Rotten to the Core: Obama’s “First Time” Video and the Democratic Party

By now everyone paying attention to the presidential race has heard of the tasteless double-entendre ad the Obama campaign has put out, comparing voting for the President to losing your virginity.  I am trying—I am failing—to imagine the astonishment if someone had suggested the like to the leaders of the Democratic party of my youth and my father’s youth.  Those men loved their country, even if their policies have led to the leviathan that now buys our submission with our own money.  There was something else besides patriotism that united men like Stevenson, Humphrey, Muskie, Scoop Jackson, McGovern, Shriver, Nunn, and Bradley.  They were men, and they understood that there are things a man does not stoop to do.

Plenty of people have noted the contempt for women that lies just beneath the sniggering ad, the supposition that women are ditzy dames who vote for dame-issues, which is another term for baby-making without baby-making.  What they are missing is the callous disregard for a group of people most devastated by the sexual revolution.

When President Obama came to office, he had the good wishes of an overwhelming majority of his countrymen.  His party controlled both houses of Congress.  He marked a turning point in the nation’s troubled history of race relations.  He had a free hand.

Nixon went to China when a McGovern could not have gone, because everyone was certain of Nixon’s hatred of communism, but not so certain of McGovern’s.  President Obama could have led a renewal of marriage among poor Americans generally and among blacks in particular, and who would have held it against him?  Not the Christians, certainly, who would have been gratified and surprised to find, in this regard, an ally in the White House.  Not blacks themselves, because they looked to him as their leader.  Not the media, who would have found themselves caught in the pincers.  President Obama could have led the moral rally that Bill Cosby has for so long wanted to lead.  He could have said, “There’s a reason why God included adultery among the things forbidden in the Ten Commandments!”  He could have said, “I wasn’t virtuous either when I was young, but I now see that that was wrong.  Fornication is not a sport.  You should marry before you do what brings children into the world.”

He could have reached out to evangelicals, of whatever race, to promote the virtue of chastity.  He could have roused the sluggardly mass media from its stupor and forced them to acknowledge how children suffer when they do not grow up with a married mother and father.  He could have visited prisons and interviewed the men about the homes where they grew up.  He did none of these things.  Instead he acted so as to inscribe the sexual revolution in granite, as a new Ten Commandments from on high.  In generations to come, this colossal cultural failure, this tremendous opportunity squandered, may loom larger than his economic failure.

When he and his people agreed to this repugnant ad, they said, “You, boy, growing up without a father, to hell with you.  We want your vote, and we’ll arrest you if you hold up a gas station, but otherwise you can go hang.”  They said, “You, girl, looking for somebody to marry and finding nobody because there aren’t that many decent men around anymore, to hell with you.  We want your vote, and we’ll burn the Constitution to provide you with artificial estrogen, and we’ll throw you a party when you give up, when you get pregnant without marriage, but as for the real loss you and your children will incur from the cultural disarray, that’s your lookout and not ours.  Besides, who needs a husband anyway?”  They said, “You, people of faith, trying desperately to keep the moral sewage out of your homes, out of your children’s lives, fighting the television and the school textbooks and the internet at once, you can go to hell.  Who cares if your children capitulate?”

Every citizen who still holds to the truth long neglected or scorned, that sex is for marriage, and children should grow up with a mother and a father, should pay heed.  We may disagree about this or that economic policy.  That is no exact science, and unforeseen events may save a bad strategy or frustrate a good one.  But no believing Christian (or Jew, or Muslim) can justify so antisocial and vicious an ad.  The people who conceived it are not on the road to corruption.  They must already have rotted all the way through.


Anthony Esolen is the author or translator of 28 books, most recently In the Beginning Was the Word: An Annotated Reading of the Prologue of John (Angelico Press), No Apologies: How Civilization Depends upon the Strength of Men (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord, a book-length poem made up of 100 poems centered on the life of Christ. He has also begun a web magazine called Word and Song, on classic hymns, poetry, language, and film. He is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

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