The scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) contact with congressional pages seems to strike at the heart of the Republican campaign on moral values. But the case does not appear to be having an affect on a small group of voters contacted by NPR who consider morality an important political issue.You can listen to the segment here.
Why, oh why do some voters continue to give a pass to political leaders? It is partisanship run amok. In some ways I can sympathize. As I've grown up I've watched all of my youth support networks implode before my eyes. The Boy Scouts with their gay-bashing rules against homosexual scoutmasters. The Catholic Church with the pedophile scandal cover-ups. The Democratic Party with their callous regard for human and minority rights.
What's a guy to do? Where's he to go for support?
Growing up in a rural area myself, I can understand how differently you experience the world when your access to information is not as readily accessible as someone in the big city. Local news is your guide to the outside world, and we all know how consistently accurate those broadcasts are each night. [eyebrow alert]
You tend to be more independent, because face it, our social/public systems are seriously flawed when it comes to equality. The news touts brand new schools and state of the art equipment for some students while the building you send your kids off to each day is falling apart with asbestos probably lurking in the walls. Your local government is also filled with people whom you've know your entire life which adds all kinds of fun drama when it comes to personality conflicts.
Oh yes, it's easy to see why calls for a more libertarian model are popular nowadays. It's so much easier to appeal to voters' suspicions of each other instead of groundswell reform and transformation of the way we do business.
The question is: when do you reach your breaking point? With the bitter/rabid partisanship created by the Bush War Council since 9/11, I'm starting to learn just how far down the path to destruction some people are willing to go before they finally throw their hands up in the air and give their "leaders" the middle finger.
When the 2004 election season was in full freight train speed, I spent alot of my time refuting the claims by my friends that the Bush team had a monopoly on "Values". (Read Christian Values there) I couldn't fathom how some of the people I joined for Mass regularly could give a pass to a government that was the epitomy of War and Scandal.
But, you see, that latter part of the equation is where Karl Rove has worked his black magic in the hearts of the GOP base. Nothing characterizes scandal more than sexual scandal in the hearts of the so-called Values Voters. It's obvious. When sexual-related "sins" such as homosexuality or abortion are given the soapbox over other teachings that focus of peace, forgiveness, and equality - it's bound to get ugly when the magician is performing his illusion.
The seeds were sown many years ago that the Democratic Party was/is bereft of morality. While I would take harsh exception to that line of thinking, it's also a reality that the GOP was successful in making it so by using Bill Clinton's Presidency as the fish hook.
So now what? With this whole Mark Foley thing getting progressively worse and election day progressively closer, why is it not translating to an uptick in Democratic chances among "rural voters"?
The answer lies in the rotten fruit that the people have nurtured from Karl Roves' seeds and unless a true opposition rises up from the left that is clear on purpose, the feast will continue until the public gets sick to their stomach from the worms.
Yesterday, I wrote that I was giving up. While that's obviously not the case, my patience is wearing thin. The elections are less than five weeks away now but I see little change of course occurring regardless of which political machine Diebold decides should win.
Does anyone have a cure for this cynicism? Am I alone in thinking this way?
*Don't worry, I'm too stubborn to pull a Hunter S. Thompson