Sunday, October 7, 2012
Pasquino the Protester -- a Sunday Sermon
Before you read the following rant (IF you read the following rant!), click here to see where I'm coming from.
I know a number of quite reasonable people who like and will probably vote for Mitt Romney in November, who believe that Obama is a good man but a terrible leader and that Romney's personal business acumen will enable him to lead the entire country to financial prosperity. Some of these reasonable people are close family members, and I've learned over the years to not go there.
That being said, I can say whatever I like here, knowing full well that many of these people and family members come and read what I write, feel angry, feel hurt, feel horrified or like they need to pray to Jesus for my damned soul, and that's all right with me, too. Today I read about Paul Broun, a Republican Congressman from Georgia (my home state) who claims that evolution and the Big Bang theory are lies straight from the pit of Hell. Congressman Broun is also an M.D. (holy shit!) who despite his medical and scientific training, believes that the earth is actually only around 9,000 years old and was created in six days by God and that said scientific training are all lies said to keep him and other folk like him from understanding that they need a savior. Congressman Broun is a member of the House Science Committee.
Holy shit, is what I say, no pun intended. And I know that some of my relatives and a few of my friends are reading this right this very instant, shaking their heads at my negative, unpatriotic, heretical soul, and while there's a teensy tinesy part of me that feels hurt by that, there's a much bigger part that has decided being connected by blood gives me no more commonality with some than the filtered water that comes out of our respective faucets in the various states we call home.
And if you're wondering where this rant is going, I just feel compelled to say that a vote for Romney is not just a vote for a billionaire to transfer his acute business acumen on a macro scale. It's a vote to confirm that the Bible and religion, of whatever ilk, trump reason and centuries of beautiful and breath-taking labor by human beings to move forward. It's a vote for a man whose base includes Congressman Broun, whose base, I'd venture to say, is dominated by people like Congressman Broun and others of his ilk, including the asinine Congressman Akin who parsed out the differences between legitimate and forcible rape. It's a group of people who believe that anyone other than Jesus Christ is a false prophet, that a woman's constitutional right to determine what happens to her body is akin to baby-killing, that men and women who love one another and want the same rights and privileges as everyone else are abominations, that women who apply for food stamps to feed their families while working three jobs are lazy-assed moochers and not working hard enough, that President Obama is a half-black, half-white man not born in this country who favors Muslim terrorists and who is bent on overtaking the country and turning it into some kind of Stalin-like dictatorship. It's a vote to use torture on our enemies in the name of liberty and even, peace. And even if you strip away all of my own hysteria, it's a vote for a pretentious, condescending man who bullied his peers as a young man and continues to do so as he campaigns and debates, a lying billionaire whose character was evidently shaped by forced Mormon modesty and obscene amounts of privilege.
I completely understand why someone of a moderate bent sees appeal in a successful businessman like Mitt Romney, particularly when we're still mired in a financial quagmire. But I really don't believe that the office of the President is just about business. If it is, we're fucking lost and might as well appoint General Electric as president. You know those people who denounce those who honestly call out what is shameful in America (I've got them on my Facebook page, in my high school class, in my family), who scream U S A! the loudest and the shrillest? I think they're all scared shitless by progress, to tell you the truth, scared to move forward in a world that is rapidly changing in ways that we can't even begin to understand. Whether they're in my family, from my high school, my college dorm or my neighborhood, I just can't stand by them right now and walk that moderate path. I just can't.