THE BLOG
10/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's the Freedom, Stupid

Through the choice of his pro-life running-mate, Sarah Palin, John McCain and the GOP have made one point perfectly clear:

This is a single-issue election, and the issue is abortion.

The future of America -- our precarious economy, our critical foreign policy -- everything about this election that requires a sensible, grown-up argument with wonky, unemotional, boring facts behind it -- is being thrown under the bus.

The Republicans, in the face of Obama's ascendancy and the indefensibility of their policy decisions in the last eight years, have just pulled a desperation maneuver and hijacked what is perhaps the most important election in America's history by demoting it to an emotional cat-fight between pro-choice and pro-life women, over the one issue where neither side can be reasonable. They have opened up a new front in the Republican War on Sanity.

The rest of this election, no matter what is discussed, will be essentially brain-dead.

McCain, with one stroke, has tipped all the wavering, undeclared Christians into his own till. This is brilliant political strategy, until you consider the fact that it is horrifically short-sighted -- it shows that the Republicans still prefer dirty pool to thoughtful leadership. Many taxpayers who aren't conservative Christian Republicans will lose faith in this country if our new leaders seem willing to support the tendencies of the current administration. Many will abandon hope that America will pull out of its current downward spiral, and abandon this country completely rather than subject themselves and their children to the disastrous aftermath of yet another hair-raisingly corrupt, myopic, and incompetent Republican administration.

I believe the choice of Sarah Palin represents the GOP's tacit declaration of war on secular government. She signifies the intentions of the Republican party to let the highest office in the United States serve as a handmaiden to the ambitions of the Christian right.

Sarah Palin represents the ambition of evangelical Christianity to forcefully dominate, and pervert into its own ideological image and likeness, the legislature of a country that was founded on a principal of religious freedom.

John McCain has effectively declared a holy war on Americans whose religions are less dogmatic than that of evangelical Christians. The GOP seeks to put women back in chastity belts: Sarah Palin is their fit-model.

Freedom, like it or not, is synonymous with moral relativism. The whole point of the idea of America is the glorious notion that someone else's extreme religion is disallowed from imposing its morality on personal decisions concerning our lifestyles, our sexuality, and our bodies.

We didn't pick this fight: John McCain did. Abortion may be the fight, but it isn't the point. The issue at stake is our personal, civil liberties and individual rights -- particularly those of pro-choice women -- which are being directly threatened by the GOP's grasping, rapacious desire to impose a new theocratic authoritarianism on our society.

Christian evangelicals have forced America's sexual IQ to plummet even lower than the value of the American dollar. Do we really want an America where teenage girls are going to die from abortions that, once illegal, will only become an unsafe, underground economy like illegal drugs?

Do we really want our daughters to be forced to flee to liberal, civilized places like Mexico City (where abortions incidentally, are free) to terminate their unwanted pregnancies?

Freedom and hope are the greatest selling-points of America. If America sells out its freedom to Christian religious extremists, the brains of this country will go elsewhere, because freedom will go elsewhere. America will be as hopeless as a fat, poor, pregnant teen -- and just as smart a conversationalist.

Now that America is so deeply in debt, we don't get to make the rules anymore. Our future as a country now relies very uncomfortably on the perception the rest of the world has as to whether or not America will be able to bounce back after an utterly calamitous eight years of a faith-based, conservative Republican administration with absolutely no sense of responsible stewardship.

With Barack Obama, there is some actual hope for America -- at least in terms of the perception of America beyond our borders -- to begin a slow, painful recovery. If John McCain and Sarah Palin win, they will accomplish more than the Taliban and al-Qaeda combined in terms of destroying the image of the United States as a free country, and a democracy that protects the civil liberties of individuals.

We cannot afford another administration with religious delusions of moral certainty in the White House. The sorry fact is that John McCain has brought this grudge match into the election booth. The future of America -- which desperately needs thoughtful leadership to steer us out of this crisis -- is hinging dramatically on the terribly emotional issue of choice. If abortion is made illegal, Liberty, ironically, will die.

Abortion should be the least of our worries right now, as a nation. The issue is freedom, and the vital importance of secular government to the success of this nation. We want to live in the The United States -- not the Holy American Empire.

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