That the GOP invited a man who has had lots of kids out of wedlock to give a big prime time speech to the nation helps expose how theocons prefer celebrity over their superficial "principles" and "values."
Yet again the mainstream and even the progressives are failing to get and fully exploit the real point of a telling event. In this case Clint Eastwood's GOP convention speech leading up to the acceptance of the Repub nomination by the family-values-perfect-as-far-as-we-know-it Mitt Romney.
Folks are going on and on about how weird Clint was. That's unavoidable. But the over focus on the odd speech is diverting just about everyone from realizing how the mere appearance of Mr. Make My Day primetime at the conclave of the party that claims to be all about traditional values of chastity and the sanctity of human life from the moment sperm meets egg is a big F-ing lie. They are making it all up. They don't really care.
That's because Mr. Eastwood is notorious for so far fathering out of wedlock, well let's see here". go to Google". type in Clint Eastwood". scroll down biography". 7+ kids!!!!! Which by right wing principles makes the divorcee a chronic fornicator and serial womanizer of the highest order for Christ's sake. And he sinfully cohabited for fourteen years to Sandra Locke who was married at the time (albeit to a gay guy, suppose that makes it OK to the right). And she had a couple of abortions during the affair. And the break up was a humdinger, with Sandra bitterly suing Clint for palimony big time. And it's not like it's a secret, she wrote a book about it. And didn't he costar with Meryl Streep in that movie about his character getting it on with a Midwestern farmer's wife? Nor is it like Eastwood is in any way repentant or apologetic about it all. Nor does his GOP fan base ask much less demand he be so. He is, after all, Mr. Right Wing Hollywood.
So was the Ronald Reagan that the principled, anti-divorce theocons made into the first divorcee president without a hint of shame. Also bringing that Hollywood glam to the GOP conclave was Janine Turner. You may remember her as the bush pilot in the Northern Exposure I still miss. A long standing conservative, she was appointed to some panel by Bush II. And Turner's GOP star appears to be rising. She gave a speech at the Mitt convention in Tampa. And she is not only never married, she is the much dreaded by the right unless you are a prominent conservative single parent of an "illegitimate" daughter. But not a problem for the chaste family values schedulers and the audience at the GOP affair.
Or how about serial adulterer and divorcee Newt Gingrich? He won a southern presidential primary and appeared at the GOP convention. Fellow adulterer and divorcee John McCain gave a speech at the Florida conclave -- had to give him a slot he being the Repub candidate for Prez last time round.
It was not just the Repubs who showed up at the convention that told us what the theocon party and movement is really not about. The radio jock hero of the right Rush Limbaugh is working through his fourth wife. Never has claimed to be chaste. Does not apologize for it. And take Ann Coulter, please. The middle-aged heroine of the right has never been married. There is no evidence she is anywhere close trying to be chaste, or thinks folks should be. On Rivera Live she said, "Let's say I go out every night. I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married." On the almost certainly correct presumption that Coulter is sexually out there it must also be presumed that she is using contraceptives of some sort or another.
So let us have a good chuckle and assume for the moment that the right really is principled and truly does care about things like never ever having sex outside marriage, the sanctity of the institution, the sanctity of life. OK, OK, don't laugh until you fall on the floor. If all that were true then of course they would never have even imagined inviting Clint to give any sort of presentation at their godly conclave, and if they somehow did put him up there with the chair the audience would have walked out in a righteous outraged huff, and the convention organizers would be denounced by the theocon pundits. Same for Turner. Limbaugh would not have a megaaudience. True theocons would not have set the precedent for divorcee presidents by electing the first one. Or offered up an adulterer divorcee for the White House in 08. Gingrich would not have won any primary. Coulter would not be able to sell books.
That the right does buy into Eastwood, Coulter, Reagan, Turner, McCain, Limbaugh, Gingrich can only mean that they are not really serious about their principles and values. Another reason we know that they don't is because a third of Americans think sex outside of marriage is immoral, but 95% do it. It's a scam. A diversionary set up designed to cloak the right in the illusion of righteous force based on unavoidable principle that means they must seek to run the national society they way they say a perfectly good god wants it to be. It's a cynical power grab that they don't really believe themselves.
What I don't get is why aren't progressives having a high time relentlessly beating the right over their heads with this? Why is the Eastwood speech being trounced almost solely for its oddity, when what it really showed is that the right is so unprincipled that their giddy desire to worship celebrity trounces their superficial values? Why is Turner criticized for switching from pleasingly brunette to Repub blond -- well, it does look pretty bad -- instead of citing her appearance in Tampa as contradicting the theocon demand for chastity?
So get with it guys. One reason the right is not bigger and more powerful than it is, is because many already understand to a greater or lesser degree that most of them are a collection of lying hypocrites. So pile it on and let's give them more salvos about their amazing contradictions.
Gregory Paul is an independent researcher interested in informing the public about little known yet important aspects of the complex interactions between religion, secularism, culture, economics, politics and societal conditions. His scholarly work has appeared in Evolutionary Psychology, Journal of Religion and Society, The Journal of Medical Ethics, Philosophy and Theology. Popular essays are at Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post/On Faith, Edge and one of the most widely read Washington Post op-eds (5/29&30/11). Coverage of Paul's research has appeared in Newsweek, USA Today, The Guardian, London Times, LA Times, MSNBC, FoxNews.