I will not deny it. When you mention the word “Republican” to me, happy thoughts do not cross my mind. Scary images of Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, womanizer Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Jesse Helms fill my mind with images scarier than any boogeyman or Halloween costume.
Breathe, my Republican friends, there are many scary Democrats, too.
However, in my quest to be a well-rounded individual, I do read magazines and surf the internet for more than the latest Madonna, Reba, Lady Gaga, or Britney news. I like to educate myself so that when I play “Jeopardy”, I can answer questions in many categories.
So, in my quest for knowledge, I ran across an article on a Republican that I’d love to entertain over dinner. As a matter of fact, his 81st birthday is coming up next weekend. So, maybe I could have cake and ice cream with him. But, I’d probably have to go to Wyoming and I want no part of that! Sadly, the only images I have of that state are of Matthew Shepard and “Brokeback Mountain” and neither of them had a happy ending!
Former Republican U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (1979-1997) of Wyoming is one of those politicians, like President Jimmy Carter, that never stopped working for the good of the people after he left political office. Most recently, he served as the co-chairman for President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010.
In the past, Senator Simpson wrote this in the “Washington Post” about “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, “‘Gay’ is an artificial category that says little about a person. Our differences and prejudices pale next to our historic challenge.”
However, it was his bold commentary on the “Hardball With Chris Matthews” show in April 2011 that pushed Simpson toward the top of my list, Democrat or Republican.
Simpson: “You’ve got homosexuality. You’ve got, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. We have homophobes in our party. That’s disgusting to me. We’re all human beings. We’re all God’s children. Now, if they’re going to get off on that stuff, Santorum has said some cruel things. Cruel, cruel things about homosexuals. Ask him about it. See if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago, foul. Now, you know, that’s the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket, you know, it makes you sort out hard what Reagan said, you know, ‘stick with your folks.’ But I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, you know, moral values, while you’re diddling your secretary, while you’re giving a speech on moral values. Come on, get off of it.”
And, as you can tell by that quote, he’s just not about speaking out for gay rights or homophobia. Here’s what he said about abortion:
“Who the hell is for abortion? I don’t know anybody running around with a sign that says ‘Have an abortion, they’re wonderful.’ They’re hideous. But they’re a deeply intimate and personal decision and I don’t think men legislators should even vote on the issue.”
Amen! Now, if we had more politicians like Mr. Simpson and President Carter, the world would be a better place and the word “politics” would not have such a stigma.