Religious Right fundamentalists are expected to go to the polls to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in a few short weeks. Their support of John McCain is decidedly tepid; they are voting against Barack Obama more than they are voting for John McCain, if statements made by religious right leaders earlier this year are any indication.
In February, Focus on the Family's James Dobson said: "I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.
I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.
But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can't vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated. They do reflect my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country."
In a major flip-flop, Dobson made this statement a few days ago: "It's probably obvious which of the two major candidates' views are most palatable to those of us who embrace a pro-life, pro-family worldview," Dobson said.
"While I will not endorse either candidate this year, (in fact, I've only endorsed one presidential nominee in my life) I can say that I am now supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency."
Why the flip-flop, you might ask? It's very simple. McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate to appease Dobson and others of his ilk. She's one of them, a fundamentalist -- a "true believer".
And this brings me to the issue of John McCain's age and health. This is a reality that both Democrats and fundamentalist Republicans fully acknowledge and are concerned with. But the two groups approach this issue from different perspectives.
Both groups acknowledge that, if elected, there is a strong possibility that John McCain might be incapacitated or die because of bad health while in office, at which time Sarah Palin would become President of the United States.
The difference is that this is something that fundamentalists would secretly welcome, as it would elevate "one of their own" to the Presidency, removing the candidate they had to hold their noses to vote for. Democrats, on the other hand, would be praying for McCain's continued good health, should he be elected President, as he's a lot less scary and is more qualified to be President than his running mate.
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