Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Cynical Political Feint

In my mind, it was no accident that so many states had the issue of gay marriage on the same ballot on which voters would be picking the president in 2004. I was cynically suspicious that Republican strategists opted for calculated scare mongering in order to draw the base to the voting booth. In a world of terrorism, huge budgets, educational deficiencies, and debilitating war, it was the specter of gay marriage that drew conservative Christians to vote for their political messiah, an individual who would construct a Supreme Court that would toe the party--and more importantly, religious--line.

I was suspicious, but now I am absolutely certain that my cynical instincts were accurate. Today, George Bush urged congress to pass an amendemnt to the constitution banning gay marriage. A clear appeal to the conservative Christians in this country who could save a Republican majority this fall, I would predict that politicians looking to pander to the right will stress the need for the amendment and after the elections will let it fall by the wayside.

In much the same way, I wonder whether the immigration debate is also a calculated grab for votes. Claiming the lessons of 9/11 as an impetus for tightening border controls is simply a ploy.

It is saddening to me that Christians could be so easily duped and not see through vapid political rhetoric meant to inflame their passions, manipulate their prejudices. Even more, the same political rhetoric is recycled during each political cycle. Equally saddening is the amount of attention paid to the sanctity of marriage and the "threat" homosexuals pose to marriage. Even cynicism does not even seem to be a suffiicent response.