It has been quite a while since my last entry on this blog. While it has been a busy past few months, hampered by my laptop taking the plunge, I am “happy” to be back. You see, I may be masochistic or a glutton for punishment, but nothing inspires me to write more than the never-ending circus sideshow that is American politics.
It is 2011 and Republicans have renewed their perpetual Holy War to capture the throne of America.
Don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to report that yet again, nothing has changed. The most evident sign of American campaign politics staying the course is this weekend’s Republican Presidential Primary Campaign launched by virtue of the Iowa Straw Poll, and more importantly, by the grace of God Almighty Himself.
Like comic book superhero movies, this edition features a cast of characters virtually impossible to distinguish from past installments. We have:
- An Evangelical Christian who is Governor of Texas, meaning that he must therefore love Jesus, sports, sentencing people to death, and hot dogs.
- A female candidate from a cold-weather state who runs on a platform of family values and overt religiousness, and discernibly nothing else.
- A Mormon from Massachusetts — the same guy from last time – who, despite success as a moderate governor continues to refute his own track record in pursuit of a more radical form of neo-conservatism.
Oh, and we have crazy old Ron Paul.
My History of Losing Faith in Democracy
As a voter and so-called participant in American “democracy” (I use that term lightly), I have been served sobering results in presidential campaigns time and time again. My losing track record at the voting booth has driven my faith in American politics and the idea of active participation in democracy into oblivion. Moreover, I am always amused when candidates beckon the voting public to put their trust and hopes onto their shoulders so they may mount the mythical winged white horse and ascend to divine status as Lord and Savior of the United States of America.
So without further ado…
Let’s Meet the Characters
I admit I have purposely avoided a lot of news regarding the Republican primaries up to this point. However, after a few “highlights” from this past weekend’s festivities in Iowa and a few interviews on NBC’s Meet the Press, I know enough. In fact, I’m certain that the Republican playbook is taking a page from Hollywood screenwriters and has dutifully penned the same stories and characters that are different in name only. I’ve done the investigating and the results are shocking only because they are not.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas as Bush Lite
In a reprisal to the glory days of 2004, Governor Perry — playing the role of Bush Lite — is making perhaps the boldest move in this primary campaign by summoning the very powers that got George W. Bush elected twice. He is also assuming the role that was defeated soundly in 2008 as Barack Obama triumphed over John McCain, who tried his best Bush impersonation in marked defiance from his efforts in the 2000 primaries.
Judging by the massive prayer rally held in his behalf, Bush Lite promises to ramp up his religious persona more than Bush Junior ever did, most likely to compensate for the lack of a powerful father who was himself a former President and instilled the spirit of loyal cronyism in Bush Junior. Time will only tell if the power of prayer will lift Perry into the status of exaltation.
However, unlike the Messiah figure he portends to be, indications reveal a strong base of Perry believers that are not only adamantly religious, but filthy rich to boot, and we all know (whether Bush Lite will admit it or not) that the power of the dollar vastly outweighs the power of prayer in American politics. When combined, the results could prove to be enough to overcome the ever-weakening ideal of rational thought in the United States.
Rep. Michele Bachmann as Sarah Palin with Half a Brain
Michele Bachmann will fill the role of the upstart Sarah Palin-esque character. She possesses a few additional qualities that have helped Bachmann supplant Mama Grizzly from contention this time around. In addition to her above-average looks, inability to provide a clear answer during an interview, and unquestioned devotion to God and family, Bachmann also boasts an actual political track record. In fact, she has actually completed a full term in office — a feat that the adventurous Palin found too difficult and chose to “affect change” not from the governor’s desk, but from behind rolling cameras on her reality TV show. Sadly, Palin may be right about this notion.
At any rate, unlike Palin, Bachmann appeals to male voters for more than her physical appearance. Her promise to remain submissive to her husband is a symbolic gesture to conservative men across the country and defuses the threat of their manhood being questioned should they be so implored to vote her into the Oval Office.
Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney as Himself
Rounding out the field of neo-conservative Bush clones and Palinistas, Mitt Romney is back in his role from 2008’s Presidential Primary Campaign having accomplished little of anything since his last outing. Perhaps his most notable achievement, besides backpedaling from his implementation of the Obamacare model in Massachusetts, was his recent disapproval of the debt ceiling agreement in Congress immediately following its passing. With an approach of avoiding controversy at all costs during the weeks leading up to the final vote, Romney maintained silence until the bill was finally passed before voicing his disapproval. This display of post facto passive-aggression serves as incontrovertible proof that he has what it takes to be President and positions him as one of the most “electable” candidates Republicans have to offer.
We can’t talk about Mitt Romney without talking about religion. Everyone knows he is a devout Mormon who is unshaken from his faith in this somewhat controversial religion. It is on this front that the absurdity and hypocritical nature of America’s general view on religion will the light shine brightest.
Romney will undoubtedly face criticism for his beliefs in a religion in which adherents wear funny-looking garments under their clothes, won’t drink coffee or beer, and once practiced polygamy in the 19th century. Leading the onslaught will be devout Christian “warriors” who attend church in large warehouses and prayer rallies in football stadiums, forbid their children to read Harry Potter books, and believe they are speaking the word of God “in tongues” when they spout gibberish like a drunken strung-out crackhead.
Yes, folks. These battles will shape the political landscape on the right and determine who will challenge Obama in what is sure to be billed as the Battle of Armageddon (again). Amidst all the madness that typically surrounds any political campaign, religion injects a brand of vitriol that defies logic or reason. More importantly, it drives voters to the polls.
It is no secret that this method is the conservatives – and for that matter, all politicians — modus operandi and they are quite successful in what they do. The art of pragmatism in politics is long gone.
We are told extremism only exists outside of the U.S. and primarily in countries inhabited by hard line Islamic regimes. It’s time to take a look in the mirror and realize the path we, as a country, are spiraling downward and decide whether regular joe-schmoes like you and me want to feed the beast that seeks only to divide and conquer, and revel in the spoils of their war on decency while many of us struggle to find stable jobs that can pay the bills.
I, for one, say “hell no,” but realize that resistance is futile. Remaining true to the form of a modern American, I am going to passively continue the torture by subjecting myself to the worst possible reality television and follow the bogus crusade to the White House praying for hellfire and damnation every second of the way.
Hallelujah and Amen!