OPINION – I appreciate a good political cartoon.
Often a medium of intended mockery, political cartoons can painfully belabor the fine line between the serious ramifications of our societal state while at the same time giving us a good laugh at the hilarity of ironies and contradictions.
Readers used to turn to the opinion section of their papers to catch the latest relevant gaff in cartoon form but with the advent of the web and advanced software, just about anyone can post a version and its traffic is multiplied a thousandfold over the fast outdated print version.
Take a public domain photo, add some text or invite readers to add a caption, and there you have it.
One of my favorite pictures of late is Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka garb wearing his signature smirk with the caption reading: “So, you choose the lesser of two evils? Tell me, how is choosing evil working out for you?”
In a presidential election cycle where the difference between the candidates can arguably be reduced to issues of style; that is to say, their policies being quite similar, they are separate only in how they would implement them – or in how they couch policies – one can see the humor, at least in the gaff.
On a more serious note, there is unfortunately some truth to the pathetic nature of following the lead of these gaffs when making our voting choices. And more tragic is the apathetic resignation of the entrenched and polarized camps to abide the gaffs as their rudder as though they had no choice. It is almost Pavlovian and predictable.
An even closer look reveals an impending problem for one of those camps that is not getting much press.
The Christian right has a problem on their hands. By Christian right, I am referring to the sect that sees itself distinct from Mormons.
They seem to advocate “the lesser of two evils” approach. Just this morning I heard one such person state emphatically that he would rather vote for a Mormon, even though he believes the faith is categorically based in false doctrine, than see Obama to another term. Perhaps he missed the irony in his own position, ergo one basis of his opposition to Obama is his supposition that Obama is in fact Muslim and thereby antithetical to a Biblical Christian foundation.
Kind of opens this group to some scrutiny, doesn’t it? If they wish to maintain the distinction from the Mormon faith, as they do maintain distinction from the Muslim faith, how can a choice for either of the two front-runners in this presidential election bias from either candidate’s religious identification?
For those who are not as theologically inclined, or subscribe to beliefs outside of the monotheistic worldview, this affirms an already held notion that the differences between faiths are marginal at best. It renders, in their minds, all faith-based politics a blend of pretty much the same thing.
What I am suggesting here is the possibility that the Christian culture, the one that distinguishes itself from the Mormons who also now lay claim to being Christians, by voting for one who is a “lesser evil” in their minds will incur an unintended consequence. That being, an ascription of irrelevance to the very distinction they have long argued to maintain.
This is of course false as those who have a working knowledge of the Gospel-based faiths are fully aware that there are clear distinctions between the Mormon faith and other historical Christian faiths like Catholics, Presbyterians, etc. The theological debate is reserved for another time, but considering that those in many of the Gospel-based sects are found in the conservative right, their voting accommodations may define them as one singular group with only marginal differences in varying sects.
Perhaps the more honest approach, when facing a race between two competitors who each hold to a spiritual identity that is different from your own, is to strike the religious component from the equation altogether and choose a candidate based on other relevant factors.
Think about it.
See you out there.
Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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