I must admit that I thought a great deal of the objection to Barack Obama’s Presidency emanating from the Right side of the political spectrum was all to do with the colour of the President’s skin and what that represented; but hand-in-hand with that is now awakened discomfort, not only with a black man in the Oval Office, but also with the role women play in today’s society – specifically, sexually liberated women. Women on the Pill.
We all know the Republicans are a pro-Life party – that is, they’re pro-Life until a child is born and then they don’t give a rat’s ass until that child grows up and commits a heinous crime, then they’re pro-Death. We know that one of the aims of today’s Republican party is to effect the repeal of the Roe v Wade decision. But many mainstream Republicans these days want to take this one step further and ban contraception altogether – hence, the various and sundry “Personhood” bills cropping up (and being defeated) in state legislatures from California to Pennsylvania and all points South.
The Republican Party has a little sexual problem – but for some (like Rush and Newt), it’s nothing that a little Viagra can’t cure – as long as their sexual partners are acquiescent, subservient Stepford-type women who perform on demand, but woe betide any other woman exercising her endowed rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Or as Maureen Dowd, writing in today’s New York Times states:-
Rush and Newt Gingrich can play the studs, marrying again and again until they find the perfect adoring young wife. But women pressing for health care rights are denigrated as sluts.
Even mediaevally-inclined Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum, would advise his daughters, in the eventuality that one were raped, to accept any child resulting from that rape as a bad and broken gift, but a gift, after all.
Just as Herman Cain voiced the Republicans’ opinion that a person has only himself to blame if he’s poor and jobless, just as Ron Paul voiced their idea that education and healthcare are not rights and just as Willard revealed that he (and by extension, the Republican Party)isn’t overly concerned about the very poor, Rick is the Republican Party’s go-to guy on all matters sexual.
With Rick, it simply is all about sex. Rick thinks sex and everything to do with it, should be wrapped in brown paper and put on the top shelf in the furthest corner of a 1950s-style closet, and that’s where it should remain. Because, to Rick, that’s when sex was pure and good and only used, in the Catholic sense, for procreative purposes.
The pristine, Eisenhowered, Republican 1950s reflected all that was good about America – I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best were the epitome of family entertainment and gave us Rick’s idea of what family life should be like – ne’mind that Lucy and Desi were divorcing, Tony Dow (who played Wally Cleaver) would suffer from bi-polar syndrome and that nice Robert Young who went from suburban father Jim Anderson to kindly Dr Marcus Welby was an alcoholic. It was all behind closed doors. So it really didn’t matter.
Charles Blow’s most recent column actually theorises that Santorum blames the social ills problems affecting America today on sex – specifically the sexual revolution of the 1960s – and the 1960s – that decade of the President Santorum deemed pukeworthy and the infamous socialist Lyndon Johnson – were totally owned by the Democrats.
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. They prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom. All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the founding fathers’ vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous. That’s at the core of why you are attacked.
What changed was the ’60s. What changed was sex. What changed was the social and cultural issues that have huge amounts of money because if you look — I haven’t seen numbers on this, but I’m sure it’s true — if you go socioeconomic scale, the higher the income, the more socially liberal you are. The more you know you can buy your way out of the problems that sexual libertinism causes you. You have an abortion, well, I have the money to take care of it. If I want to live an extravagant life and get diseases, I can. … You can always take care of everything. If you have money, you can get away with things that if you’re poor you can’t.
Sex is a means. Evolution is a means. And the aim is a secular world. It’s a, in my opinion, a hedonistic, self-focused world that is, in my opinion, anti-American.
You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the ’60s were a good thing or not. If the ’60s was a good thing, you’re left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re right. And the confusing thing for a lot of people that gets a lot of Americans is, when they think of the ’60s, they don’t think of just the sexual revolution. But somehow or other — and they’ve been very, very, clever at doing this — they’ve been able to link, I think absolutely incorrectly, the sexual revolution with civil rights.
Sex, for Santorum, is like the Rome of his religion, only in a pejorative sense. All roads lead to it. Civil Rights? Blame the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The stirrings of healthcare via Medicare or Medicaid? Sex did it. The anti-war movement? Yep … sex … you know, that Woodstock thing. Womens rights and women’s health issues? What else? Sex.
Sex is behind the culture war being waged today by the Republican Party. It’s behind the assertion made by Rick Santorum that Americans aren’t entitle to privacy, and whilst he – like his cohorts – want government shrunken to the size of a bathtub, that selfsame government can come into your bathroom and examine the contents of your medicine cabinet for … contraceptives. Because contraceptives make sex unnatural. Contraceptives stop women from performing their natural roles as mothers, and contraceptives turn unmarried women into sluts.
Rick Santorum assumes the role of a Republican Jason Compson, the Faulknerian repressed anti-hero averting his eyes at the Democratic dirty knickers of his sister Caddie. Because sex, to Rick, is something dirty, and it’s not for nought that sex has been linked to all things Democratic … If “D” is for Democratic and also for “dirty,” then the “R” in Republican can also stand for “repressed” … in more ways than one. And all roads may not lead to sex, but they do lead to Republican repression.