News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 3, 2012

RONN MOTT: Try to avoid foot and mouth disease

Ronn Mott
The Tribune-Star

---- — Since I have spent most of my adult life in front of a microphone, I have suffered from the same disease Richard Mourdock suffers from. It’s the “foot and mouth disease:” open mouth, insert foot.

Candidate Mourdock, as his opponent stated, went just a few words too far. The idea that God sanctions the birth of a child from a woman who has been raped is asinine. First of all, politicians of any stripe should stay away from trying to tell us what God is thinking. If you start messing around with words that explain what God is thinking, you might end up with God very angry at you. No theologian will tell you they know what God thinks. They may think they know, but they don’t. Secondly, politics should stay away from the birth or no birth issue. I sincerely believe it should be between a woman and her conscience, and her religious beliefs. Thirteen teenagers die every day of gunshot wounds in America, but they are not bringing the wrath of God down on this gun-toting population of Americans. It seems the anger is saved for the young woman who was just raped and impregnated, the woman who is frightened about a birth she does not want, and the issue of human rights as a fetus inside a woman’s body.

Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party favorite, seems to know all the answers … from unwanted pregnancies to what God is thinking. He is mostly guilty of opening his mouth and sticking his foot in it. And you Republicans gave up one of the best senators we have ever sent to Washington for this would-be senatorial boob.

When I was a young disc jockey in my first summer of employment at WPRS, the bell on the AP machine began to ring loudly. It told me the area of the country we were in was under a tornado alert. I went running down the hall and one of the older employees told me to read it just as it was stated … that our part of the country was under a tornado alert. So I did what older heads told me to do. The sky clouded up, the wind began to blow, but there was no tornado. It wasn’t long before the clouds cleared and the sun came out.

In my youthful curiosity I said, on the air, “Gee, I would have liked to have seen a tornado,” and I went on from there doing my job. The phone began to ring rapidly, and people were irate that I would say such a stupid thing. My boss, Adlai Ferguson, didn’t yell and scream or get terribly mad, but explained to me that a real tornado could tear up a man’s crops and put many people in harm’s way physically and economically.

I grew smarter and would remember this and try to keep from opening my mouth and inserting my foot. This stupidity of mine didn’t do any harm, except to show that at age 17 I had much to learn. Of course, I was not running for the United States Senate. This August body will make great decisions on American foreign policy, the nation’s health, and who will sit on the nation’s Supreme Court. Perhaps Richard Mourdock can take the foot out of his mouth long enough to consider what it is that he is running for. It is not to please the Tea Party. It is not to please the Republicans. It is not to please the Democrats. It is to sit in a seat in the United States Senate. A seat that Harry Truman once called, “The greatest job an American man can have.” Richard Mourdock cannot hoist this point of blame on the liberal press. He has said many things to please his right-wing friends in order to get him nominated. It is different now that he wants to be a senator in the greatest legislative body in the world that represents democratic thought.

It’s really rather simple. Richard. You’ve already said many stupid things. Isn’t it time you just shut up?