This weekend, I was expecting a little more clarity on the possible outcome of our upcoming presidential election. Not yet. In fact, my consternation has been renewed. When I heard Donald Trump was winning the votes of the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, the only thing that could have surprised me more was if Donald Trump was winning the votes of Mexican Americans.
Last week, even the Pope called out Donald Trump for his unchristian-like messaging. No backlash! Who could have predicted that?
With every primary vote and every poll, I become more and more confused. If you say you understand what is happening to the electorate in this country, the Republican front runners have made it okay for me to call you a “liar.” It all started with South Carolina’s Republican Representative Joe Wilson shouting “You lie!” to President Obama at the State of the Union Address in 2009 and there was no backlash! Calling someone a “liar” used to be grounds for a duel. (It still is for Zell Miller.) The bar keeps being lowered for civility in public discourse. Previously in a debate, you may have heard, “The Gentleman from Texas is mistaken in his belief.” Today we hear, “Ted Cruz is a liar!” I’m not here to argue that Ted Cruz is not a liar. I’m here to argue that both ways of expressing that is correct, but we have been taught the word “liar” is inappropriate to say in a public setting.
And “liar” is the nicest thing that Donald Trump has called Ted Cruz. The projected nominee of the Republican Party to lead the free world called Cruz something too nasty to print here, but it’s a vulgar term for a female’s private part. No backlash! I recall, not that long ago in the 80’s, my son shouted that word at his friend as he exited a school bus. In comparison, my husband and I received the death penalty because my son was banned from the school bus for two weeks. Sorry. Not a good comparison. Trump never rode in a school bus…only limos.
In election politics, it’s getting to the “fish or cut bait” phase. After Jeb Bush finished fourth in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, he decided to put his family, himself, and us out of misery. I’m gonna miss JEB! He reminded me of one of those giant teddy bears advertised on Valentine’s Day… cute and cuddly but nobody really wants one.
As further proof Dr. Ben Carson is asleep, he announced to his supporters after his last-place finish in the South Carolina primary, “This is the beginning.” Of course it is, Dr. Carson. Only you can decide when to end your book tour that is thinly disguised as a presidential campaign. But what do I know? Maybe his strategy will work. Just take up space and wait for everyone else to implode and win by being the last man standing. Nothing surprises me any more.
I wrote a lot last year about the anti-LBGT legislation, The Religious Freedom Bill, that was pending in the Georgia Legislature. At the end of last year’s session, the Governor got cold feet due to the opposition from the business community and the Bill was held over. This year, despite an estimate that passage of this discriminatory bill could cost Georgia more than a billion dollars a year in economic losses due to boycotting by businesses, organizations, and conventions, it was passed in the House. It then moved to the Senate.
The Georgia Senate passed the Bill on Friday after much “jiggery pokery,” a word I learned from the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The Senate took the House Bill, and combined other discriminatory bills. One such bill was called the “Pastor’s Protection Act” that makes it illegal for a pastor to be forced to perform a gay marriage. For some reason, that conjures up a crazy image in my mind. A pastor is standing before a bride and bride and a Sheriff (not our Sheriff) has a gun to the Pastor’s head and says, “Marry them!” Now we don’t have to worry about that happening.
Barring a miracle, Governor Deal could sign this discriminatory legislation into law as early as this week.
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