Jumping on the “flak bandwagon”?

I just received this AP article from Mr. Don Davis: “Brownback supports Pace’s remark on gays.”  I link to it here, as many of you have read my previous post on General Pace’s comments.

It’s hard not to be cynical when it comes to politicians.  For instance, I would like to assume the best about Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) — that he is taking a bold stand to support General Pace.  Yet, knowing he is running for president and is actively courting conservative voters, it is hard to avoid the impression that his letter of support has been written opportunistically, hoping to hop on the “flak bandwagon.”  It is hard, indeed, to resist the cynical spirit of this age!  Hard, too, to distinguish cynicism from discernment.

Still, recognizing that the best assumptions represent acts of will, I will assume the best in the absence of evidence to the contrary.  And taking advantage of a moment to support someone standing for shared values isn’t exactly “opportunism,” in and of itself.

I do like one of the points Sen. Brownback makes:

“We should not expect someone as qualified, accomplished and articulate as General Pace to lack personal views on important moral issues,” Brownback said. “In fact, we should expect that anyone entrusted with such great responsibility will have strong moral views.”

This brings up the question: Is the outrage about General Pace’s comments because he expressed his opinions publicly or because he holds those opinions at all?  Our society greases its gears liberally with the oil of pretense, so I would not be surprised if the former is the case.  But increasingly, I suspect it is the latter.  More and more often, even holding to such views means to some that you are somehow mentally deficient.

I have wondered if the whole General Pace issue would quickly become old news, but if any of our current batch of presidential candidates feels he or she can get some traction out of it, expect to hear more.  And I would think that staunchly conservative candidates, like Sen. Brownback seems to be, can get more traction than most (a conclusion which, I think, is bolstered by the strained and delayed responses of Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton to the remarks).

2 thoughts on “Jumping on the “flak bandwagon”?

  1. Was the uproar because Gen. Pace expressed his views publicly or because he holds those views at all? On the empirical and prophetic evidence about our society as a whole, the logical answer is “both”.

    An apropos tangent: I recall reading — it might have been in one of the publications of God’s Church — that in the U.S. the bisexual community is many times larger than the homosexual community. If memory serves the former is definable as those who have a bisexual tendency and/or who participate in bisexual activity; and the percentage in society who fit those qualifications is not small. The “gays” likely would not be as influential as they are were it not for that fact. Maybe we are seeing a manifestation of a phenomenon I’ve seen in other issues of life in this “Laodicean” era: you have a relatively small group of people at one pole (purely heterosexual), another relatively small group at the other (purely homosexual), and a relatively large group of people in the middle who are pulled from both directions at once and can’t choose between them (bisexual). Or maybe it’s even worse than that: the whole society is on a toboggan slide and those in the back are desperately trying to put on the brakes before the toboggan goes off a cliff.

  2. Howdy, Mr. Wheeler —

    I would have to agree that both possibilities add to the uproar, but I still wonder which one is most responsible for its volume level.

    Also, I’d have to see the definitions used of “bisexual” and “purely heterosexual” before I was willing to believe that the “purely heterosexual” represented a “relatively small group.” Though given how bisexuality is increasingly portrayed in the media as a positive lifestyle alternative, I would not be surprised if the group’s numbers are growing.

    Have a great Sabbath!
    Wallace Smith

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