So here’s the thing I don’t get, cherubs. Sarah Palin is supposed to be this apple-pie, born again über-Christian, family-values moralist who is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-evolution, anti-science and all of that, right?
So why is it, when the McCain campaign sent her out to play the “pit bull with lipstick” attack dog, that she seemed so natural at spewing out all the innuendos, attacks and outright lies against Barack Obama? To me she appeared to just relish putting the boot in. And we all know she was just reciting trash from the campaign talking points knowing that it was untrue. Isn’t that, ummm … what’s the phrase I’m looking for? Oh yeah, bearing false witness? Which if my shaky remembrance of the Ten Commandments is not mistaken, is like number eight or nine on the list (OK, it’s not in the top three, but it’s still pretty major!).
And speaking of bearing false witness, did you hear about Liddy Dole in North Carolina? OMG! She ran a campaign ad against her Democrat opponent alleging that her opponent was part of Godless America. I’m telling you, muffins, it was like Liddy declared a redneck jihad! If any of you have been to North Carolina, you know that questioning someone’s faith is fighting words, and inevitably blood will be spilled behind the Piggly Wiggly! Seriously, the folks in North Carolina have had blood feuds going on for generations about vinegar versus mayonnaise in coleslaw, so don’t even get them started on God, doctrine or atheism!
So with Liddy’s atrocity fresh in mind, I then started reading about the sleazy campaign tactics of California’s Proposition 8 proponents (funded, influenced and staffed largely by the tax-exempt Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no less). The deluge of bigoted brochures and television and radio ads in California were just manipulative scare tactic propaganda. Basically, they insinuated that if Prop 8 failed kindergarten children would be forced to witness gay marriages held in their lunch rooms, and churches would have to install slings in the choir loft to accommodate gays or risk being sued, or something pretty close to that. The arguments were so over the top and so disgusting, it was hard to comprehend that this was being done by a coalition of religious organizations under the guise of morality and “Christian values.” My niece who lives in the Bay Area was mortified.
If there were any doubts of the rabidness of the Yes on 8 Campaign, they were quickly erased by reading the hate-filled comments on the Deseret News’ Web boards, or my personal favorite, the posts of the oh-so tolerant folks over at Meridian Magazine (it’s like an LDS version of an Al Jazeera Web site, but with apple crisp recipes!). Add to that the ground war of thousands of LDS conscripts knocking on doors, the proclamations from the pulpits, the firesides, the Sunday school lessons and the mobilization of the church’s apologist media troops, and you had a full-blown culture war.
The thing that cracked me up though was how despite all of their infrastructure, wealth, and resources, the LDS church and the Prop 8 people inevitably portrayed themselves as the underdog victim in all of this.
Which reminds me, speaking of Web sites, some vengeful Proposition 8 supporter(s), probably fueled by the righteousness of God and a six pack of Red Bull, launched a cyber attack against the No on 8 site. Bastards. Apparently it’s not enough to deny marriage and tax and civil rights to gay and lesbian couples, now the right wing culture warriors have to deny our freedom of speech, too?
All I can say, petals, is that after the dust of the election settles, there will be time to do a serious analysis of how these campaigns operated, who funded them, what tactics they used and how (and most importantly, why) they targeted their message. We need to observe, critique and learn because mark my words pumpkins, if the anti-gay folks win in California, or the Republicans go down this election, there will be serious blowback next election cycle. And I guarantee our community, and our rights, will be smack-dab in the crosshairs of a new, nastier culture war. Discuss among yourselves.
Ciao for now, babies!