God for President

Chatterbox is actually starting to feel sorry for the Christian right. Apparently Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist who once was the spokesman for the Moral Majority, has (with Ed Dobson) written a new book that says he’s had it with politics, too, just like Paul Weyrich. (It’s called Blinded by Might–click here to buy the book) “Religious conservatives, no matter how well organized, can’t save America,” the authors write, according to the Associated Press. “God can.”

But there’s an unexplored alternative, and Chatterbox is surprised some enterprising political consultant (Ralph Reed?) hasn’t pursued it: Lure the Big Guy himself to throw in his hat for the 2000 race!

Chatterbox doesn’t mean that some dude with a white beard who’s gussied up in billowing robes should go on Larry King Live. Among other things, it’s way too late to start fund-raising. Chatterbox means that religious conservatives should consider the profound meaning of the year 2000 and ponder the possibility that one of the candidates already vying for the presidency is the messiah.

But who? Chatterbox is a Democrat, but feels certain that if God were to run for president, it would be as a Republican. (The closest thing to a precedent being when Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II, considered offers from both parties.) Also–let’s be realistic here–as a Christian; if a Jew ever gets elected president, it won’t be by claiming he’s the messiah. Let’s see. George W. Bush? Doesn’t exactly cry out “holy man.” Dan Quayle? Some possibilities there. Lamar? He’s put in the requisite time on the road. Liddy Dole? Hmmm. She’s scary enough. Pat Buchanan? Definitely scary enough. Bob Smith? Nawww. Hey! How about … Alan Keyes! He’s got everything: Spellbinding speaker, rock-solid social-conservative credentials, a Harvard degree!

We wouldn’t want Keyes himself allowing that he’s the messiah, of course. That’s way too tacky. But perhaps a whispering campaign could be started. Chatterbox thinks this is just what the doctor ordered for the dispirited Moral One-Third.

–Timothy Noah