Lent: Mediation on Life, Love and Public Witness

Difficult Days: A Lenten Meditation

Giving Up Ideology for the Cross…Entering Into Lent

Gordon Klingenschmitt Calls Admiral Mullen a “Liar”

Vindictive Angry Christians: When Faith is subordinated to a Political Agenda Redemption Dies

I Agree With Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King they Changed America

New Laws for 2010: Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean that Big Brother is Not Watching You

The Manhattan Transfer: Why I Cannot Sign the Manhattan Declaration

Fort Hood Memorial and Veteran’s Day…The War Comes Home via a Traitor to His Oath

The Uneasy Alliance: The Army and Government during the German Revolution and Civil War 1919-1922

This is Nuts…The “Conservative Bible Project”

Surviving Birthdays, My Closet of Anxieties, Rumors of Revolution and Coups and a Losing Streak Ended

Going to War: A Reflection so Far, Memories, PTSD and hopes and fears Past and Present

Pondering the Imponderables of National Security Leaks and Condiments

Where were You When…? The Death of an Icon and Its Impact in Our Lives

Revisiting the Political Captivity of the Church

The Danger of Right Wing and Left Wing Extremism

You Arrogant Ass, You have Killed Us! Randall Terry and the Destruction of the Pro-Life Movement

Randall Terry and the Death of the Pro-Life Movement

Crossing the Rubicon- The Killing of Dr Tiller and the End of the Pro-Life Movement

Things I don’t get-Why do songs from my past get stuck in my head? Also Judge Sotomayor, Savior of Baseball

How Pro-Life People Make Themselves Look Like Idiots

Don’t Mess With the Pig- The Swine Flu is no Joking Matter

The Unprincipled World of World Net Daily

The Practical Side of Gays in the Military

Christians are not above the Law: Dangers of Civil Disobedience

The Political Captivity of the Church

Day one in DC: Hope springs eternal

 

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