"Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion- in the long run, these are the only people who count." - Robert Heinlein
Although I was barely ten at the time, I remember the arrival of the religious right into the Republican Party amidst much of their own fanfare. It must have been late 1979 or thereabouts. Carter had the economy in the shitter and his solution to the Iran hostage crisis was to lock himself in the White House to protest the matter until the rag heads played nicey nice and freed our embassy staff. Both major political parties then bore little resemblance of what they are now. Democrats were more like modern day Republicans, and Republicans were, well, actual Republicans. By this I mean Democrats were screwing things up out of ignorance and by accident instead of intentionally, and Republicans were focused on issues that were important like limited government, fiscal constraint and strong foreign policy. Many people in the South still held a lingering bitterness towards all things Yankee, and most voted Democrat because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. We were yayhoos alright, with "dry" counties and Sunday "blue laws" that totally perplexed any Northerner who happened to pass through via the interstate on the way to Florida. In a pecan shell, the South was an anathema to sophistication and logical thought. This region was viewed, and correctly so, as a bunch of uneducated, Bible-banging rubes best to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
I grew up in an affluent household. My father was a physician, WWII veteran and very experienced pilot. We owned our own plane, lived in a magnificent home, belonged to the local country club and took exotic vacations. Same for my neighborhood friends. I attended government school until the eighth grade and remember the classroom "presidential elections" every four years, which merely reflected how the children's parents intended to vote. The more educated and successful the parents, the almost certainty they supported the Republican candidate. The children from middle and lower income households always "voted" for the Democrat. Therefore, in my childhood mind, the Republican Party was one of sophistication, success and high achievement; the Democrat party was that of the opposite. In short, my friends and I considered William F. Buckley to be more representative of the average Republican.
Then came Jerry Fallwell.
Before I continue, since this blog is in its infancy, this is not a daily screed against the religious right. It just so happens that this news issue came across my radar screen. James Dobson, founder and maximum dingaling of Focus on the Family, is threatening to pout and stay home if Senator John McCain gets the GOP nomination.
FANTASTIC! I hope he and his followers make good on this threat. Furthermore, I wish they would stay home not only for this election, but for every subsequent one. Many conservatives are more than tired of the Republican Party kissing the sanctimonious butts of the religious right. It can be argued that this element of the party alienates more voters than it attracts, and the media is more than willing, even joyful, in painting us all with this brush. The "fundies", as many refer to them, will tell you with absolute certainty that were it not for them, Reagan would never have been our president. Sorry, but even a semi-retarded gorilla could have defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Conservatives lose a lot of support because of this crowd, mainly from successful, young, single women. They are not thrilled with the Democrats taxing the bejesus out of them, but they are equally not excited about the government controlling their reproductive lives. What good haranguing homosexuals will accomplish is beyond me, since as a demographic, not to mention the fundamental laws of biology, gays and lesbians seldom produce offspring and therefore have a lot more discretionary income. It only seems reasonable that they would like to keep it rather than the Democrats spending it on disastrous social programs and a laundry list of other ways to throw away their hard earned money. The prayer in government school issue is beyond ignorant - public schools are cramming P.C. crap in our kids' heads, failing to equip them for a competitive job marketplace, and people think it’s a great idea to have them get into their spiritual lives as well? The notion that a significant number of voters consider these things paramount over issues economic and foreign policy is stupefying to say the least. Dr. Dobson would do well to give a call to Pat Robertson a call to discover that this country is at war with an enemy that is ruthless, unconventional, and cares not if they live or die in their irrational goal to make Islam the law of the land, if not the entire world. Upon examination, Islam is more in line policy-wise with Dobson, insofar as they consider women to be less than human, they execute homosexuals for merely existing, and their "education" consists mainly of memorizing a religious text. Just replace the Koran with the Bible and the enemy offers everything James Dobson hopes for.
I am no fan of Sen. McCain. This is about the lousiest choice for conservatives in history. However, Hillary is unpredictable at best, and Obama is an outright disaster. I don't think conservatives are voting FOR anyone now, but AGAINST almost certain damage to our way of life that may prove irreparable. Maybe we can survive two years under the Hildebeast before another "voter revolution" like in 1994.There is no chance now to have Rudy kick the collective butts of Muslims right up into their turbans, but, Dr. Dobson, if you and your sycophants stay home this year, and every year afterward, perhaps the Republican party can rid itself of your albatross and regain the image of fiscal responsibility, sound foreign policy, and above all, intelligence. While you are all staying home and pouting, you might focus on your own damn families instead of everyone else's.
Since the Libertarian Party has gone off the deep end, there is still one glimmer of hope with the Republican Liberty Caucus. Check them out.