The Uninspired Manifesto
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Conservative Republican Bobby Jindal Elected Louisiana Governor
In a widely expected victory Saturday night, Bobby Jindal, a 36-year old Republican congressman, won the Louisiana gubernatorial election, becoming the nation's first governor of Indian-American descent and the youngest chief executive of any state. Jindal took 54% of the vote in the state's off-year open primary, the first since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and became the first non-white politician to hold the state's highest office since Reconstruction. Jindal, one of the few young rising stars in the GOP ran on a strong reform platform. "Don't let anyone talk badly about Louisana," he said during his Saturday night victory speech at a Baton Rouge Holiday Inn. "Those days [of corruption and incompetence] are officially over. There has never been a clearer mandate for our state."
I bring this up because of some disturbing comments I read in a previous Time article:
A Catholic convert who grew up in a Hindu household, Jindal has made his name by aligning himself with the cultural conservative wing of the Republican Party, fiercely opposing stem cell research and abortion while favoring the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools. The strategy has helped his standing among the state's conservative Christian voters, and helped him overcome the twin liabilities (in some circles) of intellectualism and ethnicity — traits that arouse suspicion in some of Louisiana's rural stretches, and that many say also helped tip the scales against him in 2003.
I've talked about my time in Lousisana High School's before on this blog, and it serves to point out that only someone who has spent time in a rural Louisiana school knows how depleted the church-state seperation already is. To the point where the Biology teacher, whose class I sat in on occasionaly throughtout my senior year, started every lecture on evolution with "I in no way agree with this theory, but..."
If Jindal proposes a bill to introduce Intelligent Design into classrooms, there is no doubt in my mind that it will pass, and when it does, it will the first in a line of bill that will systematically break down scientific adanvcement throughout the state. There are far too many people in Lousisana, including members of my own fucking family (how sad is that), that believe religion should play a much more prominent role in public life. It's this kind of ignorance I fought so hard against in my schools, and whatever progress I told myself I made to get to sleep at night, will be wiped away by asshole fundameltalist politicians so they can get more votes.
At least I don't live there anymore...