Amid all the gnashing of teeth over the opinions of various GOP presidential candidates on social issues, I think it’s time to pause and take a breath. We may be attaching too much importance to their opinions.
Should we care if Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann don’t personally like gays? Only if they’re running for Emperor or Empress of the Universe. Presidents may often behave as if they think that’s what they are (the current one especially), but they are not. And as long as we shrink the size and power of government instead of shooting it full of more and more steroids, they will never ascend to such lofty heights.
Anti-gay social reactionaries’ opinions on gay rights, or on other social issues, are just that: opinions. They do not have the power to make them anything more than that. And it is still within the power of We, the People, to keep them from ever being anything more.
Sure, they’re upsetting. But even at the party-primary stage, the citizenry can exercise some leadership on keeping the danger to a minimum. We can do that by asking each candidate one very simple and straightforward question: “What is your philosophy of government?”
What do they believe the government’s role to be? How much power do they think it should have? If Michele Bachmann, for example, really has any business being a Tea Party candidate, then we need not worry about what she personally thinks of gays. It would be outside the scope of government authority for it to do anything to harm us.
Would it give us lots of goodies? Certainly not. As a libertarian conservative, I don’t want any goodies from the government. I merely want it to leave me the hell alone.
At this point, I would probably vote for just about anything with a pulse in order to defeat Barack Obama. Who would very much like to be emperor, and would — in a second term — do everything possible to make himself one.
Ken-Doll Romney is hardly the second coming of Lincoln. But it looks as if he may very well turn out to be the Republican nominee. I’m not a Republican, but a Libertarian, so I have no say in the GOP primary here in Arizona. But if Romney ends up squaring off against Emperor O, I’ll almost certainly vote for him.