Winning an Election Can't Be Everything
By Bob Levy
Republican County Chairman
When we read responsively in our many and differing houses of worship, our lips reflexively condemn the evils of idolatry while perhaps conjuring in our mind Cecil B. DeMille’s movie “The Ten Command-ments” and images of the hordes surrounding Mount Sinai, dancing around a golden calf.
One of the most memorable sermons I ever heard was a postulate that we too often substitute the image of the Bible given to us by Hollywood for the effort it takes to study the Good Book and seek its meaning for ourselves.
As we read here today, Bill Clinton, the perjurer from Arkansas, goes ’round the world with people dancing at his feet and smiling affectionately when his extramarital exploits are recounted. The only thing we seem to remember about the victims of his fame is the voice of Clinton’s friend James Carville saying something about “trailer park trash.”
We also note it was just a few days ago that Pennsylvania college students rioted in the streets when Joe Paterno, their football idol, was fired for tolerating a culture of pedophilia within his organization. These privileged future leaders cared less about the future of a child whose very humanity was destroyed in the shower of a football locker room than they concentrated on the worship of a football legend.
So what should a Republican Party chairman say when a rising conservative star is found to be Bill Clinton with a darker complexion riding an elephant rather than a donkey?
My heart tells me that it is nothing more than a “Democrat Dirty Trick” trying to punish an “uppity” African-American who dared to desert Jesse Jackson’s plantation. But I have three daughters, two of whom are in the work force and who, from time to time, were so desirous of a good job they were susceptible to those who had the power to hire and the ability to seek favor for the use of that power.
I have spent too many years as a family law attorney listening to women being maligned as “sluts” while men were slapped on their backs with admiration when their “conquests” became known. I know that false allegations of serious abuse exist, but they are relatively rare, especially when recounted in detail by multiple victims.
The fact is that most women who encounter bad behavior by men, from spousal beatings to rape, rarely call the police. They do not want to be called “trailer trash,” whether by James Carville or an opposing attorney in a cheap suit. They often find it easier to take the abuse rather than alone muster the courage to remedy the situation. Women understand that the commission of multiple sexual crimes, including a rape, could not stop the idolatry of Bill Clinton.
But I would be less than true to my intellect and my God if I made Herman Cain such an idol of my mind that I did not recognize that he is no more morally qualified to be president than was Bill Clinton — and just as deserving of impeachment if he were to become so.
Idolatry today is as strong as in the days when “graven images” were placed in the temple. The images may not be in the form of a “golden calf,” but they are in the form of “golden pixels” on a television or video display terminal.
It is the same idolatry that acquitted Michael Jackson when his pedophilia got physical and the same celebrity worship that let O.J. Simpson go free while the corpse of the former wife he abused and murdered grew cold.
Herman Cain should be accorded no more respect than Bill Clinton or Joe Paterno. But, more important, Bill Clinton and Joe Paterno should be accorded no more respect than Herman Cain. To do differently would be to compound idolatry with hypocrisy, and that must be the road which the Republican Party avoids.
It is the road the Democrats took when they defended Clinton after they spit on Clarence Thomas. It is something that the public sees and feeds their disgust with politics in general. It is the theory that everyone was born yesterday with no knowledge of the events the day before.
Republicans need to accept the fact that Herman Cain is not morally qualified to be president, but Democrats need to similarly acknowledge that Clinton is not morally qualified to be a leader in a party that seeks to keep that office. Nor was he morally qualified to be president in the first place.
The only way that the Republican Party can keep its dignity in the midst of the Cain meltdown is to refrain from joining the Democrats in their idolatry and also refusing to follow Democrats from idolatry to hypocrisy and back to “politics as usual.”
The theory that the American voter is an idol worshiper with no past memory is tempting only because for many voters it may be true. But just as Joe Paterno learned that Vince Lombardi was wrong, Republicans must realize that “winning is not the only thing.” We must win for the right reason, or winning becomes nothing.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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