Romney, Santorum, and the Mississippi Black Snake

Editor’s note: Readers…we apologize for allowing an unedited version of this submission to be previously posted. All errors have been addressed and the following is for your reading pleasure.


This presidential election cycle is producing somewhat of an anomaly on the political radar. Certainly sex and politics have been bedfellows in the past, but in 2012 we are seeing a perversity of sexual polemics that has never before been witnessed in our electoral process. It seems that the Republican party has decided to proclaim ownership of women’s reproductive systems, and in doing so attempt to establish a claim to some moral high ground for the effort. This “ownership” position places them in the same position as slave owners prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. In their minds Republicans feel that they hold dominion over not only the female reproductive system, but all forms of sexuality as they relate to their own form of Christian based dogma. In short the Republican party seeks to become the National Daddy for America.Sex and religion have certainly been at odds over the history of mankind, but we have seen a liberalization of thought when it comes to certain areas such as premarital sex. The days of going to hell for having sex without a wedding ring are, to most, in the past. Not so with the two Republican front runners. Romney, in an interview with Mike Wallace, freely and openly admits that while “the hormones were working,” he abstained from sex until he married. Santorum ups the ante by stating that he would outlaw contraception and that “[Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen…This is special and it needs to be seen as special.” Once again, dear reader, we are in the year 2012 and we have candidates running for the presidency who feel that an important position on their platforms is one that seeks to exert control of the private sexual lives of American citizens by attacking contraception, abortion and even pre-marital sex.Certainly any person of good conscience and possessed with even meager intellectual curiosity has to be shocked at the positions and statements of the leading Republican candidates for the Presidency of the United States. It does seem that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are determined to take the United States back to the 1950’s in the areas of social, political, and scientific schools of thought. The Republican machine saw that they struck a nerve with their contrived campaign to cast doubt on President Obama’s Christianity and now that same machine is being turned on its own son, Mitt Romney, whose status as a “Christian” was directly attacked by Santorum in a 2007 newspaper piece in which he said, “Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” Whatever your opinions on the Mormon faith are one must admit that having a Presidential candidate branded as being a member of a “dangerous cult” is something unique in the annals of Presidential campaigning. Santorum’s statement is symptomatic of an even greater problem in the national psyche.Somehow we are being instructed to retreat into the shadows of Christianity as the solution to our many problems. A call for a national pilgrimage to the Cross flavors virtually every aspect of today’s Republican party. What are these “Christian values” that are de facto qualifiers for the Presidency according to the Republican doctrine? Apparently what one does in the privacy of one’s own bedroom is at the top of the list of Christian values.

Contraception has become a critical standard for the Grand Old Party (please make note of the word “old”). Rick Santorum’s views on contraception? “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” “The dangers of contraception?” People, this is 2012 and we still are debating the value of contraception? When overpopulation is a global problem, when, according to the New York Times, 46,200,000 Americans are living below the poverty level, the Republican front runner is debating the values of contraception? Santorum is concerned that contraception is somehow leading us into a modern day Gomorrah and that “It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be…” Ask yourself the simple question, how did Santorum come to this conclusion? How did he gather facts showing that contraception somehow leads people into dangerous “sexual realm(s)?” The fact that Santorum has somehow come to this conclusion is the real perversity here. Does Mr. Santorum spend time in an overstuffed chair in his study, pondering sexual acts that he considers “in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be?” Does anyone but me consider this an extremely strange, fractured and unhealthy expenditure of mental energy? It also begs the question…if these acts are “counter to how things are supposed to be,” what acts are the way “things are supposed to be?” Are we really looking at a candidate who is campaigning on a platform that has a major plank condemning sex as a form of human pleasure? Even the greatest Christian Presidential campaigner of all time, William Jennings Bryan stated, in his memoirs, “No attempt will be made to take up the matter of good or evil of sexual intercourse among humans aside from the matter of conscious procreation, but as an historian, it might be worthwhile to ask the exponents of the impurity complex to explain the fact that, without exception, the great periods of cultural affloresence (sic) have been those characterized by a large amount of freedom in sex relations, and that those of the greatest cultural degradation and decline have been accompanied with greater sex repression and purity.” How does Mr. Santorum rationalize this? Certainly the “Cross of Gold” candidate, the same man who debated Clarence Darrow on the topic of Christianity with heroic ferocity cannot be at a theological loggerhead with Mr. Santorum on such a basic issue as human sexuality? Mr. Santorum believes that homosexuality is an abomination and that homosexuals have no right of privacy. As a matter of fact Santorum states “[The] right to privacy…doesn’t exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution,” in defiance of the IV Amendment which clearly states and talks to “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…”

Mr. Santorum further seeks those wonderful years of the fifties by conjuring the June Cleaver image of the American woman. The female in the house dress and apron who has dinner waiting for the “breadwinner” when he returns from the crushing demands of his daily labor. Santorum states, “In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.” “Radical feminism” has created the two income family? It couldn’t be the fact that the median household income in the United States fell to $49,995 with 42% of American households having dual incomes and the after tax dollar poverty level being approximately $23,000? If two incomes are providing approximately $50,000 pre-tax dollars what part of “radical feminism” does Mr. Santorum feels plays a part in this equation? Basically he is stating that the feminist movement has indoctrinated women into believing that it is somehow better for them to work than to stay at home. All they need do is “take an honest look at the budget” to justify their “housewife” status. It would certainly bolster Mr. Santorum’s claim if he would provide us with the math to support it.

Santorum…as the Great Christian Divider: Mr. Santorum has, for years, gone about creating a vision of America as the last true bastion of defenders of the faith, the Christian faith. He goes so far as to find some perverse glory in the concept and execution of the Crusades. “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” The equation here is Christianity equals “core American values.” We have an historical obligation, in his view, to defend Christianity against the threat of Islam. Once again we look for the chaplains on the battlefield to bless our boys as they offer their bodies for the blood of the lamb. Someone must defend the bloody figure dangling from a cross from the assaults of the godless, and who was chosen to do that? “American soldiers,” that’s who. We are faced with a hall of mirrors in which all reflections come back as a cross. Those Americans who are not Christians may be tolerated, but they will never be trusted.

Rick Santorum has, to his credit, managed to give birth to a rationale that places racism and pro-choice thought on the same plain. He states, “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'” We must make the assumption that Mr. Santorum is obliquely referencing Article I Section II of the Constitution that equates Blacks as 3/5ths of a vote. I, myself, fail to see analogous properties in his argument but never the less he stakes out the moral ground that as soon as sperm fertilizes an egg a “person” is created, and that person has Constitutional rights. We must assume that Santorum is placing a great deal of weight on his views on sex-for-procreation-only in forming his views on the rights of an egg, for as we all know, intent is everything when it comes to moral values. If we extend Santorum’s argument fertilized eggs are entitled to legal representation and therefore as underage members of our society their guardian, the woman carrying the egg, could sue for rights and damages for the egg. Santorum’s argument sifts down to Obama’s plan for all places of business, including Catholic organizations, to provide birth control as part of their health insurance being the moral equivalent of slavery. In essence, to provide a service that an estimated 98% of sexually active couples already make use of Santorum equates with the slaughter of some 20,000,000 people.

We long for the good old days when Blacks knew their place and gay people stayed in the closet: In one of his most bizarre social stances Santorum has equated gay rights and incest. We have to examine the “Christian” position in this argument to fully understand the impact of Santorum’s view. Nowhere in our Constitution, either in its original form or by amendment, is the subject of marriage approached or mentioned. The only referential arguments that can be made against gay rights are found in the bible. It is strange that the Constitution does address religion, or to be more succinct the absence of religion, as part of State powers. All of the Republicans who have paraded before us have, in one way or the other, stated a belief that if it isn’t in the Constitution the government has no power to assert control over any part of our lives as United States citizens. As stated earlier, marriage is definitely not in the Constitution. Santorum goes on to say, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. … That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.” The pebble in a pond concentric expansion that Santorum makes from homosexuality to incest is to say that a man who had too much to drink got in his car, had an accident the left someone dead should therefore lead us to the conclusion that automobiles cause alcoholism. It is curious how today’s conservatives seem to want government out of our lives with the exception of the bedroom. What goes on in that room, between consenting adults seems, for some strange reason, to fall under the purview of our government. Once again, nowhere in the Constitution is marriage addressed, and certainly there is no “between a man and a woman” wording to be found in any of our founding documents. Mr. Santorum and his Christian conservative allies seem to feel a need to overlay Christian biblical pronouncements on top of the Constitutional basis for our system of jurisprudence. This would seem to me to be a direct attack on the Constitution and as such seditious in nature.

If we move on to Mitt Romney we are presented with an equally flawed individual. Mr. Romney is tarred by the Christian right as not being a “real Christian” as the Mormon religion is looked upon by some as a “cult.” Now, I personally view all religions as cults, but that being said Mormons do add a certain colorful flavor to their version of “what it’s all about.” This is a quote for their website.”With the restoration of the gospel, God has once again called men like the ancient prophets Moses or Noah, to be prophets. These prophets have the authority to speak to us in God’s name. The prophet on the earth today is Thomas S. Monson.” That is correct, there is an actual prophet walking among us and his name is Tom. Mormon prophets are held in such high esteem in this country that George W. Bush saw fit to award Mr. Monson’s predecessor, Gordon. B. Hinckley, The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jesus didn’t even get one of those.

Mormons are governed by a strict code of moral platitudes that do not, for some reason, include any form of admonition for lying. Mr. Romney can attest to this seeming laissez faire approach to the facts with his statement, “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” No, you didn’t, Mitt. You’re lying. With Mormonism, no hurt, no foul.

Mr. Romney apparently has quite a patrician view when it comes to wars. In 2008 he stated, “It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now.” However the toll in suffering and lives is obviously not viewed by the man who would be President as a responsibility of his family. When asked why none of his 5 adult sons was serving in a war he supported his reply was, “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.” Now I don’t know how this statement sits with the reader, but I find an eery perversity in a man who equates riding and flying around the country in first class accommodations equivalent to serving in a combat position. The simple answer to the question of why his sons don’t serve is quite easy and quite straight forward…because they don’t have to. Mr. Romney, like so many others occupying the halls of Congress, is more than willing to thump his chest in “support” of the troops, but will shed not a drop of blood, nor have their sons or daughters shed a drop of blood, in support of the cause.

In matters of leadership one thinks back to the harsh campaigns conducted by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Ms. Clinton’s team ran a brilliant ad asking the viewer who they wanted answering that “3AM call” in the White House? We want a leader, a person who can digest and respond to a situation in as timely a fashion as is prudent. When Romney was asked what might be a cause for him to put American troops in harm’s way as it relates to Iran, his reply was, “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States against a potential threat.” –on whether he would consult Congress about invading Iran…” It boggles the mind to hear that his first thought is to consult with his attorneys. That might be what the best move at Bain Capital before dismantling a newly acquired corporation to generate a profit, but are his attorney’s really the best choice for point men on this decision. Attorney’s? That’s the first counsel Mr. Romney would take in matters of war?

Santorum and Romney share a common psychosis. They are both neurotically obsessed/repulsed with matters sexual. Romney, an adherent of a religious belief that until 1890 practiced polygamy, and to this day asks its members, “ Do you agree that sexual sin is most abominable above all sins, except for murder and denying the holy ghost? Read Alma 39:5 and pray about it before you answer. If you’re not sure, ask your Bishop.” (Editor’s note: Alma 39:5 in The Book of Mormon states that “Fornication is among the gravest of all sins”) He seems obsessed with proving his manhood, talking about how he and his sons hiked the “hills and crevasses” of Michigan and stating, “I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.” (Romney’s campaign later said he’d been hunting twice, once when he was 15, and once in 2006 at a Republican fundraiser.) His views on sex can best be summed up with this quote from the 1994 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, in the article “Dating and Courtship” by Brent C. Miller and H. Wallace Goddard.

Two doctrinally based principles guide the dating and courtship of LDS youth: first, because of the religious significance of marriage, virtually everyone who can is expected to marry; second, because of the spiritual and social importance of chastity, sexual relations must wait until after marriage.
Latter-day Saints place an unusually strong emphasis on marriage, believing that marriage is ordained of God (D&C 49:15) and is a prerequisite for obtaining the highest heavenly state after mortality (D&C 131:1-4…). Because of the belief that people should be married and the doctrine that they can maintain marital ties throughout eternity, Latter-day Saints take dating and courtship more seriously than those for whom marriage has less religious significance.”

Between Santorum and Romney we have two men whose overreaching public personas are determined by their sexual personas. Both men have a somewhat morbid focus and fascination with the female reproductive system and both men view the sex act as some divine chore the needs to be performed with the same sense of perfunctory obligation as providing automobile insurance for the family car. Santorum’s sweater vest opinion of women being in the workplace as the result of misguided, aggressive feminism demonstrates his adherence to biblical definitions of sexual identity. Romney’s identity with Mormonism reflects the doctrines of a religion fixated on male dominated sexual identities. Already nowing the public sexual profile for each man, why would these profiles suddenly come to the fore? What is stimulating this public airing of their sexual zeitgeist? There is one element in our society that produces fear and loathing in the hearts of these men in such excess that they are willing to sacrifice the health and safety of those around them. The object of their fear is the same one that caused Joe Wilson to scream “You lie!” at the President of the United States as he was addressing Congress. It caused John McCain to refer to him as “That one!” It permitted Jan Brewer to wag a finger of admonition right under the nose of the President of the United States. There is a Black man living in the White House. Not only is he living there, he is actually addressing issues that concern the reproductive rights of white women. Satan has arrived on earth. Charon has ferried him across the River Styx and deposited him in the White House.

The great subliminal fear of the sexual prowess of the Black male has manifested itself in the form of a Conservative Christian(s). We are participants in a real time version of The Birth of a Nation as Santorum and Romney ride onto the stage, their white robes, decorated with blazing red crosses, flowing in the breeze as their stallions propel them into battle in a life and death struggle to protect the honor of white women. D.W. Griffith himself could not have lent any more drama to the cinéma vérité that is playing out before our eyes.

Romney and Santorum both lay claim to the role of Saint George, elevated to martyrdom for slaying the dragon and saving the fair maiden, Alexandra, but in the twenty first century the fire breathing dragon, representing Satan, has transformed into the white Christian nightmare…the Mississippi Black Snake. Coiled and ready to strike the Dark Persuader threatens the flower of American womanhood and it is the duty of the Christian soldier to slay this latest dragon. Make no mistake about it, Romney and Santorum view themselves as crusaders, sword in one hand, bible in the other. There is nothing more sacred to them than the female reproductive system and they have knighted themselves as Champions of the Vagina.

So as the two Republican frontrunners parade before us, garbed for battle in sweater vest and ill fitting jeans, we shake our heads, dumbfounded by the adolescent baying of two men who seek the highest office in the land, an office that’s occupied by the Commander In Chief of all of the forces designated to protect us, and demonstrate shocking characteristics of sexual instability.

As a man I am offended by the presumptive attitude of men who claim to know what is best for the women in my life.

I am offended by the Christian chauvinism the permeates the Republican party and allows them to construct doctrine pertaining to women’s health.

I am offended by men who seek high office but live in fear of the sexuality of the Black man.

Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney, Barack Obama is not here for your women, he is married to a strong, intelligent woman who is light years ahead of either one of you in her insight and perspective on women’s health care.

If I want an opinion on women’s health I turn to my wife, I would expect President Obama does the same. Neither of us rely on Jesus Christ to offer an opinion on what may or may not enter the reproductive systems of the women in our lives.

There is a basic, underlying principle that the sexually unstable Republican party fails to grasp. Women are in charge of their bodies, not their husbands, not their boyfriends, and certainly not a bunch of perverse white men who are not even secure in their own bodies.

 

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About Op Ed

I will, from time to time, be scribbling down some thoughts that might not be a perfect fit for the main posting page. They may make sense...they may not.
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One Response to Romney, Santorum, and the Mississippi Black Snake

  1. avatar cabininthewoods says:

    Brilliant………….i will share this widely. You’ve done a service that we need. Thank you, we need more men to speak out in support of the women in their lives and follow your lead.

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