Just Above Sunset
June 27, 2004: The Children of Conservatives

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"We are reformers in spring and summer.  In autumn and winter we stand by the old.  Reformers in the morning; conservatives at night.  Reform is affirmative; conservatism negative.  Conservatism goes for comfort; reform for truth."

     - Ralph Waldo Emerson


The late Ronald Reagan's son Ron has been doing a lot of interviews this last week – Larry King’s show, Tim Matthew’s show and many others.  He’s not a conservative.  He argues passionately for the government to fund embryonic stem-cell research in spite of the objections of the conservative Christian right who say such research is no more than murder.  He calls that position “shameful.” 


He also says he could never be a Republican because he could join a party that aligns itself with “racists, homophobes and bigots.”  He didn’t vote for Bush in the last election. 


He is personable and articulate - MSNBC hired him to provide election coverage this year.  But he says he says he himself could never run for office because he’s an atheist, and that disqualifies him for office in America now.


Well, he may have other problems.  Although he’s happily married to a woman, he DID used to dance for the Joffery Ballet.  Ah, yep….


There is an interview with him in this week's Sunday New York Times Magazine that covers all this.


What does he say in the Times about his father?


How do you account for all the glowing obituaries of him?


I think it was a relief for Americans to look at pictures of something besides men on leashes.  If you are going to call yourself a Christian - and I don't - then you have to ask yourself a fundamental question, and that is: Whom would Jesus torture?  Whom would Jesus drag around on a dog's leash?  How can Christians tolerate it?  It is unconscionable.  It has put our young men and women who are over there, fighting a war that they should not have been asked to fight - it has put them in greater danger.


What does he say about Dick Cheney?


How did your mother feel about being ushered to her seat by President Bush?


Well, he did a better job than Dick Cheney did when he came to the rotunda.  I felt so bad.  Cheney brought my mother up to the casket, so she could pay her respects.  She is in her 80's, and she has glaucoma and has trouble seeing.  There were steps, and he left her there.  He just stood there, letting her flounder.  I don't think he's a mindful human being.  That's probably the nicest way I can put it.


And this next election?


One thing that Buddhism teaches you is that every moment is an opportunity to change.  And we will have a moment in November to make a big change.


Well, maybe.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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