Sunday, February 26, 2012

great debate

On Wednesday I was on the elliptical machine, flipping through the channels trying to find something that would take my mind off the exercise. Usually a sporting event can do the trick. Football is the best, and Red Sox baseball a close second. Basketball can keep my mind off the repetitive movement, but on this Wednesday whatever the game was, it did not gain my attention. Instead of watching with interest, I thought mostly about how much longer I needed to be on the machine.

But then I found the Republican debate between Paul, Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney. I found this engaging. Each of the candidates was trying to outconservative the other, with no candidate missing an opportunity to say something nasty about President Obama. I am a fan of Obama so it was not the nastiness I found engaging, but the competitiveness of each to try to outdo the other in terms of how much to the right they were, and how much in the wrong was Obama.

The most confounding part of the debate and most entertaining occurred when the four candidates were asked questions about contraception and their voting records on birth control legislation. The four vying to be the chief executive of the United States were all over each other accusing one adversary or the other of being soft on abortion, contraception and--my favorite--abstinence campaigns.

Each candidate (though I did note some reluctance from Gingrich) talked about how they were in favor of messages related to abstinence and abhorred planned parenthood because groups of that ilk introduced contraception to be used instead of abstinence.

The way these people talked about abstinence made me wonder who in the world they thought their audience was. It does not seem to me that people I know think wistfully about the times they abstained. When I get together with men, and women, who are friends I never hear them talk about how swell it was back in college when they dated A or B, and were able to hold off from their natural urges. On the contrary actually.

I am a subscriber to Sports Illustrated magazine.Coincidentally, the swimsuit issue was delivered to my post office box this week.For not the first time, I will guess the third, in the last several years, my copy of this particular issue of SI came in a clear plastic container. On the cover of the container was ink printed words apologizing that in transit they regret that my magazine was damaged. The cover had been torn off. I do not think the cover of a seductive woman was torn off by some post office employee determined to rid the world of risque photos. My guess, is that this issue is of interest to those who deliver the mail.

I also notice that this issue of SI is the fattest of all my SI issues. That is not because there are more photos in it. It is because there are more advertisements in it. There are more advertisements in it, because there are more readers for this issue and advertisers like to advertise in publications with large readership. There are more readers in this issue because, go figure, people like to think about and have sex.

Abstinence programs are foolish. Explaining to teenagers the hazards of promiscuity in terms of potential disease or unwanted pregnancies, does make sense. However, betting abstinence will be the result of some lectures, is like taking East Tennessee State against Duke. Not a safe bet. Sex is a natural drive.

Moreover, trying to convince people not to have sex is hypocritical. The only people who think abstinence is a good idea are those who are not abstaining. Those who are abstaining don't hop out of bed in the morning, saying "man, this abstaining thing is great" they are looking at personal ads, hoping to get into a position so that they will not be abstaining.

These four candidates who talked about the wonders of abstinence training, made me think that it is likely that a majority of citizens will abstain from voting for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment