Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Self Esteem of a Roach


A very wise man at a very expensive school once told his truth seeking students; if your Mother tells you she loves you, check it out. Another wise man down Alabama once stood in a field of watermelons on a hot summer day and lambasted his opinionated then-teenage son arguing that opinions are like a**holes, everybody’s got one.

But, occasionally, opinion and fact come together forming a complicated but insightful prism by which to view an event.

It could be said that the ‘event’ this past June at the Minneapolis St. Paul airport where Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig, 62, was arrested by a police officer investigating illicit sexual activity in public restrooms is a sad reminder of the fact that homophobia in America is alive and well in America.

Larry Craig, a married Methodist Midvale Idaho farmer/rancher with three children was first elected as a Republican back in 1974 to the Idaho State Senate. In 1980, Craig ran for and was elected to the US House of Representatives. Later, in 1990, he was elected to the Senate finding himself on such committees as Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.

He, like thousands of other similarly repressed souls are products of a generation where the acceptance of homosexual, bisexual or any other sexual beyond the coupling of a man and woman is seen as wrong. If one of those individuals is in fact, homosexual or bisexual they often believe they must either repress their feelings, pursue those desires in secret or muster up the bravery to be honest with themselves and those around them, and come out. For someone who is a 62 year old Republican Senator from Idaho, coming out might be a bit more difficult than say, New Jersey.

In order to live a successful double life, a self professed Right Winger must master the art of repression which these days, places the individual squarely in the firing line of those on the left and the right, if the cover gets blown. For example, if the repressed individual is caught in a misstep, ala an attempted solicitation of an undercover cop, and if the details are then blasted to a scandal loving public, those on the Right turn the repressed into the leper.

But, sadly and most importantly, the truth is, if this weren’t a “gay thing” we wouldn’t be hearing so much about it.

Wasn't there another Republican who was recently linked to an escort service?

No matter how much some of us would like to believe society has progressed to a more accepting and enlightened state, those are the rules for, God only knows, how many thousands of similar individuals who more than likely have the self esteem of a very frightened roach and are limited to seeking sexual gratification in places like bathroom stalls or other shadowy spots they feel are safe from the public eye. It appears that Senator Craig can be counted among the repressed, still denying his own sexuality, going so far over the years to cloak and hide his own identity by espousing, embracing and supporting a litany of classic gay bashing ultra conservative rhetoric and policies in The United States Senate. It is an almost nauseating pattern that has been repeated countless times not only in government, but in day to day lives throughout the world. Craig's profile fit's the self loathing closeted older man profile beautifully, a perfect fit that is now being sadly aired for the world to see.

Senator Craig is an example of the epidemic of hypocrisy that has permeated the Republican Party in recent years especially when it comes to moral issues. The fact is that Craig has been a vocal and instrumental member of the current GOP incarnation, a party that has not been the most gay friendly, a Party currently so steeped in hypocrisy and fear that would rather eat its young rather than perhaps scolding or disciplining Craig for dipping his hand into a politically forbidden jar of honey. It is the fact that Craig was caught soliciting gay sex that probably infuriates more members of Craig’s party who proudly say, come join us, be like us, but parade your wife, your maleness your masculinity and let no one doubt your heterosexuality lest you be judged or found out to be gay. Rumor has it, a lot of higher ups in the capital were aware of alleged dalliances by Craig among others one could add. Still it could easily be said that if indeed Larry Craig was living a double life, he was a hypocrite simply because of the anti-gay policies he supported. But his fellow Republican party House and Senate members are engaging in an even greater hypocrisy as they run like the wind to distance themselves from one of their most successful, conservative and longest running players. With this scandal, the truth about homophobia, the fact that it does exist and it does impact policy seems to be secondary in most public analysis of the event. And, among the GOP Powerful, a shameful collective hypocrisy raises its nasty head yet again on the moral values stage. But, these politicians are failing to see the political danger of what looks almost cowardly.

By abandoning a man who got caught being lewd in a public bathroom, a man who they just weeks ago, were sitting down with and attempting to forge policy, perhaps sharing breakfast critiquing Iraq or lambasting Democrats, a public display of the sad and misplaced priorities within politics goes on display. Further, all Americans get to see more frightening evidence that anyone, or any group, has the potential of being used as a means for obtaining votes. Hopefully voters will take note of the fair weather friends in Washington's current Republican party, and if they do, these leaders like many before them, will learn that while folks will forgive a mistake, no one likes a hypocrite. That is a fact that needs no checking.

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