October 2, 2011

Political Commentary: Let's Revoke The GOP License To Hate


This last week has been incredibly challenging for this obscure San Francisco based blogger. I took a break from blogging over the last few days, after getting some good advice from people with more experience than I, with big challenges. I started writing this blog for a few reasons, though my primary goal was to promote tolerance, and challenge the media’s representation of lesbians, gay men, and transgendered individuals.

The current status quo, from where I sit, is unacceptable. The political climate created by Republicans, and their endless campaign to dismantle government, stymie progress, and codify bigotry and discrimination, has permeated the discourse taking place in schools, churches, and kitchen tables - from Harmony Maine to Honolulu Hawaii.

I have to admit, having a failed Presidential candidate, call me an “economic terrorist” is a badge of honor I will proudly wear for a long time. That will definitely replace the “homo-fascist” tag that the Liberty Counsel branded me with in August. What I still can’t understand is the right wing extremist’s obsession with all things gay. In one email I received in response to the NY Times article published last week, Fred wrote:

“You are completely wrong to insinuate that being a sexual deviant is compatible with a faith in Christ. On the contrary, we are commanded to put to death the deeds of our flesh by the power of the Spirit.”

I underlined “put to death” to emphasize those words. We can debate whether that’s a veiled threat, or a double entendre. When I first read it - I was shocked and felt threatened. After a bit of reflection, I chose to interpret the statement as a metaphor, not as a threat. Regardless, what does that say about our nation as a whole? What makes it OK for someone to call me and scream “die faggot” on the phone? Why does someone feel comfortable calling me or anyone “scum” for the beliefs I hold dear?

There is a malaise that has spread across the country, as a result of the economic challenges we currently face. Civility and tolerance are distant memories - and the media continues to showcase the GOP beauty pageant of Presidential candidates, disguised as a debate. No one will convince me that there isn’t a correlation between the candidates rhetoric on TV, and the messages I have received on the phone and through emails.

The televised media spectacles feature candidates with sharp elbows, and political positions that are not supported by the majority of the American people. In the past, all of these candidates would have been dismissed as fringe candidates, and yet every news program reports on what they have to say, however illegitimate the message may be. This crop of candidates is so out of touch with the average voter, that it’s become impossible to imagine any of them living in the White House.

Every single candidate has pledged “no new taxes,” while between 70% and 80% of the American electorate feel the inequities in our current system must be reformed and changed. Where is the outrage?

I have come to believe that every Republican candidate has a huge flaw, that will preclude them from being elected President. If you add to each candidate’s narrative, the soundtrack of the live television audiences, who cheered state sponsored executions, have no problem with a hypothetical death caused by a lack of health insurance coverage, and booed an active-duty member of the United States Army, currently serving in Iraq, the GOP beauty pageants are the gift who keeps on giving. When each political party has anointed their respective nominees, these moments are sure to be immortalized in TV commercials far and wide.

Each week I watch these Republicans strut their stuff in the Q and A portion of the televised beauty pageants, and it doesn’t take long for each entrant to have their “Miss California” moment. Perez Hilton famously asked Miss USA California Carrie Prejean about marriage equality, and the firestorm that erupted after that pageant resulted in Prejean losing her state crown.

Polls indicate that Michele “Bozo” Bachmann, Rick “Shoot ‘em up” Perry, and Rick “Sicko” Santorum, have had their Miss California moment, and their star is fading after the media spotlight was focused in their direction. The lone candidate who embraces civility, and expresses a faith in science, toils in near obscurity. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who loves Harley Davidson’s, and speaks Chinese, hasn’t caught on with Republican party stalwarts. No matter what you think of his political positions, if you find yourself in conversation with anyone about Presidential politics - let’s encourage our friends and neighbors inclined to vote for a Republican, to take a look at Jon Huntsman.

The divisive nature of Presidential politics, and the hateful rhetoric that accompanies these political campaigns, are going to be with us for the next 14 months. The Miss California moments that many of the candidates have on the national stage, influences the people who think it’s OK to send me emails filled with threats, and inflammatory language. They tell the guy who called me and said “die faggot,” that his views are consistent with what Bozo and Sicko exemplify, every time they open their mouths.

I can’t vote in a Republican primary, because I rejected the dogmatic extremist views, a long time ago. I have at least 8 immediate family members who faithfully vote in every GOP primary, and starting today I’m going to fill their ears with the positive aspects of supporting Jon Huntsman for President.

Beauty pageants usually feature an award for Miss Congeniality - and if the GOP continues to ignore their Miss Congeniality in Jon Huntsman, they will be ensuring a certain defeat in November 2012. Either way - I’m hoping that the 2012 election will be the death knell, for inflammatory rhetoric, and the ugly politics that continue to divide our great nation.

I can handle the bullshit being thrown in my direction, by individuals resistant to change. In the mean time, I’m looking forward to election day 2012, when we can decisively reject the politics of hate, and return to the kinder, gentler nation of yore. It’s imperative that we revoke the GOP’s license to obstruct progress, and promote hate.

As Margo Channing famously uttered.....”fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” A bumpy night, and a bumpy ride indeed.

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