I was going to write a scathing and witty account of how Ann Coulter's appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference is the latest example of our severely bigoted discursive undercurrent in the United States, but what has shocked me the most is how worthless this discussion actually is.
Let us place this event in perspective: Thousands of conservatives from across the country, including most of the Republican hopefuls in the 2008 presidential race, met at an Action Conference. The most action-packed, news-worthy result of this conference was that some white woman called some other white guy (Democratic senator and presidential candidate John Edwards) a "faggot," and a few thousand conservatives laughed. I'm sorry, this was an "action conference?" In CPAC's defense, I should note that Salon.com reports that the Conference also featured booths where attendees could play Dance Dance Revolution, an admittedly action-packed game.
What are we as citizens to take from this? Millions of dollars were invested in the conservative cause this weekend so that college students and old important white people could laugh, cry and play video games in a convention center while simultaneously patting themselves on the backs and kicking themselves in the butt.
My intention is not merely to attack conservatives, because really everyone is at fault here. Edwards, who himself is an action-oriented candidate, used the opportunity to beg $100,000 in "Coulter-Cash" from his supporters. I mean, he also called Coulter's comments despicable or some synonymous phrase, but the important thing is that he asked for money. If a politicians toilet were overflowing, I guarantee you he would raise money before he would reach for the plunger.
So what are we supposed to be doing, if not what we are doing already? Well, when is our government going to get out of a country that does not seem to want us there and stop doing something most of us do not seem to want it to do? And how? Can someone please tell me what it means to "support our troops?" There goes another horrifying euphemism to which both parties have fallen victim. Bras and jockstraps provide support; America needs to start providing solutions for our troops.
When am I going to be able to marry the woman I would like to marry? Stop calling us names and please start talking about how gays are deviant again; at least you were actually "doing" something about it and certainly doing more than our so-called progressive Democrats, who have been playing ostrich in the sand for the past eight years. I could probably find someone willing to marry me before our government had a frank discussion about gay marriage, and thats saying something.
Why hasnt any political leader -- candidate or not -- so much as mentioned any of our Millennium Development Goals? Surely those of us at St. Olaf have heard enough about these in the past few years, but if we remember anything it is that the United States pledged 0.7 percent of its annual budget, but has still not been able to meet this goal. This is not the Senior Giving Campaign, America -- we have promised to aid developing nations that are depending on our support. If our candidates in their current positions as senators and governors do not have any interest in holding our government accountable for its diplomatic promises, how can we expect them to behave as our leader?
The problem with last week's CPAC conference was not who called whom what, but that we are a nation of euphemism-loving talkers. When action translates into slurs, video games and obscene campaign spending what, pray tell, is inaction?
But seriously, do you think Ann Coulter can beat John Edwards at DDR?
Staff Writer Lauren Ciechanowski is a senior from Oak Park, Ill. She majors in political science and in sociology/anthropology.