Every election, whether it is for a local school board spot, a state governor or the White House, there are some candidates who can only be described as “out there.” The guy running on a platform of legalizing marijuana – for medicinal and recreational use, Ralph Nader and his Green Party, and dozens of others. What makes these candidates so “out there” is that, no matter how much money they raise or how many elections they run in, their views are wildly disparate from those that the rest of us hold. Which means that no matter how bizarre their speeches or strange their platforms, most Americans can rest easy knowing that their chances of being elected are slim to none.
But what do you call a candidate who believes that Ohio’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” which will outlaw abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks of gestation, is something that should be rolled out to the rest of the country?
What do you call a candidate for President who signs a law in his home state which, were it not for the intervention of a federal judge, would force women seeking abortions to have (and pay for) sonograms and listen to the fetal heartbeat at least 24 hours prior to having their abortions?
Or a man who wants to lead our country while forcing women who were the victims of sexual assault or incest to attest to that in writing before obtaining abortions?
This week, I have to call him Rick Perry, a man who the latest polls by ABC News and the Washington Post is in the lead to become the Republican contender in next year’s Presidential election. Which either means that there is a lack of would be Republican candidates who care about woman or that there are more than just a few Republican voters who agree with Mr. Perry, who has been criticized for preferring to hew to an antiquated “Just Say No” style abstinence education plan in Texas, where he is Governor, rather than combat that state’s teen pregnancy rates, which have skyrocketed to become one of the highest in the country with more than 60 out of every 1,000 teenage Texan girls becoming pregnant.
What do you call Rick Perry, when he says that his abstinence only program “works” after being faced with those statistics? Or the flock of pundits, politicians and voters who seem set on promoting his bizarre set of misogynistic values?
I’m calling it scary – what about you?