Monday, May 23, 2005

Sticks and Stones and the "Secular Left"

At some point since last Novembers elections, a new term -- which appears to have seismic connotations -- has entered the American political lexicon. I only heard it two weeks ago, from right-wing propagandist Mary Matalin, on "Meet the Press."

Throughout this session of "Meet the Press," which included Matalin's Clintonite husband James Carville, Matalin doggedly established the term "secular Left" as a synonym for "the Democratic Party." At first, I thought Matalin had just suffered a slip of the tongue. Or maybe she was just being cute. But, she kept saying "secular Left" -- more often than "Democrats." Never once did she describe her ideological foes as either "liberal" or "progressive."

This emergence of "secular Left" as the Right's preferred pejorative for both Democrats and liberals is remarkable, if only because it suggests that Republicans and conservatives appear to have absorbed themselves, willingly, into the narrow faction of the "religious Right." After all, if everyone west of the political center is now the "secular Left," then everyone right of center must be the "religious Right."

I hesitated at so radical a corollary, until I considered the source. Matalin has never been closely linked to the born-again extremists in her party, such as Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell and Elmer Gantry. Indeed, she has gone so far as to marry out of her "faith," to a prominent secular Leftist.

But if Mary Matalin -- among the most secular conservatives -- now sees America as divided between a secular Left and the religious Right, she has clearly accepted Christianism as the guiding light of Republicanism.


READ ON

All the more reason for the sectarian Left, the true heirs of Christ, to take a stand now, or lose their inheritance.

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