In politics it seems that no one has the gonads to be themselves any more. After all, aren’t they supposed to be representing the people they elected, not the special interests that funded their campaign? On the political left, they seem forced to pander to the environmentalists or the “?” rights campaigns. On the political right you have to have the backing of big business/big profit, big oil, or the fanatical religious nuts who don’t represent the average American but have the resources to deliver church buses loaded with people who are blindly pre-programmed as to how to vote.
I’ve always said that if only the Republican Party would buy its soul back from the “Religious Right,” I might actually consider returning to the party that I grew up in. With that in mind, about a month ago I decided it was time to fulfill my tagline of being a conservative trapped in a Liberal’s body and try leaning to the right a little... if only to keep my computer from falling off the left side of my desk.
I began my quest by looking into potential Republican presidential candidates who I might actually seriously consider voting for. There was Bill Frist, who was connected and well spoken, but then he sold his soul to the oil lobby by “trying to buy Alaska for the price of two tanks of gas.”
Then I thought of John McCain. The respected Senator from Arizona seemed a little closer to the center, a Vietnam veteran, someone who actually did serve his country for more than a weekend at a time, and someone who seemed to be scandal-free. Another plus in his favor was that he didn’t seem on the surface to be foaming at the mouth with platitudes from the religious right’s hymnbook.
Then on Saturday May 13th, I discovered things hadn’t changed much. I’d always admired McCain for standing up to the right-wing Bible-beaters, but there he was on TV kissing up to his own arch-foe Jerry Falwell. It broke my heart to see the senator groveling at the feet of the man he’d loathed since being forced to give up his 2000 White House aspirations in South Carolina by tangling with the self-appointed “Baptist Pope” there. My fears were confirmed that the Republican Party was doomed once again to feel that if they didn’t fall to their knees before such pompous asses as Falwell and kiss their rings, they had absolutely no hope of gaining the Presidency.
Of course one of Falwell’s first demands was that McCain back another failed attempt at a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. McCain “sort of” turned him down, saying it should be left up to the states. Then Falwell came up with a better idea. The televangelist has been falling out of the national spotlight of late and was feeling neglected by the press, so he requested McCain speak at his Liberty University’s commencement ceremonies. This had only one purpose; to make it appear that all candidates had to publicly kiss Jerry’s ring and grovel a little in order to gain his favor. Falwell would then appear to be the Baptist Church’s first “Pope.”