That is what Phil Robertson, the star of the hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty gave to an audience of otherwise content convention goers at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
In an address that was not so much a speech as a jeremiad, Robertson, the marquee speaker at this year’s confab, harangued his audience to return to biblical values, reminded them that they will one day die—“Obamacare will not save you from the grave”—and told the gathered, “GOP, you can’t be right for America if you are wrong with God.”
In a wide-ranging, 30-minute address, Robertson quoted widely—from the Bible he brought on stage, from Madison, Jefferson, and Washington and from Edmund Burke. He even read from a congressional resolution that authorized 1983 to be “The Year of the Bible.”
Not that he was putting on airs. Robertson came out in his customary camo, and told the audience that it was the best suit of clothes he owns. He said he had no rings, no watch, no cellphone, but insisted he kept a firearm at arms length at all times (not, presumably however, while on stage).
“And some of you are saying, ‘Are you some kind of idiot?’ Actually, I’m a multimillionaire and I’m famous so shut up and sit down.”
Robertson ran into trouble last year with comments disparaging homosexuality, telling an interviewer from GQ magazine that “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus, that’s just me” and suggesting that homosexuality would lead to bestiality.
He worked a little blue tonight too, telling the audience that he does not run around “with long-legged Hollywood types,” but that he has regular sex with his wife, fellow reality show star Kay Robertson.
“It’s biblical. One man, one woman for life.”
Robertson, who in that same interview with GQ suggested that life was better for African Americans before the civil rights movement, tonight said that there was no difference between the races.
“There is one race on this planet. It’s called the human race. Therefore you have no right to color-code anyone. No one. We’re all of the same family.”
Robertson was introduced by Sarah Palin, who applauded her fellow reality television star for not giving in to the “PC police” and boasted that Robertson was unafraid to speak up for biblical values.
And, despite the hectoring nature of the address at times, Robertson was well-received by the audience too, which gave him several sustained rounds of applause.
He was followed by Ben Sasse, a Republican rising star who just won a primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska, and is likely to win election to Washington, D.C., in November.
More than half of the convention, however, got up and left as soon as Robertson left the stage.