Time for a bedtime story - are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, a bright, vivacious girl who was easily bored and had a tendency towards grandeur had a big adventure. This adventure took her from a humdrum Midwestern life, plopped her in the middle of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party Caucus, from where she battled the Democratic Jabberwocky and found herself Queen of the White House.
Michele Bachmann's candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S presidential election may not be the figment of Lewis Carroll's imagination, but it is just as delusional as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The fact is, the office of President of the United States should never be open to someone who claims they decided to run for office as a result of a 'calling' from God. Bachmann bared her evangelical teeth when she referenced God six times in her candidacy announcement. She even threw a Bible-thumping Holy Scriptures quote in for good measure. It is surely only a matter of time before a ceiling of commonsense starts to close in on her presidential ambitions.
Setting aside my own personal view that 'God callings' are like Alice's hallucinations after she ate the caterpillar's mushrooms, I strongly believe in Bachmann's right to believe in them. She can preach, convert, pray, prophesize to her heart's content as far as I am concerned. Indeed, she can even represent the 'God Fearing' people that she claims makes up her state in Congress, if they choose for her to do so. I can say this and feel this because I am a liberal. I don't think in black and white, I see the value in grey areas.
For evangelicals like Buchmann, grey is a wishy-washy sea of fear. Their beliefs are unwavering and set in stone. They make choices based on their own narrow set of beliefs and trust in their 'faith' to help them make decisions. That kind of gut instinct, closed-minded leadership may be appropriate for a congresswoman, who is probably doing a good job of representing the belief system of some of the people in her state, but it is thoroughly mismatched to role of President of the United States.
Can a president be evangelical and still be truly democratic? Should a President not respect, protect and nuture all the belief systems and lifestyles of his or her citizens? Doesn't that require an open-minded, pragmatic approach to decision making? What would happen if God decided to put Buchmann on speed dial and started telling her to do crazy stuff, like invade other countries? Okay, first he'd have to swap out George Bush's name for hers. What if he tells her that homosexuality is not normal and that global warming is a myth. Oh, my bad! He has apparently been telling her that for years.
'Black and White' is not always a bad thing. Sir John Tenniel's black and white illustrations in the original publication of Alice in Wonderland conveyed as much color and movement as the Disney adaptation that followed almost one hundred years later. Sometimes a time comes when a President will need to make very difficult decisions that require clear thinking. The problem comes when politicians try to adapt their own narrow, small town view of who Americans are and apply it to an entire nation. It is simply delusional.
Let's hope that the Tea Party Movement's strategy for the 2012 Presidential election will be just like the Dodo's 'Caucus Race', with everyone running in a pointless little circle with no clear winner. Until then, I'll be watching Buchmann fall down the rabbit hole of self delusion while grinning like the Cheshire Cat.