It’s been awhile since I’ve been as furious with a public figure as I am right now with Dr. James Dobson. I’ll begin this post with his post:
Now, my outrage at his statement is not for the reason, or at least not primarily, for the reason you might think: it’s not because he says that he will not vote for John McCain. I happen to think that that decision is merely incredibly stupid, a lapse in judgment, a big mistake borne of a rigid, inflexible commitment to lockstep orthodoxy on every point (can you tell I think that it’d be stupid not to support John McCain? I do. And I say that, as readers of the Zone know, as a person who considers McCain to be quite the mediocre choice for president in many, many respects, and as a strong supporter of Mike Huckabee.). But even though I consider McCain, for his many foibles and inconsistencies, to nonetheless be so far superior to either Socialist potential nominee at this incredibly important stage of our national history that voting for him isn’t even a very hard call, I can understand to at least some degree how a person might decide not to vote for McCain, much in the same way I decided long ago that, for me, Rudy Giuliani was a bridge too far. Fair enough; good people can disagree on the worthiness of McCain to receive a vote. It’s not for that reason that I believe Dr. Dobson to be inexcusably irresponsible (so if you write in to comment, don’t even talk about John McCain. This post is not about John McCain). Rather, I refer you to one sentence taken from the middle of his statement. Speaking of Mrs. Bill Clinton (or Barack the Wonder Boy), and John McCain, Dobson said:
If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life.
Those words are infuriating. They represent a gross abdication of his responsibility, a betrayal of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship in our nation. It is an irresponsible act not to vote in a presidential election. And given his stature as a statesman on moral issues, to advocate this staggering irresponsibility is inexcusable. Thousands of brave Americans have given their lives so we could have the right to vote. For Dr. Dobson to lift up spitting on their graves, taking a cowardly pass on the responsibility of voting, is reprehensible. Can’t vote for the Republican or the Socialist? Fine. Vote third party (I’ve done that). Write in a candidate (I’ve done that). Vote for yourself. Vote for me (I actually got a vote in an election in Pennsylvania several years ago. Don’t remember what the contest was. Beginning and end of my political career. For now.). But to urge Americans, by his considerable example, to act in such an irresponsible manner? I’ve used up about all the adjectives I can think of to describe it.
As far as I’m concerned, unless and until Dr. James Dobson retracts that part of his statement, he has forfeited his moral authority. He has gone off the reservation. With these words, he’s not the faithful, concerned American that I always thought he was. To whatever degree he might could have been said to speak for me, he no longer does. He can keep his material, ’cause I’m no longer interested in buying what he’s selling.
Funny (in a sad way): he calls his public policy/political magazine “Citizen”. If you don’t get the irony of that, you’re not paying attention. Time to rename it “Irresponsible Citizen”.
Did I mention I was ticked?