‘U.S. Republicans: The Reawakening of Moral Intolerance’ – Le Figaro, France
From what we can gather so far from central Europe, there is little love for Sarah Palin or the McCain campaign’s apparent embrace of the Karl Rove election strategy.
Author, historian and political scientist Nicole Bacharan finds irony in the tactics used by the Republican Party, and fears that the more tolerant America that appeared to be emerging may once again be submerged under the out-sized influence of the Christian right.
“Up to now, John McCain, not much liked by his party, was trying to attract independents and moderates. The arrival of Sarah Palin radically alters this pattern: it greatly polarizes the election and has triggered an outbreak of moral intolerance in the campaign.
“There is cause to protest this equation in which a particular group – the Christian right – has a monopoly on morality, while all others are presumed to be living in debauchery. What a paradox for the Republican Party, always hostile to the encroachment of the state, to have become the champion of religious values imposed by public force!”
By Nicole Bacharan
Translated By Sandrine Ageorges
September 2, 2008
France – French – Original Article (French)
Nicole Bacharan, a specialist on American society, a historian and a political scientist, reacts to the decision of John McCain to select Sarah Palin as his running mate on the Republican ticket. She also published this week ‘The Little Book of the American Elections’ and in October, “Black Americans, from the Cotton Fields to the White House.”
In choosing Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as a candidate for the vice-presidency, John McCain has suddenly returned the well-known dispute over moral values to the heart of the election battle, after eight years of the Bush Administration had given way to real priorities (recession, terrorism, two wars and increasing tensions in the world). Up to now, John McCain, not much liked by his party, was trying to attract independents and moderates. The arrival of Sarah Palin radically alters this pattern: it greatly polarizes the electorate and has triggered an outbreak of moral intolerance in the campaign.
Why has John McCain, 72-years-old, designated as his successor in the event something should befall him if he were elected, this new comer who has little domestic policy experience and none in terms of international policy? Of course, Sarah Palin is a woman (thumb to Hillary Clinton’s nose), young (thumb to Obama’s nose), who can bring modernity and glamour to the Republican ticket. Most important for McCain is that Sarah Palin is an ultra-conservative Christian, a supporter of teaching “creationism” (which refutes the theory of evolution), a fierce anti-abortion activist; and supporter of programs that exclusively promote abstinence among adolescents and ignores contraception (a hypocrisy that her daughter is now a primary victim of). The role of this Lady of Ice is clear: to win the ultra Christian right for John McCain, which up to now has tended to shun him.
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