The 2012 election will certainly be noted as a monument to miscalculation and fundamental obliviousness.
For the sake of our country – and our political system – I hope Republicans learn from their experience.
Apparently Mitt Romney was the Republican’s strongest candidate – but he was dishonest, incoherent and insulting to many of the voters he needed.
And his Party wasn’t much better. With a seemingly endless parade of ‘old, angry, white men’ pontificating about women’s health issues – especially rape and abortion – immigration and social services, it was hard to picture the Republican Party as anything but a bunch of opinionated, crabby, racist, paranoid uncles; who wanted to make sure only people like themselves had the right to vote.
And Clint Eastwood’s chair dialog at the Republican Convention was pitch-perfect.
Eastwood’s ‘skit’ expressed many conservative people’s deepest fears – an arch-nemesis with magical powers; a mythical (even invisible) being who, Thor-like, could raise and lower the oceans, create hurricanes and was single-handedly responsible for our social and economic ills – from homosexuality, a stagnant economy, high gas prices, droughts and much more.
Gone was Obama the Muslim, Marxist socialist. After a mere four years, Obama had morphed into a swirling, nearly invincible (even invisible) super-villain.
Meanwhile, Republicans portray themselves as the faithful remnant fighting valiantly for the restoration of a Thomas Kincaid America where everyone has – and knows – their place.
If only, they told us repeatedly, we could cast the evil Obama spirit from our land, all would be well.
They want their America back. And they mean it.
Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, before the Republican Convention, told us that America would be better off if women did not have the right to vote. Todd Akin was eager to give us biology lessons on ‘legitimate rape’, and Paul Ryan’s speech won accolades from Fox News for packing in the most lies and deceptions in a single speech.
And his speech was not only accepted – it was cheered.
And when Romney was asked about his tax plan, he didn’t want to talk it – or his own taxes.
When it comes to health care, he was for it, before he was against it.
He was pro-choice before he was pro-life – except when he wasn’t – or when he was addressing a different audience.
Romney was a moderate, except when he was a ‘severe conservative’.
He railed against the 47% who didn’t work or pay their fair share of taxes – not realizing that he, himself, was in that category.
Even Moroni’s golden spectacles and his Mormon magic underwear couldn’t save him.
With this muddled and meandering history, it’s frightening to even consider what he would have done as president.
One disgruntled and deeply disappointed conservative said to me “I wonder why all the Christians in America didn’t pray for the Christian candidate?”
My response was very simple; “Maybe they did”.
Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do. To pay his bills, he’s been a teacher for adults (including those in his local county jail) in a variety of setting including Tribal colleges, vocational schools and at the university level in the People’s Republic of China. Within an academic context, he also writes an irreverent ESL blog and for the Burnside Writers Collective. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products.
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