What would the Swamp People do?
Perhaps the American political arena could learn something from the alligator hunters.
If the right in the U.S. employed more enthusiastic spokespeople for their way of life they may find more converts. The fallout from President Obama’s historic vocal support of gay marriage has produced a cacophony of opinions from all over the political landscape. While listening to some of the right’s talking heads the other day, I realized that they seem to lack a noticeable passion for their position.
Take Gary Bauer, for example. Bauer is currently President of American Values. This non-profit’s mission statement reads, in part, that they are committed to “defending…traditional marriage.” Bauer supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. When he is interviewed by the U.S. media, he presents a coherent and collected stance. However, it is said with all the zest of a dinner salad. I would like to see a little spunk when some of these people speak on their position.
The very description, “sanctity of marriage” is a pretty strong statement when read in the print media, however, I have yet to hear this phrase spoken as if it’s really believed. I agree that if I held the position that same-sex marriage was a corrosive concept to society, it would be hard to say it passionately in light of Kim Kardashian’s brief and perplexing “I do’s” and the Octomom’s penchant for videotaped masturbation sessions while her children run naked in a house without plumbing.
My suggestion for spokespeople for the sanctity of marriage and the importance of traditional family values are the Swamp People. If you have yet to see this cable channel’s depiction of life in the Louisiana bayou, it is a must see. Swamp People follows the lives of families who make their living hunting alligators. The program focuses on friends and relatives who hunt as teams during the one-month long alligator season.
It isn’t the wind blowing in a toothless young man’s hair as his boat careens through the waterways or the endless single gunshots to the heads of these giants that is the object of my fascination. Rather, it is these Cajuns’ passion for their lifestyle. You hear it in every semi-scripted word they utter in their unique Acadian drawl and see it in the countless high fives they trade at the end of a long day.
They believe in their traditional way of life for them and their families and in the swamps that support them all. They energetically and convincingly speak of being the luckiest people around despite their challenging and dangerous way of life. It is this enthusiasm that is so lacking when it comes to the people who step out to speak on behalf of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Statistically speaking, this population of about 200,000 is largely heterosexual and they seem really happy about it.
I am sure that my perspective clouds my ability to be swept away by the public spokespersons for the “right” on this topic, but if I were their marketing consultants I would tell them that a little passion for their beliefs might translate into a few more “ayes.” They are just totally unconvincing when they speak of the beliefs behind their bullet points.
Swamp personality Troy Landry should replace Gary Bauer as spokesman for marriage between a man and a woman. Maybe I had better not give “them” any ideas, especially good ones, about selling the unconvinced. I figure that Landry is probably too busy being a man about the swamp; providing for his ever-growing family. I don’t think he would even bother to opine about who should love whom and who shouldn’t.
Probably when you have been out hunting alligators all day long, you don’t want to come home and be petty and hateful towards your neighbors. This is the lesson to be learned from the Swamp People: wrestle a few alligators and then see if you have enough energy at the end of the day to passionately advocate for your concept of the perfect society.