The Country of Pig People..

02 Jan

Zeke Miller wrote about Rick Santorum’s concerning popularity in Iowa:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and his aides were frantically refreshing laptops and phones to see the results of Saturday’s Des Moines Register poll yesterday evening, results that showed him within striking distance of Mitt Romney, but it probably didn’t matter: The last surging Republican candidate is uniquely ill-suited to snatch the nomination from Mitt Romney.

Miller is right that Santorum won’t win the nomination, but I disagree that it doesn’t matter. It’s frankly as depressing as my high school prom night that a candidate “within striking distance” in Iowa of the likely nominee is someone who, in 2012, says things like this:

“Diversity creates conflict. If we celebrate diversity, we create conflict,” Santorum told the audience in Ottumwa.

Well, that’s not good. It’s also oddly familiar. Where have I previously heard such sentiments expressed?

“I say to you now…I say to you now that there is no such thing as a permissive society, because such a society cannot exist! They will scream at you and rant and rave and conjure up some dead and decadent picture of an ancient time when they said that all men are created equal! But to them equality was an equality of opportunity, an equality of status, an equality of aspiration! And then, in what must surely be the pinnacle of insanity, the absolute in inconsistency, they would have had us believe that this equality did not apply to form, to creed. They permitted a polyglot, accident-bred, mongrel-like mass of diversification to blanket the earth, to infiltrate and weaken! Well, we know now that there must be a single purpose! A single norm! A single approach! A single entity of peoples! A single virtue! A single morality! A single frame of reference! A single philosophy of government! We cannot permit… we must not permit the encroaching sentimentality of a past age to weaken our resolve. We must cut out all that is different like a cancerous growth! It is essential in this society that we not only have a norm, but that we conform to that norm. Differences weaken us. Variations destroy us. An incredible permissiveness to deviation from this norm is what has ended nations and brought them to their knees. Conformity we must worship and hold sacred. Conformity is the key to survival.”
The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”

I often think of this “Twilight Zone” episode when I hear Santorum, or Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry rant against homosexuality. Donna Douglas’s character is seeking a “cure” for her “condition,” one that causes no harm to those who wish to marginalize her. Her “crime” is being different, and as we see, there’s no “cure” for that. Douglas is revealed to be beautiful underneath the bandages, and her tormentors ugly. But there’s more to it than that. What writer Rod Serling was really saying is that we become twisted, inhuman when we refuse to see the worth of others.

Even if Romney — who is hardly a champion of diversity but at least his primary residence is the planet Earth — wins on Tuesday, the majority of votes will be cast for Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. These are all votes cast to make the United States a country of pig people.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Political Theatre, Pop Life


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