Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, January 21, 2005

"Political Preacher Men"

It became clear to me recently that what most over-the-top, right-wing politicians aspire to is not public service, but the pious service of being preachers. Watch them speaking on the stump or, better yet, giving their little "inside baseball" speeches before cozy religious groups. That's where you'll see the real deal; the quiet, emotional words, punctuated by finger points and harsh, "god knows all" rhetoric. You'll see the comtemptuous evangelizing that stands in for intelligence, research and thoughtful consideration of complex issues. You'll see, in effect, a Preacher.

So why do these boobs have such heavenly aspirations? Simple answer; with "god on their side" they can never be called wrong. If they are "doing god's work" or are, like Mr. Bush, being given driving directions from "The Big G," how can they be called wrong? It worked for the Crusaders, it'll work for them.

On the other hand, a politician who discusses issues like abortion or foreign relations or military spending from a secular viewpoint doesn't, by the nature of things, have a giant, all-knowing, all-seeing buddy in the sky to act as his backup. He or she must formulate and support ideas using their smarts. The Preachers, for their part, simply stand up and say, "Because HE said so." And that means, "end of discussion."

There's another reason these Pols want to preach. Because they love the adulation. Now, politicians have always liked to talk and have always loved the applause, but this is different. Religious followers look up at the dias with that wide-eyed awe that only comes when one is in the presence of a divinely-inspired speaker...and our Preacher Politicians eat this up. They can just feel the love..and it feels great. And you know what? Once they've felt that warm glow, they never want to go back out in the the cold, cruel world of reality.

These people scare me. They really do. Whether they honestly believe that America has some sort of "gameplan from god," or if they are just playing along because it happens to get them elected, doesn't really matter. The result of their "holier than thou" attitude is what we have to fear. Because anytime someone tells you that "god told me to do it," he didn't.