Remember the first myth (lie!) we all learned about American history?
Q: Why did the Puritans come to America?
A: They were seeking religious freedom.
Oh gawd! Gimme a minute to stop laughing cuz that one always cracks me up. Ok, I'm in control again. Let's take a brief stroll through that time period, why don't we? Since their inception, the Puritans/Pilgrims/Separatists desperately wanted to establish a Puritan theocracy in England. (From now on I'm gonna call 'em all "Puritans" just cuz it's my recipe/story and I can do what I want.) They tried their damnedest to overthrow the established government. In the early 1600s, some Puritans decided they'd never succeed and they left England for Amsterdam on The Continent. They had no better luck there than they did in England. Then some brilliant thinker had the idea to move the whole shootin' match to the "new world." Very little active government on that continent made for a fabulous opportunity to create a theocracy there, nurtured by the blood of opponents rather than patriots. Pressing is just so messy. Ick!
So, like Paul Simon's song told in a later century, they left their home in the maritimes (Well, the Netherlands, anyway.) and headed to New England, sweet New England. Once there, they made good on their ideals, creating first one, then several colonies which were absolutist and merciless in their rigid theocracy. Before too long, they branched out and took over other colonies, first building up their own population of believers there, then voting out any ideals of freedom or equality and imposing their own rigid theocracy. Hey, classic Republicans, does this tactic sound familiar? Neopuritans worming their way into control of your party?
Meanwhile back in England, Oliver Cromwell demonstrated that the American Puritans had moved just a bit too soon by taking over England in the mid-1600s, with the execution of King Charles in 1649. He and his non-fun-loving roundheads (Puritans) ran roughshod for the next decade. (You know the snide definition: Puritanism – the fear that somebody, somewhere might be having fun.) They destroyed churches and statues. (No "graven images" ya know! Kinda reminds you of the Taliban and their destruction of those beautiful old Buddhist statues or John Ashcroft covering up the semi-nude statue of Justice. Wow! How metaphoric is that?) Cromwell turned Ireland into a charnel house, killing thousands, except of course, for those they sold into slavery. Ask any Irishman about Cromwell!
On the other hand, maybe the American Puritans made the right decision after all. The monarchy, in the person of Charles II, was returned to power around 1660 by a populace seriously irritated with roundhead rule. Because Cromwell himself had died in 1659, he was put on trial post mortem in 1661. His body was exhumed and hanged. After a while, it was thrown on a garbage heap but his head was left on display on a pole until 1685.
Hey, Ronald Reagan, are you paying attention? Don't get too comfy in that posh grave, you bastard.
And speaking of things American, the Puritans generally over time lost most of their political clout as many other people came to the new continent, people who were actually looking for a little freedom and elbow room. When radical, ultraright, neopuritan, fundamentalist anarchocapitalists speak of this country as being founded on "Christian" principles (meaning, of course, solely their brand of radical puritanical, anarchocapitalist Christianity), I just hafta shake my head. Our founding fathers were educated, intelligent men who were capable of learning from history. They had seen the effects of roundhead rule in England and Puritan efforts in American. They absolutely wanted their new country to NOT be that kind of entity. But as Santayana (No, not the musician!) said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." For the last coupla decades, the Republican party has been the victim of the neopuritans (soi disant neoconservatives or neocons – inaccurately so labelled, IMO) who are trying to replicate the efforts of the original Puritans.
It does seem to me that their success has been similar in its progression. Their subversive takeover tactics worked for a while but eventually ordinary, sane people stood up and said, "Waitaminit. I ain't likin' this a whole lot." Seems to me that we're currently in that phase parallel to England of 1659-60. Ordinary people who just kinda-sorta went along, making the neopuritans feel like they were a majority, are pulling back, leaving these nutbags exposed for what they are – a small, vicious, cancerous part of the body politic. Nobody wants cancer.
I haven't talked much about the anarchocapitalist aspect of these cretins' belief system. Let's hit that briefly. They frequently cite Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill but have obviously never read either of those men in anything other than neocon excerpts. Both sternly warned against the excesses of a "pure" free market, an entity which is about as realistic as a "pure" Marxist state. They glibly ignore John Forbes Nash, Jr., who proved mathematically a half-century ago that the concept of anarchocapitalism is flawed to the point of unrealistic unworkability.
To my "classic Republican" friends, I wish you luck in reconstituting your party by excising the cancer in its gut.
For you neopuritans (neocons), here's something to chew on.
½ cup Abiotic oil (obtained from the limitless supply contained in an oilwell owned by a YEC) [Briefly, YECs believe that the Bible is completely literally true and the earth is only about 6000 years old. Petroleum (oil) was produced as a side-effect of Noah's flood and it is self-renewing; it does not come from prehistoric sources. They believe that all oil wells are constantly refilling as we speak. Also referred to as biotic or abiogenic oil.]
1 onion (chopped medium) (Don't forget to collect your tears as you chop. They can be used later in the accompanying drink.)
Coupla stalks of celery (chopped) (Because celery sounds like salary and we know every Republican strategist's salary is gonna get chopped so it's kinda like a metaphor, huh?)
1 whole garlic (chopped fine) (helps fend off the blood-sucking socialist vampires)
1 lb. free-range wolf meat (boneless rump) from a wolf shot by Sarah Palin riding in a state-owned helicopter
1 potatoe [sic] from Dan Quayle's retirement farm ('nuff said!)
3 eggs (beaten - obtained from any Fox pundit's face after the election)
Bowl of flour (made from amber waves of grain – no substitutes)
2 oz. bile from Sean Hannity (Ok to substitute Bill O'Reilly's)
2 oz. red blood from G. Gordon Liddy, the genuine, original, psychotic unrepentant anti-American terrorist
A dash of Essence of Marxism squeezed from the U.N. by Ron Paul with the help of his John Birch cohorts
OxyContin stolen from Rush Limbaugh's stash (powdered, to taste)
Chop the veggies medium. Cube the wolf meat. Dredge the wolf meat in the egg, then in the flour. Cube the potatoe [sic].
This dish is best cooked over an open fire made from books you really, really want to ban/burn: Das Kapital, works by John Forbes Nash, Jr., Candide, Grapes of Wrath, Where the Wild Things Are, Paradise Lost (Well, actually, as far as I'm concerned, you CAN go ahead and burn that one. Enjoy.), and on and on ad infinitum. There are lots to choose from. Once you have a good bed of coals going (or after you turn on your stove)…
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, bring the abiotic oil to the point where it almost smokes. Add the wolf meat, potatoe [sic], and veggies. Saute til the veggies start to look clear then add the bile and blood. Reduce heat and simmer a few more minutes. Then add the Essence of Marxism and season to taste with OxyContin.
Consume! After all, that's one of the main tenets of your philosophy. However, before you do, please have an invocation by a suitable preacher. John Hagee could do a riff about God destroying New Orleans cuz it deserved it or one of his classics about the pope as the antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon. Then again, Rod Parsley could do his shtick about the US being founded for the purpose of destroying Islam and how the next president must wage a new Christian crusade against Islam. That's always good
And now the accompanying drink. Why not make a pitcher while you're at it? You know you're gonna need it!
Neopuritan Number (pronounced "num-er" or "num-ber," depending on your mood - as in, it makes you more numb to help dull your pain and/or your number is up!)
2 jiggers of bitter tears (Preferably Pat Robertson's or Jerry Falwell's but due to scarcity, feel free to substitute your own tears collected while chopping the onion for the nosh.)
Dash of Angostura bitters (cuz neopuritans just never seem to have a limit on bitterness, and bitter tears alone are simply not sufficient total bitterness for this drink)
1 jigger of cheap vodka (from the bar where Nobel-prize-winning economist/mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr., first conceived his theorem which utterly disproved the theory of anarchocapitalism a half-century ago. Despite that, ideologues still cling to this bankrupt philosophy. Well, here's your drink!)
10 drops of yellow food coloring (because when it mixes with your blues it'll turn them green which will aid in the coming efforts against Global Climate Change. Thanks for your help on this important issue! )
Soupcon of hemlock (enhances the self-pity factor. Go ahead, wallow. You know you want to.)
Broken parasol (symbolizing the rending of the evil powers which cast a shadow over this country during the last eight years, the rips in the parasol covering allowing in the light of sanity and constitutionality which were previously blocked by the penumbra of neopuritan rule)
Bent straw ( symbolizing a reduction in the ability of neopuritans to suck the freedom out of this country)
Lemon twist (try to find an exceedingly bitter one)
Fill a 12-oz. glass with ice cubes as cold and hard as Dick Cheney's heart. For extra-special accuracy, dye them black. Add the tears, bitters, vodka, and yellow food coloring, then stir. Float a soupcon of hemlock. Garnish with the broken parasol, bent straw, and twist of lemon. Drink. Copiously. It's ok, you have nothing to do but sit around on the trashpile of history and fantasize about what might have been. Sounds a lot like the original Puritans, huh?
Fun election-day activity
While enjoying your nosh and number, why not try this fun activity? Take the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, all of which have been torn apart during the last eight years, and piece them back together like you would a puzzle. It's much harder when you don't know the original form of the thing you're trying re-create, isn't it? A wonderful challenge and a true learning experience for neopuritans.
Have a GREAT election day!