The Texas GOP platform for 2010 has been out for a while now. From my casual skimming of reviews and analyses, the general sense and direction of the party line didn’t seem to have changed much; and so, in a shameful victory of sloth over principle, I absolved myself of reading the actual document and went to the pool. Or the river, or the grocery store, or the dentist – anywhere, in fact, rather than a quiet place in which I could closely read for myself the principles of the majority political party of the state in which I was born, raised and once again live.
But if my conscience sleeps soundly, my curiosity has a terminal case of insomnia, and last week I holed up at La Taza, fortified my flagging resolution with a large latte and two palmiers and began to read. And read. And at last I understand, both intellectually and at a gut level, the hopes, fears and way of life of the Texas Republican. The platform is more than a statement of beliefs. It’s a signpost, a guide to the kind of life an honorable, principled Republican aspires to lead and the vices he struggles to avoid – because of course, no decent human being would hypocritically urge his beliefs upon society without striving to live them himself. The following is a small sampling of what I learned about the private lives of my neighbors of the GOP persuasion.
- No blowjobs. No, not even from his lawfully wedded wife (who must also be a “natural woman”). Although Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code banning “deviate sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex” was declared unconstitutional some years ago (despite a fierce fight from Texas conservatives), I notice that the definitions at the beginning of the statute stand unaltered and are not specific to gender. “Deviate sexual intercourse” still means any mouth-to-genital-or-anus contact, any touching of the breasts or other naughty bits to cause arousal, and nowhere does the statute say, “except between legally married spouses.” I can’t say for certain, not being a paragon of sexual purity myself, but “deviate” sure sounds negative to me, and as a true believer would naturally wish to set an example in private life as well as public, the honorable Republican must abstain from fellatio, cunnilingus, breast fondling, non-incidental clitoral contact, ass-grabbing, recreational spanking and anything inserted anywhere other than a penis into a vagina. Oh, and no butt sex.
- No no-fault divorce. “Better to remain married in Hell than lose the big argument in Heaven,” appears to be the reasoning here. Two people living in misery and creating a toxic environment for their children doesn’t give one partner (generally the wife, according to the father’s rights groups who equate no-fault divorce with the confiscation of their children) the right to end the marriage over the objections of the other. After all, it took two people and God to create that special sanctified Inferno; why provide an easy out for the one who cries “uncle” first? Someone needs to accept blame; someone needs to be punished for dissolving that sacred bond. And if the corollary is that once again adultery and criminal behavior affect custodial disputes… well, she’ll have to prove it, won’t she? Good luck with that, stay-at-home Republican wife with no outside income.
- No pornography. Not for adults, not for married couples. Not written, not filmed. Not in a box and definitely not with a fox (I totally agree with the fox part, by the way). No sex-oriented businesses – which until 2008 included the sale of vibrators, dildos and all other sex toys, those silicone sources of perversion, adultery and the breakup of marriages, according to State Attorney General and staunch Republican Greg Abbott. Since the majority of sex toys are still sold to women, a cynic might be tempted to question the motives of Mr. Abbott and his ilk… but no. If his wife is denied a quick, uncomplicated orgasm and a good night’s sleep, the honorable Republican is also certainly denying himself a beer and a wank with the help of YouPorn in the office late at night. Absolutely. No doubt about it.
- So far, I’ve focused on the restrictions of Republican life: God-sanctioned, party-approved, but still a series of negative actions, things a good Texas conservative should not do. That may not be fair. The GOP platform, like the Bible, is not simply a series of proscriptions – it’s a manual for right thinking and a beacon in life’s darkest moments. For example, if the honorable Republican and his wife are blessed with a pregnancy, resulting of course from non-deviate sexual intercourse strictly for the sake of procreation, and if some dire medical condition should arise during that pregnancy, the 2010 State Republican Party Platform has taken all the burden of wrenching medical decisions on itself. No matter if the baby will be born to a brief life of agonizing pain and certain early death. No matter if carrying the baby to term will kill the mother or paralyze her for life. Pro-life is not only for poor people, feminazis or the immoral sluts who use baby-killing as birth control. Pro-life – pro-fetal life at all costs – is for the honorable Republican as well. After all, a wife dying ethically, if preventably, is a far, far better thing than divorce. And he can always marry again.
Then there’s raising children… but that’s another complex facet of the life of the honorable Republican.