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Compassion, Texas-Style
April 21, 2001
by Ken Swann

Compassion, Texas-Style

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George W. Bush conned his voters into believing in a mythical concept known as Compassionate Conservatism. The term itself could be a Bushism, something only he understands. But is there really such an animal as a Compassionate Conservative, and just what would one look like?

There was time in Texas when Bush actually gave a Death Row inmate a 30 day reprieve. Imagine the joy. The guy actually got to find out who was the winner on Survivor. Now Bush has gone 100 days without killing anyone. So how does he cope? By increasing levels of arsenic in drinking water. This gives him at least an illusion of killing someone.

What will Bush do next to show his Compassion? Well, what would Jesus, his favorite philosopher do? First, Death Row needs a makeover. Instead of the electric chair, go with an electric Laz-E-Boy. A last meal is nice, but why not offer a last dinner theater? Send them off in style with a musical version of In Cold Blood. What a wonderful world we'll have when compassionate conservatism kicks in. We will execute criminals only if the one witness to the crime swears on a stack of bibles.

As it is, prisoners can't profit from their crimes. Let's face it: right now, death row prisoners are hot. It's time to strike while the chair is hot. How much do you think Penthouse would pay to do a spread on The Women of Death Row?

The hardest job for Bush will be persuading the N.R.A. to join him in his compassion. Gun control, to the N.R.A., means that anyone can own as many guns as he wants, as long as he's white. Perhaps a little of George W.'s compassion will rub off on them. They're against any waiting period for buying guns. Maybe with a little of that Bush compassion, they'd accept a seven-hour wait for a gun. This will give hunters a little more time to buy alcohol.

After the N.R.A., the next group he should try to enlighten would be Bob Jones University. Not exactly a party school - they do need to lighten up a bit. They just have to ask themselves "What would George W. do?" He would be able to tell them himself if he gave their commencement speech - unfortunately, they already have John Rocker booked.

I never expected they would give up the ban on interracial dating. That much enlightenment so quickly would probably cause their heads to blow up. Their idea of equal rights probably would be intramural basketball. Although I'm not sure the school would still insist on having separate locker rooms. Maybe they'll find a way to ease restrictions a bit. They could allow rich whites to date non-rich whites. From there, who knows? Cheerleaders dating non-athletes. Professors will date women their own ages. And computer geeks will date anybody.

Another group that has been notoriously allergic to change has been the military. The only compassion they've ever shown was in not suing the Village People for the song "In the Navy." They should be able to follow the lead of Dubya, the hero of the Texas National Guard. Texas was never attacked while he patrolled their skies. The enemy was so in awe of him, they didn't even attack while he was AWOL.

The right wing will tell you they don't have a problem with gays in the military as long as they were in Custer's unit. Gays in the military are no more harmful than those animals at the Tailhook convention. And what about that homophobic Sergeant Carter? He abused Jim Nabors. What do you think that did for morale? With a compassionate conservative as Commander-in-Chief, the military can be a bit more flexible.

If they're that afraid, just give the gays their own unit. They can train at Fort Dix. You can even give them their own uniforms. Maybe something in leather or even camouflage Speedos. I hardly think that if you suddenly put gays in the military, you're going to have disco balls in foxholes. Besides, I've seen gay pride parades. This is a group that enjoys marching. Not to mention a fair number who enjoy discipline. There'll probably be a line to re-enlist in boot camp.

Also, the defense lawyer will have to have a pulse. This has not been a great year for certain police departments. Suddenly, the public is starting to frown on the shooting of unarmed citizens. The police could use some work on their public relations. Maybe they can try wiping their feet before they trample on your constitutional rights. Another way to show compassion will be to get rid of racial profiling. From now on they'll plant evidence on whites as well as on blacks.

There are plenty of issues on which George W. can demonstrate his compassion. For instance, high gas prices. Under pressure from Bush, gas stations will let you take a penny, and no longer ask you to leave one.

Texas is the state that wants to give students the right to pray before football games. They can give in on school prayer and let the students sacrifice a virgin before the game. Of course, this may not help them promote abstinence in the schools. But for those students that can't be abstinent, perhaps conservatives can bend on the issue of giving condoms to kids. They can just give condoms out to all the liberal kids.

Al Gore should try and beat the Republicans at their own game. If Bush wants to be a Compassionate Conservative then Gore should reinvent himself as a Cold-hearted Liberal. It won't be easy being tougher than Dubya when it comes to the death penalty. He would have to go to death row and start strangling prisoners with his bare hands. If Democrats want to save the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge, at least save it so we can put prisons there. Just because you hug a tree doesn't mean you can't act like a tough guy every now and then.

Remember it was a Democrat that started the Cold War. That was a perfect war for us. What was the body count? Zero. A forty year conflict with no casualties, that's my kind of war.

This country is getting tired of picking fights with countries that would get their ass kicked on Sesame Street. We need a real enemy that we could bully. Or at least someone big we can pretend to bully so we can act tough. We need to reunite the Soviet Union to have an enemy worth getting tough with. So let's send back all the bricks. Put the Berlin Wall back up. And let's put the N.R.A. on the front line. They'll gladly give up their guns when they realize that it's much easier to run away without them.

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