John McCain gave an interview to BeliefNet, a web site that deals with church-state issues, and earned some unhappy headlines by asserting that the United States was founded upon the Christian religion. This is ground I've already gone over, but apparently the main points can't be repeated often enough for people like Senator McCain. He tries to weasel his words almost immediately, noting that ours is a Christian nation "in the broadest sense," but no sense of the phrase can be so broad as to encompass nothingness, and there is no mention of God as creator or bestower of rights anywhere in the Constitution. As I wrote before, the only reference of any kind to God is in the dating of the document to "the year of our Lord" 1787. Perhaps McCain presumes that the Founding principles derive from Christian principles, but that needs to be proved rather than asserted. Unless someone is willing to make a learned argument, any assertion such as McCain made is self-evidently wrong. But if he seems singularly stupid, that's because he was dumb enough to go on the record where it would be reported to the wider world. Does anyone doubt that other, or all Republican candidates believe the same thing?
We were probably wrong all along in believing McCain to be an enemy of the Religious Right. His famous comments from 2000 now appear to be petty whining over the fact that the pastors had chosen another man, the usual complaint against sour grapes in a political form. Now still hopeful of their endorsement for 2008, the fool curries favor in spite of every statement of distrust from the Bible-belters toward the man who insulted them back then. Even if McCain was sincere in his criticism seven years ago, he's clearly sold out now. If that's so, that's another reason to deplore the American Bipolarchy. In an ideal nation, presuming the McCain of 2000 was a sincere man, he might have tried to build a new movement that more definitely expressed his own views, some of which continue to go against conservative orthodoxy, e.g. on campaign financing. For that matter, he might have gone third party that year and changed history whether he won or not. Instead, like all his peers, he would rather take power than make power. He wants the brand name and fundraising apparatus of the Republican party, so he must kowtow to all the powerful factions that comprise the "base." He compromises his own character, such as it may be, to conform to brand-name expectations. Rather than, for instance, meeting with blacks or other minorities to discuss how his ideas could help them (see below), he'd rather shout hallelujah like the French King who decided, against his own beliefs, that Paris was worth a mass.
Some people will tell you that it's a good thing that the Bipolarchy compels people to compromise their principles and moderate their demands, since we would not want radical ideas discussed in our legislature or, heaven forfend, taken to the streets. Be warned: when you hear such stuff, it's a pod person talking, like the one called John McCain.