Politicians have been too focused on sex for at least 50 years, and this “delirium” keeps Americans from voting for the best candidate. In her new book Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America, historian Nancy Cohen explores how politics changed after the birth control pill was released in 1960. She argues that the sexual revolution threatened contemporary politicians, who accused the women of ruining the American family.
Thus, the American fixation with sex in politics was born.
Cohen describes how this attitude has pervaded the 2012 election:
‘”In late January, the Obama administration announced that employers would have to include contraception in their healthcare plans under the new healthcare reform law. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who had changed his wife and his religion three times, accused Barack Obama of waging a “war” on the Catholic Church. Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be GOP nominee, charged the president with trying “to impose a secular vision on Americans.“‘
The Republican presidential candidates and Fox News became so agitated about the “war on religion” you would hardly have known that 99 per cent of Americans who had ever had sex used birth control.”
But both parties are guilty of letting sex run an election, Cohen says, mentioning the Democratic Party’s past refusal to take a stand on reproductive or social issues.
By focusing less on sex, we can restore “common sense and sanity” in American politics.
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