One of my readers has commented that he is surprised I haven’t written more political stuff. Probably because I am such a political person. This year will probably bring more politics to my blogs, though I expect to continue to write about music, and other topics that interest me. But it is a political year, so no doubt I won’t be able to keep my mouth shut. And that will lead me into several debates.
These comments are specific to the South Carolina Republican primaries. The results with the Catholic adulterer winning out over the Mormon elitist don’t make a lot of sense to me, but then, had it gone the other way, I don’t know how I would have thought. This is one of the two most christian states in the Bible Belt, and two of the states most fought in and over during the Civil War. Mississippi is known to be the worst over civil rights, and Alabama had its own horrific events, but the carpetbaggers were most active in South Carolina and Georgia are where the biggest actions were, and where it went hardest when the Union won. I think a lot of this carries over.
But here is the conundrum to me: the most active christians are those who think sex is a punishment for what they call original sin. And yet they would choose an adulterer, not just once, but at least twice, or at least against two women. But then I remember that christianity is a male-centric religion, which keeps women as second-class citizens, and women who kowtow to their husbands, accept their “rightful” place in his world, are more likely to forgive Newt, or at least ignore his “little” wanderings. They are of the lot who say “hey, he’s a man, what do you expect?” frame of mind. So they might not hold his past against him – forgive and forget, perhaps.
But Newt has more against him than just his philandering, and that is that he lost his seat as speaker of the house, and was drummed out of office, either by someone else, or by his own choice to not run again. I forget which it was. I just know there has been a lot of “scandal” around him. And then he did get the Rick Perry backers, even if it was just 5%, and that in itself was a comic opera to me – Rick Perry, the pious, the prayer-maker, backed Newt Gingrich, and his own followers did what he told them to.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a Mormon, which many folks consider to not be a christian organization, in spite of Joseph Smith saying Jesus appeared to him in New Hampshire and told him to go forth and create this huge religion (even if it did originally come from England). The Mormons did not recognize the black race until the mid-70s, so one would think the black population would not vote for him. But then, so much of the black population in South Carolina follow the teachings of the Southern Baptists that maybe they think Newt Gingrich was a better choice than Mitt Romney. Certainly Mitt himself has no clue how to approach and/or talk to the middle class, much less the poor, of which South Carolina and the other southern states of the Bible Belt have perhaps the greatest population.
So who might I have suspected would win South Carolina? I think perhaps my prediction, had I made one, have been for Ron Paul. I would have thought Rick Perry would have had the most support there, had he not canceled his run, but then I learned that he had only 5% of the polls, and so I am just puzzled. Maybe it was just enough that Newt Gingrich is from the south, and that is why he was chosen.
Well, I leave this post with confusion, and perhaps confusing a few of you, and wait to see what Florida will do, and then the next state and then the next. But I have to say that after three primaries, three different men have ended up at the top – Iowa for Santorum, New Hampshire for Romney, and South Carolina for Gingrich. And with Gingrich and Romney battling one another, perhaps on even ground, for Florida.
The Republican convention looks to be an arena where there will be heavy fighting, perhaps even coming to blows, in their process of trying to choose a candidate. The best at this time that I can say about the eventual race is that right now, I believe Obama will walk right over anyone who opposes him.
And that is how it should be – and how I want it to be. And no doubt you will hear quite a lot more about it as the year goes.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX