Conservatively Confused

I’m having a hard time understanding politics, particularly the conservative variety.  I grew up in a conservative environment, one where Republican politicians were on par with 11 of the disciples and Democrat politicians were more in line with that other disciple.  I grew up being taught that the GOP stood for things like lower taxes and higher morals.  The only thing that ever kept them from getting their way was, of course, the Democrats.

But as time passed and I began to pay more attention to the news, I started to see that there really wasn’t much difference between the two parties.  And, in case I need reminding, George Bush took care of that by giving us the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind.  And then there was this weekend.

I saw so-called conservative voters in South Carolina cheer a man for dodging a question about his serial adultery and then hand him a victory because he stood up to those commies at CNN who dared to ask him a question about his personal life.  No doubt, many of those cheering on Newt were also cheering on the crusade to have President Clinton removed from office for his lack of self-control.  Both Newt and President Clinton have shown a grotesque inability to keep their marital vows but at least President Clinton only somehow managed to embarrass one wife.  Oh, but it was Hillary so it’s all good, right?

As all of this played out with Newt this weekend, I couldn’t help but think about Herman Cain.  Again, both men have proven themselves unfit for office but why did these so-called conservative voters turn a blind eye to Newt’s indiscretions while essentially forcing Cain out for his.  Maybe Cain should’ve sat down with Barbara Walters and taken a swing at her midway through the interview.

I also thought about Newt’s biggest rival at the moment.  For most of this primary season, Mitt Romney has been the frontrunner.  I’m sure that some of this has to do with my being sheltered but I’ve yet to meet a person who claims to support Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney is a lot like the band Nickelback.  They sell a lot of records but I don’t know anybody that has one.  And who are the conservatives that are so in love with this man?  It wasn’t that long ago that Romney was defending his support of a woman’s right to choose as well as passing a health care plan that was apparently drafted in the same room as President Obama’s.  I know.  I just don’t understand.  A Republican’s bad legislation is so much better than a Democrat’s.  It’s the lesser of two evils.  Yippee!

I also can’t keep from thinking about the Tea Party.  You remember them, right?  That was the group that wanted to change politics.  That’s the grassroots movement that wanted to do away with politics as usual and replace it with a limited federal government.  It’s also the group that came out in droves in South Carolina to support Newt Gingrich – the man who liked big government too much to cut any of it out when he had the chance.  Maybe Pelosi was right.  Maybe this grassroots movement was more astroturf than grass.

But the group that baffles me the most is the conservative, evangelical voters who came out like it was 50% off with your church bulletin day at the local buffet to vote for Gingrich and Romney.  Isn’t this the group, more than any other, that’s supposed to stand for family values and the rights of the unborn – two things Gingrich and Romney haven’t exactly devoted themselves to through the years?

And then, hovering somewhere around 10%, there’s Ron Paul.  Look, not everybody is a Ron Paul fan. I get that.  In fact, Ron Paul fans are probably the biggest reason why there aren’t more Ron Paul fans.  It’s sort of like political Calvinism – some of the loudest supporters get in the way of the beauty of the thing.

Still, when I hear someone talking about Ron Paul’s foreign policy being crazy, by the time what they’re saying reaches my ears, it sounds like this.

“Ron Paul is crazy because he doesn’t want to blow up Iran and keep telling Israel what’s best for Israel.”

Nothing’s more confusing than hearing a pro-life voter immediately disqualify a pro-life OB/GYN presidential candidate because he doesn’t want to kill a bunch of Iranians.  Nothing.  Not Algebra 2 and not the season finale of Lost.  Nothing.

So it looks like I’ll be going with a third party this November.  And I’m sure I’ll hear a lot of talk about how not voting for the GOP candidate is essentially a vote for Obama.  Even if my one write-in vote for Thomas Jefferson somehow puts Obama back in for another four years instead of giving us President Newt, I can’t manage to see the difference.