Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My vote, and why it went as it did.

It's official. This morning, I cast my vote in Virginia's Republican primary election. It will be said that I cast my vote for John McCain, and that is how it will likely be tallied. But in reality, it was more a vote AGAINST Mike Huckabee.

In some ways, I guess I was naive. I thought that Americans had gotten over religion as a barrier to the Presidency. That was arguably a question settled by John F. Kennedy.

I was wrong.

The New Republic seems to have hit the nail on the head:
Southern states have GOP primary electorates dominated by evangelical Christians, specifically by Southern Baptists. And many of those Southern Baptists are committed to blocking the ascension of a Mormon to the presidency.
This is not to say all of them are. Nancy French at Evangelicals for Mitt and John Schroeder at Article 6 Blog backed Romney. So did MacRanger, who I had the pleasure of talking with in a number of shows (albeit after a flirtation with Fred Thompson).

But there is just too much evidence that they are a minority among evangelicals:
* James Dobson's maneuvering, discussed earlier in this blog.

* The admission from Huckabee's research director that many evangelicals would grab on to an issue like "flip flop", but would really be voting against Romney because he was Mormon.

* The Vanderbilt study contains statistical backup of the anecdotal evidence.

* The increase in anti-Mormon sermons in the run-up to the South Carolina primary.

* The comments on Huckabee's official campaign blog.

The preponderance of the evidence points to anti-Mormon bias among evangelicals as a primary factor in the failure of Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign.

Sorry, but I feel like I've been given the finger by values voters. Never mind that I have a lot of agreement with them on a number of issues, they simply have decided that a Mormon should not be president, and have made it clear that any Mormon who is too uppity will be taken down.

To quote Mase from "Will They Die 4 You" on the South Park Chef Aid soundtrack:
[Someone] smack me, I'ma smack 'em back
If it lead to the guns, then that be that
So, I sent them a finger and a hearty "fuck you" in return. Spiteful? Yeah, to a degree, it was. And I think, given the evidence, I'm entitled to take a shot or two. But there's also a cold, rational way of thinking about this situation.

Quite frankly, I trust religious conservatives about as far as I can throw a Nimitz-class carrier. I'd rather have a moderate like McCain than a religious bigot like Huckabee. In the future, an endorsement from James Dobson and others of his stripe will be a negative in the primary - and I will keep options open, including sitting out a general election if I do not like the choices.

That's pretty much where I am now.

1 comment:

SJ Reidhead said...

Thanks for voting for McCain.

After some of the actions this weekend, I am having an increasingly difficult time with Huckabee.

Wasn't it Barry Goldwater who said anyone who mixes religion and politics deserves to go straight to hell?
(as my use of "hell" is not profanity in this case, it does not count against my Lent project).

The Pink Flamingo