The American electorate is famously uneducated. They’re easily dazzled by slick commercials that eloquently say nothing or by truthy mixes of lies and obfuscation. If guileless Americans had the tiniest speck of skepticism, political advertising wouldn’t work and money would play a smaller part in the process.
All voting blocks – left and right – have fallen for the charlatans’ siren song at some point. As a result, they make such counter-intuitive deviations from common sense they end up hurting their causes more than helping them.
Evangelicals are taking their turns this time around. Perhaps it’s their wholesome trusting nature or the irrational fear that 10% of the population is destroying America by calling Christmas a holiday. So, they’re a particularly tight-knit voting block that typically votes on a narrow slate of family values issues.
They tend to worry less about economic or foreign policy and more about shaping families in their own traditional image – something I was always taught was the exclusive province of God.
Despite their efforts, evangelical-type candidates have self-destructed this time around. Michele “God’s on the Hotline” Bachmann flamed out early. She acted as though the voice she heard wasn’t God’s, but words from an alien anal probe. She wasn’t left or right, she’ was just over the edge. She managed to scare off a hefty portion of the evangelical vote with her ravings – not an easy thing with people who’ll unquestioningly support you as long as you invoke God often enough.
Then came Gov. Good Hair. He was properly pious. He talked about God and sounded and looked like your common tent-revival preacher. Better…until he proved repeatedly that he couldn’t read the Bible or prompts from the Teleprompter machine without falling directly into the baptismal pool. By sheer force of will and sufficiently odd behavior, he managed to snatch failure from the jaws of victory.
Next came the Godfather of Pizza. He sounded more or less sane, though not particularly light on his rhetorical feet. He was apparently not able to keep his pepperoni out of the oven. There were cries of plots most foul, but the women came out of the woodwork like termites in a broken down barn. As the situation worsened he became increasingly unbelievable and the evangelicals had to desert his sinking family values ship.
Today, Newt rides high. He’s born again, but more importantly he’s not one of those Mormon cultists. However, Newt’s closet comes with ready-made skeletons … lot’s of them … the decidedly non-family values kind. Evangelicals will either have to square Newt’s unsquareable, repeated coveting of his neighbors’ wives or ignore his transgressions. Blessed with a perpetual motion machine of a mouth and wearing his Messianic personality like cloak of invincibility, Newt will make that a tough order, even for the blindest Godlings. Hence, Newt should be wrapping up his campaign soon, foot in mouth and looking for wife number 4.
That leaves Ron Paul, who doesn’t even talk much about religion, Jon Huntsman, who’s working on stealth campaign technology, and Rick “Man-on-Horse Sex” Santorum. Rick’s claim to fame, other than the outlandish things he says, is a Google search that features a picture of a turd. Let’s face it, while he is very good at being a turd, who wants to pick him up.
Evangelicals may be waiting for Donald Trump and/or Sarah Palin to jump back in, but both think they’re already God – a tough evangelical sell. By voting as a block on a very narrow set of issues, evangelicals will soon find themselves with a gaggle of failed candidates.
It may be time for the uber-pious to start thinking a bit more about other issues and a bit less about flag pins and whether people’s heart-felt tidings of seasonal cheer qualify as slaps to the face by encroaching heathens.
But they better hurry up, they’re running out of candidates.