Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt Gingrich and South Carolina: Misogyny, Religious Intolerance, and Family Values?

To be completely honest, when the Republican Primary began - not the actual voting, but the campaigning - I was unsure about whom I'd vote for in the 2012 presidential election. As far as Obama's presidency goes, I've been displeased with some of his decisions (extremely displeased in a couple cases), but I've also been pleased with some, and I'm still not convinced that McCain would have done anything better. As far as I see, it's a broken system, and it's not Obama's fault that congress is given to throwing temper tantrums, though it's probably his fault that he's so willing to kowtow to big business. Then again, could he stay in office without giving in? Like I said, I think it's a broken system.

So I've been disillusioned for awhile, and I was willing to consider voting for a republican alternative, though I was by no means decided on that count. So I've followed the primary elections with some interest, even though I'm currently a resident of Utah who hasn't had much say in any of this. No say, rather. I haven't even bothered saying much about it, aside from an occasional conversation with roommates, which has mostly amounted to "Hey, did you hear that so-and-so won in such-and-such state?"

But what's going on in South Carolina really galls me, and it galls me on so many levels I don't know where to start. Newt Gingrich is a scumbag, and yet his scumbagery only seems to have boosted his support.

As a Mormon I'm biased where Romney and Gingrich are concerned, and I recognize that, but I think that my Mormon bias is tempered by my distrust of Mitt Romney and by the fact that I probably wouldn't vote for him against Obama. I don't support Romney, in any way, shape, or form. But Newt Gingrich is a scumbag to such an extreme level that I can't understand why he is still in the race, especially when republican voters usually take pride in how much they care about integrity and family values in their candidates. But time after time, when evangelical republicans are faced with a choice of a Mormon who has a history of marital monogamy and another republican who has a history of serial divorce and infidelity (nonconsensual), they'll choose the non-Mormon, with no regard to the candidate's marriage history. In 2008, Huckabee played a big role in Romney's utter defeat, by slandering Romney for his beliefs, only to back down in a moment of, "Oops, I shouldn't have said that." A clever move, since the stigma still remained.

So I'm not surprised that South Carolina didn't vote for Romney. I'm not surprised at all. But Newt Gingrich? A man who is known to have cheated on multiple wives, who had shady dealings with Freddie Mac, who is now purported to have asked his second wife to change the terms of their monogamous relationship and enter into an open marriage - when she learned he was already cheating on her. A man whose integrity was questioned while he was in congress. With all that against him, why would people who claim to care about traditional family values vote for him?

And this, my dear readers, is why we at NAW do not always trust what people say on the surface, but rather delve into the implications of their language and actions. A vote for Newt Gingrich may be a vote for a traditional system of marriage, but only in the sense that it was once "understood" that men had needs and that they'd be unfaithful to their monogamous wives, just because was considered male nature.

1 comment:

  1. What do you think of Ron Paul? Of course the libertarian agenda could seldom work on a national scale, but isn't that the appeal of an executive branch that actually redistributes power away from the central government to the base of the federal system? Meaning, the states.