Gaffe on, partnersBy Sean Randall | 07/20/2011 12:10am
I thought I would be able to get away from talking politics this week, I really did. But as I looked in the news, I saw four things. Casey Anthony will have to hide her face from the public forever, Rupert Murdoch and his United Kingdom branches of press have the distinction of being some of the most vile abuses of privacy and perversions of journalism since George Orwell’s “1984,” and the Republican party seems to be handling the debt situation as if it were Hungry Hungry Hippos.
That, of course, is only three. The fourth thing I saw was this, in an Associated Press article: “Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Sunday that communities have a right to ban Islamic mosques.”
This caused a slight double take on my part. We’re already witnessing Islamaphobia in the campaign? Haven’t we had enough of the one-sided bigotry? Let’s see how Cain defends himself.
“[The people] are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and [a] set of laws, Shariah law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it's just about religious purposes.”
He goes on, saying, “I happen to also know that it’s not just about a religious mosque. There are other things going on based upon talking to the people closest to the problem. It's not a mosque for religious purposes. This is what the people are objecting to.”
So, he’s objecting to the mosque proposed in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on two fronts. First, Islam is a religion and a set of laws. Cain said Muslims are trying to inject Shariah law into the U.S. So, obviously, not wanting them in the U.S. isn’t religious discrimination.
…So, what about the 600-plus laws in Judaism? Or the tenets of Christianity that seem to be constantly inserted into laws at a community and state level? And what happened to that pesky First Amendment, the one that grants freedom of religion?
As for that second front, apparently the mosque is going to be used for a nefarious plot. He also said earlier he’d be against putting any Muslim bent on killing Americans in his administration. Does that mean he’d be okay putting a Buddhist or a Christian bent on killing Americans in?
There are some two to three million Muslim Americans in the U.S. Like Shaq, or Muhammad Ali. Last I heard, they don’t want to burn America to the ground. They’re not trying to blow up the United States. How is it that every mosque is just a terrorist cell?
The way I see it, this gaffe is just one in a long line of gaffes and idiocies that has been spouted by people running for the GOP presidential candidacy this election season. For an election that’s still more than a year away. Does no one running remember what can happen when you aren’t careful about what you say?
In the 2008 race, our now Vice President Joe Biden decided to call Obama “clean and articulate.” A Biden gaffe if there ever was one, one that pretty much cost him any serious contention. Then, in the 2004 race, there was the infamous “Dean Scream.” Poor Howard Dean gets over excited and lets out a mighty “Byah!” And goodbye, White House.
Though, thinking about it… in 2008, when Sarah Palin started saying things that were idiotic and wrong, supporters seemed to rise up. People who hated the “media and liberal elite” for calling out the everyday Jane Public for her mistakes joined up to support her. Maybe all of this is a strategy.
If we take the stereotype, liberals are apparently over-educated, elitist jerks, while the conservative party is filled with “real Americans” and “Joe Sixpacks,” the working men and women that maybe aren’t as smart as the “gotcha media” and the liberals.
Anyone worth their salt knows this generalization is a load of crap. There are smart conservatives, and there are outright buffoons that claim liberalism. It happens. But, somehow, gaffes, such as saying you’ve got the drive of John Wayne Gacy and 9-year-old Founding Father John Quincy Adams, aren’t waning in popularity. Saying that Paul Revere shot his guns and rang his bells through the towns, warning the British we were ready to fight, seems to be ignored by constituents. Suggesting Obama is somehow responsible for the stability of the African-American family and saying he’s doing a worse job at that than slavery did seem to sneak past, largely ignored by the party.
In fact, from the GOP, there’s only been one major gaffe that has caused anyone’s political aspirations any harm so far, from what I’ve seen: Donald Trump announcing his considerations for the presidency. Thank God Trump’s gaffe ended all that nonsense.
Sean Randall is a senior majoring in theatre and philosophy.