Monday, February 4, 2008

McCain and Religious Right

OK, have you heard all the buzz about John McCain and the religious right? I am sure you have. It is ironic to me that there is such opposition to McCain in that camp. I am a Democrat and proudly voting for Obama, but will be glad to vote for Hillary, despite some misgivings.

McCain does not interest me at all (except for the fact that he might be a lesser of evils). His turn around to being pro-Bush after the Bushies knee-capped him in SC in 2000, was despicable and a blight on his "straight talk message".

However, I think the cry against from McCain should send shockwaves to the rest of America concerning the Religious Right. They are NOT interested in bi-partisanship; nor are they interested in reasoned arguments, compromise or "growth in beliefs".

Yes, there are many progressives who may be cynical and will not vote for Hillary--but overall you cannot point to one distinct group who is willing to go so far as to campaign for the other side. Now before I am torn apart with comments proving me wrong--let me clarify by saying "on the national level"--and this excludes moderate/independents who would probably switch to McCain if he were to run against Hillary. The religious right, a bulwark of republicanism for oh so many decades, are pissed. Despite what Ann Coulter says, most will not be supporting Hillary, even in opposition to McCain.

Here is why they are pissed--power and influence. This has been an odd election for evangelicals, despite being courted by so many Republicans, and even having one of their own, they haven't coalesced behind anyone. McCain is too liberal, Romney is Mormon (don't think that doesn't matter to a lot of evangelicals), and Huckabee (who should have been the obvious choice) has made too many compromising decisions. And why is that . . .because he is a populist and pragmatic. Depite what you want to say about a lot of what Huckabee has said or stands for; he has taken somewhat unpopular decisions in the name of and for the sake of governing. He is too friendly and willing to work with the other side. Thus the evangelicals were spilt, or disaffected with those running.

Evangelicals--and I was one of them--are very much about "taking my ball and going home". This is especially true when it comes to politics. Perhaps more so. You see, I know several evangelicals who are not as adamant about abortion or evolution or gay marriage or capital punishment or a host of other issues until they are polarized--often by a tag team approach of conservative pundits & preachers. What happens is, the pundits and preachers paint the choices in the worst possible light for evangelicals: they paint it as a "civil rights" issue. My grandmother (before she passed away) personally told me she thought abortion should not be made illegal, because of the potential danger of illegal abortions--yet she was adamantly against Bill and Hillary and all Dems; and the reason why? Because all of her news information sources agreed that pro-life was a civil rights issue--more about protecting the rights of evangelicals to have their voices heard than it is really about abortion.

The evangelical church is really prone to "conservatism" and I don't just mean from a political standpoint; they don't trust a lot of the institutions and government and media. There is a real tendency to "err on the side of caution" among evangelicals. This is true from raising their children, to church selection, to voting. Go with what you know and what is "safe"--even if it is counter to what you may feel would be a good decision. And the reason for this is because they don't trust the nation, the government or the "whole" to deliver prudently or act wisely. They would rather sacrifice change and progress in order to stay safe.

A lot of the hate and scorn during the Civil Rights error was more about the potential backlash. Not that hate and racism weren't contributing to that; but there main fear was "what will happen to my neighborhood, my church, my children's school, etc." Racism, ignorance and hate are behind the fear; but that is what the fear was. Blacks and the governement were not seen (in their eyes) as being trustworthy enough to pull off this social agenda; and so many evangelicals and fundamentalists of the time chose to keep the status quo; because it was safer.

The same is true today. Evangelicals may look at all of Hillary's policies (and she HAS more conservative stands than most people think) and agree; but they don't trust Hillary to pull that off; and they don't like her because of all the rumors, misinformation and propoganda (my family still argues that Hillary decorated the White House Christmas tree with condoms--and that is one of teh many crazy reasons they'd never vote for her. They don't trust the government. They may see the "R" behind McCain's name, but they don't see that he basically stands for and represents many of their major issues; and in the areas where he differs, it is out of pragmatism and reality. However, they (as a whole) are not willing to buy that. There is no guiding, gentling of the religious or party line. They are right, on edict from Gawd! and they will stubbornly hold out, claiming their oppression as a minority (I'm serious) and stand true to (their version of) Christ with an American flag waving in the background.

That is what scares me about evangelicals and also explains why they so supported Bush. He talked the talk they wanted to hear. He was stubborn and arrogant on issues that mattered deep to them. Forget the fact that he didn't deliver on everything--that was just A>Washington secularists &/or B> Democrats. He even felt he had been "annointed or called" to his position, and he could "look into a man's soul". These are all HUGE for evangelicals; and the reason why a> the evangelicals are upset; b> will not support McCain in the numbers they supported Bush/Cheney, and c>would gladly give Bush a 3rd term--if only it wasn't for that pesky Constitution, which should only have one ammendment anyway--I'll let you figure out which one they'd keep----
There is no compromising when you are trained and taught in the absolute literal interpretation of the Bible. If the Bible says it (in your mind/opinion), then to not stand on that priniciple is tantamount to betraying your faith, selling out, and being a secular humanist (the most feared word in Fundy-world).

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