Oh, Dad, Poor Dad, Sonny Hung You
In the Closet
and Im Feelin So Sad!
It had become well established over the years that there are
few limits to how low a man will stoop to become president of
the United States.
But on the evening of January 6, 2000, in a
debate at the Johnson Theater of the University of New
Hampshire in Durham, this view was shown to be incorrect.
There are no limits.
Republican candidate Steve Forbes made
this clear when asked how he stood on the question of
homosexuals in the military. He answered:
Open gays should
not be in the military. The military is not an agency for
social experimentation. They have a real mission and they
should be allowed to carry it out.
From any of the other
candidates this would have been a routine pander to the
gay-bashing family values crowd. From this candidate it was
something much nastier.
The only reason Mr. Forbes was on the
platform at all is that he inherited a magazine and a huge
fortune from his father, Malcolm. This allowed the son to
buy so much television time that attention had to be paid to his
otherwise absurd candidacy. One would think that Mr. Forbes
would be grateful to dad, and respectful of his memory. One
would be wrong, though.
The candidates father, Malcolm
Forbes, enlisted in the army after Pearl Harbor. To pass the
vision test he wore contact lenses, then so unfamiliar that
the army doctors didnt realize he had them on. He was therefore
cleared to engage in the militarys real mission, which ended
for him while he was searching for a missing unit in Germany.
His leg was shattered by machine gun bullets, hospitalizing
him for nine months. The army awarded him the Purple Heart,
and a Bronze Star for valor.
The relevance of all this to Steve Forbes manly stand in New
Hampshire 55 years later is
that Malcolm Forbes was gay. His son, of course, is not:
nothing queer about Smedley. Nor does the would-be
commander-in-chief share his fathers enthusiasm for real
military missions. Like most rich kids his age, he ducked
service in Vietnam.