Cohen lays out the history of the sexual revolution, largely (but not entirely) made possible by the birth control pill. Then she explains what that has to do with today's politicians' obsession with abortion, homosexuality, and, yes, birth control, even as they ignore the larger problems of war, poverty, and unemployment. When 62% of Americans believe first-trimester abortion should be legal and over 50% support gay marriage, why do both Democrats and Republicans go out of their way to woo a loud minority? This book explains it all. Timely and fascinating stuff to be read BEFORE the 2012 presidential election!
"Delirium" by Nancy L. Cohen. As seems to be a habit these days, I watched an interview with the author on Ed Shultz's show on MSNBC where the book was discussed. It sounded extremely interesting because the sexual revolution that eventually brought these people to power in the Republican party, so I bought it. Maybe it's because of my age, I am 70 this year and well remember when most sex in this country was hidden in the closet and no one mentioned it. When basically religion controlled everyone's behavior. I really hate the thoughts of a era like that returning. Because it was not a great era like a lot of Christian Fundamentalist's like to paint it as being. It was an era of intolerance, bigotry and racial hatred running rampant through the countryside. But, it looks like to many American's are taking their sexual freedoms for granted and imagine they will always be there. The strides that were made in the 60's and 70's are starting to slip away again. They don't seem to comprehend that people's fundamental rights to privacy are under all out assault by religious zealots via politician's these days. By voting the wrong kind of people in office, they could very easily lose them. So they are allowing the beast to grow and gain more power. The book has proven to be well worth the money. Some at the beginning at the book were things I have read elsewhere so was a little dull. And I got stuck a few times. But, it really started getting interesting and took off during the Bill Clinton era. Possibly because I remember all too well what the social conservative's did to Clinton and his wife out of pure unadulterated spite and malice. It was totally uncalled for and the paranoia that still reigns supreme today and began to take over the party. A lot of us Republican's began to detest the nastiness that had become such an essential part of their parties politics and policies. So, the book began to get good around the Clinton era. It continued through the rest of the book. And is one of the better accounts of the era and the Social conservatives that I have read recently. So the beginning is a little slow as far as I am concerned. But, that wasn't the authors fault. Possibly I have read to many books in the same vein. So it was covering old ground. It's basically about what Ms Cohen calls the Sexual Counterrevolutionary's, but most of us know as social conservatives determined shove Christianity down the throats of American's again in the form of laws geared to their religious beliefs. They are hung up on the issues of abortion, birth control and homosexuality. Issues that most of us are fed up with. They are obsessed to the point it has driven all reason and decent government out of their party. Issues that as far as a lot of us are concerned, should not even be political issues served up to the voter every election year. But, considering they insist upon it, that's the way a lot of us will determine what party we vote for until it ceases. But, it's obvious these people will not give up on other's privacy issues until people start rejecting them wholesale.
I came upon Nancy Cohen's name and a reference about her work via a platform that was very, very new to me: Re-tweets on Twitter of things she said by people that followed her. Given that she was tweeting on subjects that interested me, and that I saw several links to articles she had written, I became interested in the lady. With the publication of DELIRIUM, I thought what-the-hell and bought a copy for my Kindle.
That was well, WELL worth it. Having been raised fundamentalist and left it far behind long ago, much of what she had to say about the movement was familiar. While she never castigated the people who hold those beliefs, she did absolutely expose the cynical manner in which congregations were turned into "voting populations" and manipulated with issues that had not before been issues: medical abortion and contraception. The outgrowth of this is the sex-negative homo-phobia focused stance that the Sexual Fundamentalists hold today...not evolutionarily, but through utter contemptuous manipulation by soulless political operatives on an increasingly irrelevant neo-conservative Right Wing.
Impeccably sourced and referenced, this is NOT an opinion piece, but rather a post-Doctoral dissertation on the one subject that America STILL doesn't talk about: Sex (and how it MUST be evil, stopped, and controlled)!
If you read political writings, and enjoy behind-the-scenes exposes of how we've gotten where we are; if you read sociology texts, and enjoy how sex and/or fear of sex drives political movements, then this should be on your list of Top 5 for 2012. Buy it! There ain't much of 2012 left!
(Besides, the Election is over...what else have you got going on?)
An amazing chronicle of how America's obsession with sex and its control has impacted our political system. As one who is a peripheral observer of political matters - it sucked me right in! A really fascinating, eye-opening read.