Oliver North has trouble breaking his old habits

Hopefully, after reading this week's column, I will probably be attacked by every right-wing, religious right, conservative voter south of the Mason-Dixon line. Why would I, a moderate republican, be attacked? Because I will show that Oliver North, who is running for the United States Senate, is un-American, un-Christian, and most of all not a Republican. I hope I am attacked, perhaps even ridiculed by North supporters, to show that I will say what is morally right.

When Oliver North joined the Marine Corps as a young officer, he took an oath of allegiance to the Nation and to God. "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States ... so help me God." Pardon me, but obstruction of a Congressional investigation, accepting an illegal gift and destroying documents is not supporting and defending the Constitution.

Mr. North also took an oath when he appeared in court and before the Senate. " I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Now, if Mr. North lied to Congress, did he not treat his oath as seriously as he treated the Constitution? Is this a man to whose word we will trust?

This last week I read an article that showed Mr. North saying the Pledge of Allegiance. This mockery of "Liberty and Justice for all" is not in Mr. North's vocabulary nor his actions. Mr. North was also shown spitting water across a radio studio where he was being interviewed. This evidently was in response to a caller who disagreed with Mr. North. Do Americans want someone in the Senate who will spit across the room when he disagrees with a colleague?

The important question that we must ask ourselves is why, then, does the Christian Right support Mr. North? Should we teach our children to lie and disregard authority? I certainly do not want to teach children that stealing, lying and cheating are moral things to do in a civil society. Is disregarding authority a Christian value? Do we not have enough children on the streets disregarding authority by shooting other children? Is Oliver North a "role model" for our children?

By supporting Oliver North, is not the Christian Right condoning lying, cheating and stealing? What about Mr. North's "oaths to God?" Christian trans-literalists (those who believe in the literal word by word translation and meaning of the Bible) would tell you that taking an oath to God and ignoring it is against God's commandment.

Do Christians (or anyone else) want a man of this religious and moral caliber representing their views in national office?

During the Virginia Republican Convention, Mr. North jump-started his campaign by promising to "...clean the White House of all the twentysomethings with earrings and axes to grind." Okay, Mr. North (and all of your supporters), let's get rid of all those "twentysomethings." What next? Oh yeah, those stinking Democrats. Don't forget gays and lesbians. What about single mothers, single fathers and, yes, those beer-belly-slouching bureaucrats? Get the picture?

I, and many other Republicans, become physically ill at the thought of Mr. North sitting in the U.S. Senate with this kind of neo-fascist philosophy.

Mr. North wants us to believe that he is running a campaign of honesty, integrity and virtue. Mr. North is really re-enacting the movie "Bob Roberts," where a Senate candidate attracts and supports a following of neo-fascists who stop at nothing to get political power.

The main character finally stages an assassination attempt on himself, thus propelling him into office. Mr. North's Nietzsche-esque quest, power for power's sake, is un-American, un-Christian and definitely not Republican. Mr. North said last week, "Oliver North is not the demon they created, he's a good father...it's hard sometimes, to get that message across." Is it?

Christopher Tighe is a graduate student in the School of Public Affairs and is an Eagle columnist.

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