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Making a mountain

By Nick Zeckets
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 29, 2000
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Right-wing Christian coalition pundits have eschewed presidential candidate John McCain's past divorce on moral grounds. In this day and age, American opinions of weakened morals and personal fortitude are common elements of political mudslinging. Regardless of your opinions of McCain's policies, this part of his history should not and does not have any bearing upon his future ability as president. Americans need to evaluate McCain on his policies, not his personal life.

Senator McCain decided to divorce his wife Carol in 1980, saying that the marriage was "irretrievably broken," according to court documents. Amazingly enough, considering the bitterness involved in most divorces, the two have maintained a friendly relationship. McCain gives Carol full monetary support, and she supports her ex in the election.

Conflict has emerged, not from them, but from the Christian Coalition. America's conservative leadership is confused about its own values. This is a new era in relationships, in which personal happiness should be cherished over simply pressing something irretrievable to work. Not that no effort should be made, but reconciling hardship is a good thing.

Attention Pat Robertson: get off your high horse and open your eyes. Allow yourself and your religion to evolve. Oddly enough, I am a Christian and espouse the sacred nature of marriage, but people make mistakes. God isn't unforgiving. In fact, it's one of His main tenets of faith.

Logic has apparently evaded Robertson and the fire and brimstone brigade. If their ultimate power holds forgiveness dear, where do they get off acting so high and mighty? Moreover, how does McCain's ancient separation impact his leadership capabilities?

Focus needs to be placed on benefit. Clinton has shown that if ever anyone could. He has been neither a great nor a bad president, but at least the last eight years have been relatively peaceful and somewhat progressive. He's taken perhaps a tad too much credit for the effects of Reagan's economic reforms, but all in all, he wasn't too bad. All this despite his multitude of affairs in and out of office. A divorce doesn't imply a weak will, lack of morality, or general scumminess. It simply means he got out of one thing for something better.

McCain's military history can be construed as personal, but it was in direct service to the United States. Divorce is in the name of the home and doesn't influence anyone's capacity to lead a nation.

Christianazis are making life more and more difficult, placing the flock in question of what exactly the Bible means, and the general religious-lacking public in confusion. For the most part, Christians have come to their faiths not by direct choice, but by following people they respected or who were leaders and McCain's paying.

Following leaders in such a manner is not detrimental, but when the leaders misinterpret and mis-educate, they're pulling others down. Some theologians have even argued that those misguiding the masses are themselves instruments of Satan. Personally, I just think they're egotistical bastards using religion as a means of harnessing power.

For that considerable sub-society of the proletariat not "walking in the light," people like Pat Robertson create dilemmas. Granted, the non-religious are as such for reasons, but still look for moral direction. Pop-culture Christ love-divas like Jerry Falwell and Robertson can fill that void. As "respected" beacons of light, the unguided adopt their newspaper headline dogma. We're going downhill and taking presidential nominees with us.

Monday evening in Virginia Beach, McCain said that "political intolerance by any political party is neither a Judeo-Christian nor an American value. The political tactics of division and slander are not our values." Indeed, they shouldn't be anyone's values. Nominations must be based on merit of policy and ability to effectuate progressive, beneficial change for the United States.

Who can honestly say that there is nothing in their past worthy of an afternoon talk show? Few, if any, because we are human. The statistical term "human error" isn't farcical, but beyond just forgiving each other for snafus, we have to identify the degree of severity of past "offenses." McCain's divorce is far down the list.

Duplicity in such matters is even more appalling. George W. Bush has admittedly done cocaine. Hey, a president all hopped up in the Oval office could be interesting. Hell, send him into negotiations after snorting a dinger with a rolled up bill featuring one of his predecessors. However, the Christian Coalition's support of Bush over McCain on moral grounds is asinine. McCain has a strong character, but that's not even the issue.

Debating personal events of yore will do no good in weeding out unqualified candidates for the running of this nation. Politics is about the public, not the private.

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