Oops, God Made A Mistake
January 10, 2012
For the masochists out there who follow GOP politics, the Iowa Caucuses took place last night, and resulted in an absurdly close race between Uber-conservative culture-warrior Rick “frothy mixture” Santorum and flip flopping expert Mitt Romney. Romney took the state by just 8 votes—barely beating Santorum—both of whom only beat Ron Paul’s impressive showing by a few percent. The other candidates did quite poorly, confirming that the excitement and buzz generated by this rotating cast of flavor-of-the-week candidates was as temporary as most suspected. Perry and Cain had both had their brief time in the spotlight, along with Michelle Bachmann who won the Ames Iowa straw poll.
These results seem to confirm that a large portion of Iowa Republicans are drawn to Christian fundamentalist candidates like the cookie monster to cookies, and the electability of a particular candidate or their sensibility when crafting policies is secondary to the amount of crazy they can produce while racing to the right and pandering to the base. The other portion of Iowa Republicans seem to have finally come to terms with Mitt Romney’s (in my view) inevitable success in winning the Republican nomination.
What’s interesting about this year’s Jesus-pimping crop of candidates is that several of them have claimed that they were told by God to run for President, or at least urged to do so. Members of the crew claiming divine endorsement include Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. Even more interestingly, two of the three have now “suspended” their campaigns, which of course means they can still solicit money from donors, presumably to pile up and roll around in. Was God wrong? Was he hedging his bets? Was his endorsement a cynical and morally bankrupt contrivance of sleazy politicians pandering to the religious right? My guess is that it’s probably something like the latter.
As the election season progresses, take a moment to reflect on our current political situation, and how imperfect but at least electable candidates like Jon Huntsman get so few supporters while the conservative masses and the media take turns favoring candidates with the moral fiber and intellectual capacity of a brick wall. Perry’s paltry showing in Iowa suggests that he will probably be one of the next to go, and Santorum’s right wing zealotry probably won’t be enough to carry him through primary season, not unlike Mike Huckabee’s 2008 win in Iowa.
Little seems to have changed in the last 4 years, and if that’s true in Iowa, it’s probably true nationally. Although this election season will probably be mostly partisan pageantry lacking almost any identifiable substance, at least God’s chosen candidates may soon be out of the picture. Maybe next time around he’ll lend his endorsement a little more selectively.
About the Author: Michael DippoldMichael Dippold is a junior at the University of Northern Iowa studying economics. He also serves as the Director of Finance for the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers & Inquirers, and loves almost everything about the atheist movement.
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