Sunday, December 30, 2007

Patti Davis to Candidates: Stop Invoking Reagan

It is interesting to see Patti Davis telling the GOP candidates to stop comparing themselves to her father, not that I blame her for doing so. While I am not going to go off on a discussion of Ronald Reagan, I will note that even when he took conservative positions, he never had the level of meanness and nastiness that has come to embody today's GOP where the party's base is dominated by the Christianists and hates and despises anyone not like themselves, be they black, Hispanic, gay or non-Christian. But I digress. Here are some highlights from Patti Davis's column (

On Friday's “Today Show”, Mitt Romney again brandished my father's name, and claimed that, just as Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, Romney can effectively govern and manage foreign policy in this horribly troubled world. This, of course, was preceded by Romney's televised speech about his religion and his personal faith—something my father would never have dreamed of doing because his faith was, well, personal.
To prove his virility, Huckabee has been photographed in those ridiculous hunting clothes holding a large rifle and several dead pheasants. Lest we forget about God, Huckabee's campaign offered up a special Christmas advertisement—complete with the now famous “floating cross” behind him—something Huckabee has said was simply a bookcase. Yes, with the books removed and lit with a golden glow that looked like the Star of Bethlehem had been summoned for duty in a political ad.
So, apparently, we are being told that a competent, trustworthy president is someone who brandishes his religion like a neon sign, loads a gun and goes out hunting for beautiful winged creatures, and tries to imitate a past president (who, by the way, never shot a bird or felt the need to imitate anybody.) I don't think I'm alone in my reaction to all of this when I say, "Do you think we're stupid?" If we want religious evangelism, we can turn on one of those cable channels. If we want leadership, we don't ask, "Now who has killed the most birds?" And most importantly, when we are thinking about trust and confidence, we don't look for someone who is trying to mimic anyone else.
Can't we just leave the ducks, the rabbits, the deer alone, and focus on a world that is aching with strife, that is weighed down by wars and conflicts, not to mention disease and hunger in vast stretches of Africa? Can't we go back to respecting the privacy of religious faith and stop using God as a campaign tool? And can't we please, please, please admit that imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery; it's just an indication that the imitator is going through a serious identity crisis.

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