Unless something wildly unexpected takes place in the next week and a half, the Democratic Party is going to lose a large number of seats in both the U.S. House and Senate. That’s happening not because Americans support the Republican agenda. Polls consistently show that Americans disapprove of the Republican Party just about as much as they disapprove of the Democratic Party.
The reason that the Democratic Party is having such a hard time is that it has failed to differentiate itself from the Republican Party. Too many Democratic politicians support the same rotten political ideas that brought the Republican Party down in 2008.
Jack Conway, Democratic senate candidate from Kentucky, is a leading example of what’s gone wrong with the Democratic Party. Desperate to gain a lead over his opponent, Rand Paul, Conway has created a television advertisement with the following message:
“Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible a hoax and was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ? Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his god was Aqua Buddha? Why does Rand Paul now want to end all federal faith-based initiatives, and even end the deduction for religious charities? Why are there so many questions about Rand Paul?”
The message of this campaign commercial is clear: Rand Paul should not be elected to the Senate because he’s not really a Christian. Conway’s implication: Anyone who questions Christianity isn’t qualified to serve in Congress.
Rand Paul isn’t just a victim of religious bigotry, of course. Paul himself has suggested that there ought to be Islam-free zones in the United States, to show sensitivity to the feelings of Christians.
Rand Paul and Jack Conway are in a battle to demonstrate to Kentucky voters who can show the most disrespect to the Constitution’s requirements of freedom of religion and separation of church and state. The Democrat in such a situation ought to be the one to take a step back and speak up for the idea that whatever a person believes or does not believe about religion, it’s a private matter. Religious belief or disbelief shouldn’t have any impact on a person’s right to stand as an equal to every other citizen in the United States.
Jack Conway doesn’t support those ideals, though. He’d rather descend into the hateful use of religion as a political tool to divide Americans. He cares more about his own political career than he does about religious freedom.
It’s sad, but Jack Conway is far from alone among democratic politicians. Large numbers of Democratic candidates are adopting harsh right wing ideology in an attempt to beat Republicans at their own game.
It’s a stupid strategy. Americans who don’t respect liberty already have a political party – the Republicans. On the other hand, Americans who do respect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution don’t have much of a choice anymore. They look at Democrats like Jack Conway and rightly wonder why they should bother to rally to the defense of the Democratic Party in this year’s elections.