Love, riots and elections
“Although he is regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics.” Spoken by Sen. George J. Mitchell to Oliver North at the Iran-contra hearings.The people have spoken, and my political party was beaten like a fox hunter at a PETA rally. I’ll be OK. Truth be told, I’m no stranger to defeat. From Little League baseball to master’s Nordic racing, for 40 years I’ve tested my mettle against others. Unfortunately, I’ve never been very good at any of that stuff, so I’m well acquainted with losing. Election 2004 was just another example of me getting my butt kicked.Now, granted that G.W. won with the smallest incumbent margin since Woodrow Wilson, but across the country conservatives ravaged liberals like rock skis in October. Many pundits say that Americans voted their values and morals rather than their politics. That said, if my party is to be more viable in the future we must be more sensitive of the moral values of the voters. This is easier said than done.It seems that today’s candidates can’t assume that just obeying and respecting the Ten Commandments is moral enough to get them into office. Democrat candidates need to be aware of what is offensive and what is palatable to the public.After a fair amount of reflection, I think I have it. In a nut shell: sex is bad, violence is OK.This during this past couple of weeks, we have had a perfect example of this.It seems that on “Monday Night Football” there was a promotion for the TV show “Desperate Housewives” aired just before kickoff. In the promo, a desperate housewife jumps into the arms of wide receiver Terrell Owens (needless to say, he caught her). In doing so, the housewife’s bare back was exposed to the viewers. What was most offensive to many was the suggestion of casual lockerroom sex. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that the suggested sex was interracial had anything to do with America’s outrage. Viewers hit the roof with indignation. Many felt the content of the promo was not suitable subject matter for family consumption. Besieged with such complaints, the FCC is likely to fine CBS. I can only speak second-hand about the “Desperate Housewives” promotion, since I did not see it. That is not to say I haven’t been trying. Though all the news providers covered the incident and repercussions, none dared replay it.Less than a week later, another sporting scandal occurred. In a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, a brawl broke out. In a near-riot situation, players fought each other while fans threw bottles and chairs. Some fans came onto the court to attack athletes, and athletes went into the stands to attack fans.I am able to write with more knowledge of this event because I’ve watched it about 20 times.The donnybrook was replayed ad nauseaum on the Web, news and sports shows. The watchdogs of morality deemed the display of thugs trying to maim each other suitable Sunday content for children, whereas a woman jumping into the arms of a wide receiver was not. (I say better a wide-receiver than a tight end.) The NBA has severely punished the thugs involved, but the FCC has not.There has been a blanket condemnation of what took place on that court in Detroit, yet there is no clamor to keep the replays of this violence from the eyes of children.Herein lies the contradiction. It would be safe to say that more Americans like sex than those who like to fist fight. Yet it is also seems that Americans find a real fist fight less offensive than a fictitious act of love-making. What is more damaging for young viewers to witness, suggested sex or actual violence? Children should be taught early that violence is not always the best way to resolve conflicts. If they learn this as children, much misery will be spared when they grow up and hold public office.But until that day comes, Democrats must take heed of the sensibilities of today’s voters. Most Americans are more offended by same-sex marriages than they are by war. By the same token, many are less disturbed by capital punishment than they are by abortion. That being the case, liberals have fours years to adjust their platforms.In the meantime, I’ll accept defeat and move on. I’m too young for Social Security and too old for the military, and I confine my fighting and sex to my marriage. So until the next election, I’ll drown my sorrows in recreation and go skiing.Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio, and read in several mountain publications. He can be reached at email@example.com. Vail, Colorado
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