JOHN KERRY'S REAL REGARD FOR RELIGION
By Christopher G. Adamo
Consider some pivotal comments made during presidential debates of recent decades. Perhaps, the most memorable blunder by then President Jimmy Carter was his awkward and blatantly concocted reference to his daughter Amy’s opinion on nuclear proliferation. Clearly, her inclusion in the discussion had nothing to do with the subject at hand, but instead was the result of a previously orchestrated plan by Carter to contrast himself in the role of compassionate “family man,” as opposed to Reagan, the maniacal warmonger.
Not only did Carter overplay this tactic, eventually resulting in Reagan’s completely disarming “There he goes again.” observation, but once the debate had ended, Carter was faced with the inevitable fallout over his virtual pronouncement of his teenage daughter as chief of America’s nuclear policy.
In a similarly transparent statement, Michael Dukakis sought to dispel public concerns over his excessively lenient law enforcement practices during the 1988 debate with the Senior President Bush. Dukakis flatly stated, “Everybody knows I’m tough on crime.” The absurdity of his words, along with the nearly universal laughter from those in attendance, did much to obliterate any credibility he was hoping to establish on this issue.
Having not learned his lesson, Dukakis soon thereafter engaged in an equally futile attempt to prove his prowess as a strong military leader by riding around in an M-1 tank for a campaign commercial. Looking ridiculous at best, his credibility deficit was thereafter irreparable, and Bush ended up handily winning that year’s election.
Though far more aggressive in their efforts to mischaracterize George W. Bush with bogus accusations of sinister plans to reduce Social Security and reintroduce the draft (among other conspiracies), John Kerry and John Edwards find themselves in a similar quandary, having no standing whatsoever with churchgoing Americans and committed Christians. Thus they have been compelled to resort to the kinds of political antics in which their predecessors engaged. So far, the results have been every bit as dismal.
In last week’s debate, Kerry was just as clumsy and premeditated when he suddenly digressed into a commentary on Vice-President Dick Cheney’s daughter who, Kerry reminded all of us, is a lesbian. Kerry’s not-so-subtle motive was glaringly obvious. But ultimately, it indicated far more about Kerry’s warped perception of the nation’s Conservative Christians than about any irregularity in Cheney’s family arrangements.
Considering that John Edwards also somehow happened to make mention of Mary Cheney’s lifestyle, an obvious pattern emerges.
While many political analysts correctly point out that Kerry and Edwards are engaged in a ploy to alienate the “religious right” from Cheney, and thus from Bush, some background on this situation shows why their plan will ultimately backfire. Kerry and Edwards are fully aware of the approximately four million Evangelical voters who didn’t vote for Bush/Cheney in 2000, though they had been fully expected to do so.
What Democratic Party strategists obviously do not comprehend is why those Evangelicals opted to stay home on Election Day. It was not a matter of mere fear or superstition that alienated them from the Republican ticket. Rather, they were responding to a consistent pattern, by the Bush/Cheney campaign, of soft peddling the moral and social issues of concern to them.
From stem-cell research to RU-486 to same-sex “marriage” to “compassionate Conservatism,” the subdued and often ambiguous tones of Bush and Cheney caused considerable uneasiness among Christian Conservatives. However, since the President’s inauguration, his comparative steadfastness in this area has dispelled much of their anxiety. And, as the stark choices for President face them in 2004, no mere “buzzwords” of alarmism from the Kerry campaign will stampede them from the Republican camp.
Furthermore, Kerry’s ham-fisted reference to Mary Cheney, combined with his gratuitous invoking of Scripture throughout the debate, accurately conveys his true view of the Christian faith. Ultimately, it is an irrelevancy to life, to be embraced or discarded just like any other political posture, as each given situation might warrant.
If Kerry and Edwards possess so little understanding of the Judeo-Christian foundations upon which this great nation was forged, they cannot possibly comprehend the nature of militant Islam that now seeks to annihilate it.
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