Monday, October 28, 1996

Week of 10/28/1996

Of Perspectives..
- by David Matthews 2

This week there was some rather significant revelations coming out in the news. One was historic, the other political.

For starters, it was revealed by the leader of the Catholic Church that perhaps the theories of evolution were "more than just hypothesis." It may not seem like much, but in perspective it is significant. In the annals of history, this is akin to the admission that perhaps Copernicus wasn’t wrong about the Earth revolving around the sun.

It has always been said by those who have sought a middle ground between Creationism and Evolution that while Evolution has explained the "how" to Creationism’s "why." But those on the side of Creationism have remained defiant against any deviation to what they believe to be the truth. Perhaps now that the source of that defiance, the Catholic Church, has conceded that evolution is neither against the teachings of the Church nor perhaps a contradiction of Creationism, that middle ground can be established.

The debate about the origins of the universe has always been one that has divided theologians and scientists, preachers and teachers, faith and curiosity. The admission from the Catholic Church that perhaps both could coexist could go a long way in restoring the difference between science and the church.

The second revelation came from presidential wannabe Bob Dole. In the span of a week, the Dole campaign reached out for support to the one party it has repeatedly bashed - the Reform Party. The Dole campaign, saddled with what seems to be an unwinable situation, asked Ross Perot not only to step down from the campaign, but to then ENDORSE him. And when Perot said no, Dole intensified the attacks against a candidate most pundits consider to be inconsequential in this race, saying that "a vote for Perot is a vote for (Bill) Clinton."

This is, in the minds of many third party supporters, what the problem is all about - dirty tricks and self-centered interests by career politicians who will do ANYTHING to get elected or re-elected. We are, in this writer’s opinion, seeing the REAL Bob Dole now- the old man who is desperate to win, who will resort to mud-slinging and half-truths to get what he wants. The "Grumpy Old Man" of Washington DC is back .. with a vengeance!

But more than that, Bob Dole’s reaching out to Ross Perot for support shows just how CLUELESS he and the GOP are about not only Perot but for any and all third parties running in this campaign. Dole supporters have repeatedly bashed third parties such as the reformers and the libertarians all through this campaign by continuing a zero-sum lie that voting for anyone other than Dole is a vote for Clinton. How little they remember history! Four years ago, few people ever said that voting for anyone other than Clinton was a vote for George Bush. And even Abraham Lincoln- to whom Bob Dole says the GOP STILL represents - was the odd man out of a FOUR man race in 1860 between himself, Democratic rival Stephen Douglas, John Breckenridge (who also ran as a Democrat), and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party (which was a short-lived party for many of the former Whig supporters). Would the rally cry back then have been "voting for anyone but Douglas would be a vote for Breckenridge?" Or "voting for anyone but Bell would be a vote for Douglas?"

The truth of the matter is that whoever you vote for is a vote for that person against ALL others. Period. Voting for one candidate takes votes away from ALL other candidates, not just one rival party. And to continuously perpetrate a LIE based on zero-sum paranoia shows not only how unrealistic that party is, but also how utterly deplorable that candidate is because he or she cannot find a solid, legitimate reason for people to vote FOR them. Is that what the Dole campaign want to show the voters?

Two perspectives. One of enlightenment, the other of ignorance. It is a pity that the former has gained more public attention than the latter.

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