Allow me a slight flight of intellectual fancy, as I consider the uproar of recent weeks over (of all things) the off-the-cuff (and therefore remarkably poised) answer given by a beauty pageant contestant. Consider, if you will, the following slightly altered scenario.
The question from Mr. Perez Hilton:
“Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
“I will tell you that I don’t believe in gay marriage.”
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”
Therefore, with history as our guide, we must assume that Mr. Hilton’s response to Mr. Obama would be this:
“Hello! Okay! So, I just saw the videos of Barack Obama’s answers, and I HAVE to make a video blog! Everybody’s going to be talking about it! The ‘youtube’ moment of the campaign, when Obama was asked the question, and when he gave THE worst answer in political history, he got boo’ed! I think that was the first time in political history EVER that a candidate has been boo’ed! Now let me explain to you. He’s wrong, not because he didn’t believe in gay marriage. Barack Obama’s wrong because he’s a dumb ba***rd! Okay? A dumb ba***rd!
“Well, if I was [sic] Barack Obama, with half a brain, I would have said, ‘Hmm. That’s a great question. That’s a very hot topic in our country right now, and I think that that is a question that each state should decide for themselves [sic], because that’s how our forefathers designed our government, you know, the states rule themselves and there are certain laws that are federal.’
“He could have said something along those lines, but he DIDN’T! He gave an awful, awful answer which alienated so many people. And he wants to be the President of the United States? The President doesn’t alienate! He unites! He inspires!
“I’m SO disappointed in Barack Obama representing my country — not because he doesn’t believe in gay marriage — but because he doesn’t inspire and he doesn’t UNITE! And that is what a President of the United States should!
“And I could NOT BELIEVE when he became the Democratic Presidential nominee! If I had been there — I sh*t you not! — I would have gone up on stage, snatched that microphone out of his hand, and run out the door! And then I would probably have been arrested, but you know what? [snap fingers in outrage] So be it! Oh!!
Okay. I need a cocktail now!”
The “Hilton Reply,” of course, comes almost verbatim from his reply to beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean. Disregarding the fact that the reply Mr. Hilton says he would have preferred from Ms Prejean was more rambling than her impromptu answer, he begs his own question almost immediately. He says he was NOT disappointed in her answer “because she doesn’t believe in gay marriage.” So why, then? He asked her personal opinion about the question of same-sex marriage. And she gave it. He didn’t ask her knowledge of American political science or Constitutional authority.
Could it be that Mr. Hilton was far more disingenuous than he would have us believe? Surely NOT, because as we know, Mr. Hilton inspires and unites.