Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Tea Party Candidate

     I think most people would agree that a candidate for U.S. Senator or Representative should have some modicum of personal responsibillity, although some of the current crop seem to be lacking in that respect. So when I saw the responses that the GOP senate nominee from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, made on a nationally televised debate, I thought I would take a quick look into her background.
     She was born on August 27, 1969, and has been a marketing consultant, worked in public relations, and appeared as a political commentator on several news media outlets including Fox News. In 2006 and 2008 she ran for Senator in the primary elections, and was soundly defeated both times.
     In 2010 she scored a surprising primary upset against nine-term Representative and ex-governor Mike Castle. Her victory was due to backing by Sarah Palin and an infusion of cash in the amount of $150,000 from the Tea Party. Her campaign also received a boost when a political consulting firm hired by O'Donnell released a Web video insinuating that her opponent was having a gay affair.
     Originally a political liberal, at the age of 21 she saw graphic pictures and descriptions of how an abortion is performed; as a result she became an evangelical Christian and Republican, chose to live a chaste life, and promoted sexual abstinence.
     She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, and although she attended the commencement ceremony in 1993, she did not receive a diploma until September 1, 2010. She claimed the degree was held up because of unpaid tuition, but the University said she had only completed her class work during the previous summer.
     She lost her position at Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit conservative educational organization. She claims she was fired because of gender discrimination – the ISI claims it was because she was running a personal for-profit business during business hours.
     Her home was scheduled to be sold at a sheriff's sale because she defaulted on a mortgage in the amount of $90,000, but a month prior to the sale she sold it to her boy-friend. (So much for a life of chastity.) Then she moved to a townhouse, where she paid half the rent from campaign funds because she used part of the house as an office.
     In 2010 the IRS filed a lien claiming she owed taxes from 2005 in the amount of $11,000. She says it is a mistake and a computer error. Between 2007 and 2009 the Federal Election Commission cited her eight times for failing to supply contributions reports on time. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has claimed that she used $20,000 of campaign funds as "her very own personal piggy bank" by claiming campaign expenses during a time in which she was not engaged in active campaigning.
     Politically O'Donnell opposes abortion under any and all circumstances, even including rape and incest, although in the event a choice has to be made, she would let relatives choose whether the mother's or the child's life may be saved.
     She opposes embryonic stem cell research, all tax increases, cap and trade legislation and Congressional earmarks. She is for a balanced budget, a simplified tax code, repeal of the healthcare legislation and unrestricted gun ownership. She says she will base all her decisions on the Constitution and not on her personal beliefs.
     She believes that Darwin's evolutionary theory is “a myth,” and supports teaching creationism in the public schools. Although she has stated that sexual behavior is a personal matter, she also told a newspaper that homosexuals have an "identity disorder" that is "adopted through societal factors.”
     During a 2006 debate, O'Donnell has said that the Peoples Republic of China is plotting to take over the United States, and claimed that she has classified information which supports this claim.
      In the 1990s, O'Donnell took a public stance against masturbation, calling it "sinful". She now says that her views on this matter “have matured,” whatever that means.
     During the 2006 campaign she told The News Journal of Wilmington that she was reluctant to get into politics. “but as someone who prays about every decision I make, I felt like God was leading me in the other direction. During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God.”
     The Tea Party is rapidly becoming a credible voice in politics, but the same thing happened with the Bull Moose Party in the 1912 election. The Party garnered 27% of the Presidential vote, more than the regular Republican candidate, and nine House seats. By 1916 the Party faded into oblivion.
     Will the Tea Party suffer the same fate? If so, it will be because they put forth candidates like Christine O'Donnell.
     The situation is worse when we use language for mental constructs. These days the big bone of contention in politics is “morality.” Is abortion moral? Is war ever moral? Should people be allowed to die when they become brain dead? Under what circumstances are any of these positions moral or immoral? What does the construct “moral” signify?
     Constructs – The Spirit Runs Through It.

     The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

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